Yesterday The Pioneer Woman was in “DC” for a cookbook signing. (DC is in quotes because she was actually in Fairfax, Virginia which is a bit too far from DC to be considered “DC.” She should have just said “Northern Virginia.” Let’s be honest.) I happened to have one of her cookbooks because I bought it for Christmas to give to my little sister, Kirsten, who lives in Italy. That is to say, I bought it for her for Christmas in 2009.
You may be wondering why I still have the book, and it’s not because I’m a bad sister. This is kind of a long story, so if you’re not interested in reading it, skip the next couple paragraphs. I sent Kirsten her Christmas package in the middle of December, thinking that would allow plenty of time for it to arrive by late-December. Kirsten and Massimo were travelling to Argentina for three weeks, leaving December 30th, and, regrettably, my Christmas package didn’t arrive before they left. After they got home, Kirsten and Massimo went to the post office to collect the package, for which they received notification while they were gone. The Italian post office morons told them that someone else had already picked up the package. (Kirsten and Massimo have a long history of problems with the Italian postal service, which has got to be the most incompetent postal service in the world, so this incident only sweetened the pot. Once they made Kirsten pay to pick up a care package because they were convinced she was selling American food products on the black market because she had gotten so many care packages with chocolate chips. True story.)
At any rate, Massimo and Kirsten where extremely upset that their package had been given away to a stranger. The post office promised to look into the “incident,” while Massimo promised to go to the post office every week see how their “investigation” was coming along. (Some colorful language may have been used. I don’t know for sure.) I was pretty pissed about the whole thing too, since some random Italian was enjoying their Christmas gifts. Every time Kirsten and I talked I’d ask her whether there had been any progress solving the mystery of the Christmas package.
Now the story moves along to the end of February. I got a notice telling me that there was a package for me at the post office from Italy that had been returned to sender. And that I needed to pay $18.05 to pick it up. WHAT? At this point I was both elated and even more furious because a) Kirsten and Massimo would finally get their Christmas presents; b) I had to pay even more money, after already paying for shipping to send it there in the first place; and c) the Italians were so stupid and disorganized that they said they gave the package away when really they sent it back. When Nate and I met up with Kirsten and Massimo in Barcelona, we gave them their Christmas presents…. all except The Pioneer Woman cookbook, which I planned on getting signed for them at the “Northern Virginia” book signing.
Hmmm this post is already longer than I’d planned. Oh well. There was a lot of back-story.
Now, moving on to the book signing. I’m not a die-hard P-Dub fan, but I thought it would be funny if I got Kirsten and Massimo’s cookbook signed. I left work at 4:30, thinking that would give me enough time to get to the Borders in Fairfax by 5:45. Yeah, no. By the time I found a parking space it was nearly 6:30, but I got in line to get the cookbook signed. I originally debated just giving up and leaving, but I figured that a bookstore isn’t a bad place to be stuck for a couple hours. (FYI I did get a chance to catch up on the Guinness Book of World Records and The Ultimate Fan’s Guide to Beatles Songs, in addition to Midwest Living and my Spanish grammar.)
I knew I had to leave by 9:45 so I could pick Nate up by work, and there was no way I’d have to wait in line for over 3 hours. Right? So I stood, and I stood, and I stood in line until 9:15, at which point there were still at least 100 people in front me. She was spending a minimum of 30 seconds with each person (I timed her before I got in line to see if it was feasible. Clearly I was wrong.) so it was a mathematical impossibility that she would sign Kirsten and Massimo’s book before 9:45. That said, at 9:15 I wished the ladies around me good luck and scurried off, wallowing in the fact that I’d wasted an entire evening.
I think what got me the most was not the fact that I didn’t get the book signed, but rather the fact that I’d left work early (after waking up super-early that morning to arrive at work 30 minutes early) and carted my ass all the way to Fairfax, Fairfax I tell you(!), during rush-hour none-the-less, forcing Nate to take the metro to work so I could use the car, basically creating a lot of hassle for nothing. That’s what bugs me. I’ve thought about why she chose to do her book signing in Fairfax, and I really don’t know. It wasn’t close to the metro, the timing couldn’t have been worse, it wasn’t “DC” and it certainly wasn’t convenient. But maybe if she’d done it somewhere more convenient there would have been too many people. Who can say at this point? I’m trying to give her the benefit of the doubt here.
I will say this though for The Pioneer Woman: she was just as bright and smiley when signing book #20 as she was when signing book #463. She also let each person get their picture taken with her. She must be the most patient person I’ve ever seen.