She’s So Shy

I am SO shy. I am shy and socially awkward. In fact, it would be better for everyone if the only place I ever was, was where people are not.

That said, The Pioneer Woman came to town today and I was not about to miss it. So I packed up myself and my crippling insecurity, spent way too much time contemplating an outfit, actually put on make-up, got all Spanx’d up and drove to Portland to meet her.

I took an entire half-day off work.

Portland is a great town, and I really don’t get there as much as I’d like. The book signing was at Powell’s in Beaverton, which is Portland sprawl to the west. I stopped at Washington Square to check the Disney Store for treasures (bribes) and to browse through Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn without my kids whining at me to come on already. My next stop was Art Media, a place I probably haven’t visited since I was a student at Portland State. It’s a cool store, but they were out of Yupo (have I started a trend?) so I moved on.

I met my friend at Starbucks, and luckily it was the right one. This is Portland, after all. From the stoplight at Powell’s I could see three Starbucks.

They started giving out tickets for the signing at 4:30, but the line was already well underway. They announced that someone had been there since 10 a.m. I’m not even kidding. I had ticket 110 and last I heard, they stopped handing out tickets at number 375 and everyone else just had to fend for themselves.

We sat in the back. I’m claustrophobic.

There was quite a turnout, of course.

I waited patiently with my cookbooks on my lap. I brought Ree a pendant with the Charlie painting on it (secret: it’s what I send my clients as a thank-you if they order a large portrait!)

I started to fidget.

My pink ostrich boots seemed right for the occasion.

Ree came in through the back of the store, but I don’t have a photo of that. I also don’t have a photo of her impersonating Ethel Merman, giving life advice to soon-to-be college graduates or calling Reese Witherspoon “blonde, petite and narrow.”

But that all happened.

You know how she looks on her website? She looks just like that, but real.

Okay, this is the part where I turn into a complete idiot. I probably blushed. I know I stammered. I walked up and said, “I’m Rachael. The one who painted Charlie?” And instead of calling security she stood up and gave me a hug.

And then I asked the person in line behind me to take a picture of us with my camera. And then Ree asked the same person to take a picture of us with her camera. I’m glad she’s good at Photoshop.

Here I'm thinking, "Is there lipstick on my teeth?"

When I got home, my kids greeted me with, “what did  you bring us?” I tossed some kettle corn in their direction, but H spotted the cookbook. The girl who only eats carbs unsurprisingly flipped right to the Twice Baked Potato recipe and squealed. My husband asked suspiciously if it was a vegetarian cookbook and I assured him that no, it is filled with meat, butter and bacon recipes. He was pleased.

Here's what the cookbook looks like on my counter. Because that's important.

I like to think if Charlie had been there, he would've signed it too.

15 Responses to “She’s So Shy”

  1. suzi Says:

    I loved your painting of Charlie, so lovely. Glad that you got all gussied up to meet her! I live in Minneapolis and missed her when she was at the Mall of America. 🙁

  2. A Cupcake for Moose Says:

    Wow, you got to mee Ree! I found out about you via Pioneer Woman and adore your paintings! I would have been a stammering mess and they probably would have had to call security if I’d been there. 🙂 Great photo of you two!

  3. MIriam Hughes Says:

    I cannot believe you are shy! I think you should write a book about your painting style and then do a book tour and find out how much fun it can be to not be too shy! Oddly enough, my “boyfriend” (we are kind of too old for that word, but what else is there besides husband?), is an author and he does book signings and he is not shy at all – he is downright anti-social…except when he does his book signings, tours and other events where he is in charge. Hmmmmm

  4. MIriam Hughes Says:

    I order my Yupo from Cheap Joe’s when they have sales – great price!

  5. Karin Feskens Says:

    Rachael I do not see you as the shy type at all, in fact Tahra and I LOVE it when you come over it always heightens the fun . I also love to see you in your pink “O” boots ( I can’t spell it) I am not a cook so cookbooks at my house are just to impress my mother-in law, but if you ever want company to go to Powells I would love to go because I don’t go there on my own becausse I get lost but I love the plant and garden section and I am ALWAYS up for Starbucks “maybe that is why”, Karin

  6. Leslie Fummerton Says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I had ticket 193 so not far behind you. I was the girl who asked for life advice and when I went up to get my book signed that was all I could stammer out. I even forgot my name. Still, it was a great night and I am glad that we could both be there to meet her! Now only if we could win a trip to the ranch…
    ~Cheers, Leslie

  7. Stephanie H. Says:

    Awesome that you got to meet PW! (I also found your website on hers. You do GREAT work, btw!) Anyway, I’m jealous in NM… Any chance the PW is coming out here??? I’ll pull out my pink Fat Babies if she does!

  8. Rachael Says:

    Miriam: Maybe a book full of paintings of bloggers’ dogs?

  9. LatigoLiz Says:

    Love your work! May have to have you do a portrait or two. 🙂

  10. Brandy Says:

    Love your PW Post! I was at Portland last night too! It was so much fun! I put videos of her whole talk from last night on my site. So, there’s your proof of her singing, giving life advise and discussing Reese Witherspoon! 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Also, LOVE your paintings! Your painting of Charlie makes me want one of my two Bassets! Your paintings are wonderful!

  11. Johanna Says:

    I was number 107 and took that picture for you! 😉

  12. Rachael Says:

    Johanna: Thanks for taking the picture; it turned out great!

  13. Gracie Parker Says:

    Reese Witherspoon is still one of the cutest american actress out there. I love here role on Sweet Home Alabama.`-`

  14. Caramoan  Says:

    reese witherspoon is just so cute, i wish i was as beautiful as her’;,

  15. Rachael Rossman: Watercolor Portraits of Man and Beast » Nerve Says:

    […] like total tools is what I want to know. Because even though I worked up the nerve (cab free!) to meet Ree Drummond at a book signing once, my crippling social anxiety prevented me from doing more than meekly […]

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