For real in real life! I did! And it was epic. She was in Salt Lake last night for a book signing and I was fully determined to go as soon as I heard she was coming a month ago. My oh so wonderful sister-in-law and fellow PW reader Lorraine and I planned on it. Then, as it always does, annoying stuff happened. I auditioned for a play and got in and even though I had written that I would have a scheduling conflict last night, I got scheduled for a rehearsal anyway. Bad news! I took one for the team and woefully canceled my book signing plans. But then there was a glimmer of hope! Because we got so much done at our previous rehearsal, last night's rehearsal was supposed to go short! I told Lorraine that I would text her when I was done with rehearsal and see if I had time to make it up to Salt Lake. But then rehearsal kept going on longer, and Lorraine was fast approaching her place in line and I lost all hope again. Then, good news! Lorraine, being the amazing human that she is, traded her tickets with some ladies farther down the line to buy me time, even though I told her not to! Then rehearsal ended so I jumped in my car and started speeding really really fast to get to Salt Lake. I got off the freeway and I accidentally drove past the place, so I did a very illegal U-turn and found a place to park. Then I ran up to the front doors and they were locked! I ran down the sidewalk and called my big brother, Dan, who magically appeared there because at some point during all of this Lorraine's phone died, and Lorraine came out to find me. I was running through the dark across a frosty abandoned lawn when I heard her voice and she ran out from behind the corner of the building and we saw each other and celebrated! Then Dan let us back in the building because it was all locked up and he left. And then... this is the best part. Just trust me. We walked into the auditorium and there she was. An aura of fabulousness and loveliness surrounded her. PW herself! We ran down to the line because it was our turn right then at that very moment. We talked to a Swedish girl in front of us and I gave her some gum because she'd just drunk some coffee and didn't want her breath to offend The Great Pioneer Woman. While the Swedish girl was talking to her I was suddenly struck with this strange feeling. I was seeing this person and some of her family that I'd only ever read about and seen pictures of and they were moving and talking and living. They were real people! What?! Then I felt a moment of guilt because I was intruding on a real person's life. I felt like a weirdo for being a celebrity worshiper and then I told myself to shut up and quit being a psycho. Then it was our turn! She signed our books and talked to us. I made her laugh by saying these two simple words, "It's true." I welled up with elation! I made PW laugh! She was so sweet and kind and beautiful. Then we posed for a picture but one more bad turn had to happen. Lorraine's memory was full. In her camera, not her brain. But one more good news: the lady taking pictures had taken a candid shot of us talking to her! There is, in fact, pictorial evidence! Then it was over and we relished our autographs as we walked into the night air, high on adrenaline and life!
That right there is the longest, most incoherent paragraph in the history of the world. No really. I did research. But that's the way it's going to stay because that's the way it felt while it was all happening.
I think what made this experience most special is that my incomprehensibly awesome sister-in-law waited there for four hours so that I could enjoy that ten minutes. I won't ever forget it. It's true.