Awhile back my friend Jenny, The Bloggess*, wrote about meeting Neil Gaiman and summed up her anxiety by saying, “the only thing more terrifying than the thought of never meeting your idols is the thought of them actually having to meet you.” And I’m all, yeah! That! Because it’s exactly that thought that makes me all palm-sweaty every time one of my idols comes to town and I’m faced with the opportunity to stand in line for autographs or something. I mean, what will I say that doesn’t sound trite and haven’t they heard it all before?

And I wonder how our idols feel about the whole autograph-signing, picture-taking phenomenon, from the other side. A few times I’ve met people in social situations that recognized me from posts on The Pioneer Woman and I always think, god, so sorry to disappoint you but I’m just a doughy, awkard, 38-year old mom with anxiety disorder hiding behind this here glass of cabernet. Let’s tweet.

What is it that makes us want to connect with people that inspire us? And how can we fangirls do this without looking 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 tweeting *hello* to Neil Gaiman from the audience when he was in Portland for An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer.

Last night Dr. Rossman and I went to Oregon Symphony featuring Storm Large, someone I have a serious girl crush on and whose music I often listen to while painting. The show was fucking magical and amazing and I’ll be damned if she didn’t get the largely senior citizen crowd to sing Total Eclipse of the Heart during the encore, which is not only magical and amazing, but nearly unthinkable. I cannot say enough about this performance and I will buy tickets to see her sing a million more times. Love.

After the show she was signing books and CDs and since the line was short in the small venue (I despise crowds nearly as much as awkward social interactions with individuals) and since I was fueled by a couple cocktails (if we’re being honest) I marched right up there in my Betty Draper swing coat and got her autograph and asked a random stranger to take our photo together. (Thanks random stranger.) I managed to squeak something about being an artist and listening to her music in my studio.

It made my night.

*See how I casually said, “my friend Jenny” here? It’s totally for dramatic effect, because we’ve never met in person, but I’ve painted her and also she named my giant taxidermy goose Bram Stoker so in internet-speak I think that means we’re friends. I think.

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