Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Paula Deen Day


A few weeks ago, I went to this adorable, locally owned book store called Square Books to study.  I bought a book and as I was checking out I signed up for the bookstore newsletter.  Lo and behold, as soon as I turned it over, I discovered that PAULA DEEN was coming to Oxford in 3 weeks! I started to freak out a little bit.  I tweeted about it, made it my facebook status, added it to my calendar, and then proceeded to tell all of my friends about the wonderful news that I had heard.

It was my midterm happy.  These past few weeks have been really stressful with papers and midterms so I kept telling myself that If I could just get through them then I would get to meet Paula Deen.

Well, Ladies and Gents, today was the day.  Paula Deen was scheduled to be at Square Books at 11.  You had to buy a copy of her new cookbook, the Southern Cooking Bible, from the bookstore and then you could get it signed.  I got up early this morning (skipped my bible study at 9:30) so that I could get to the bookstore a little after 10. I was absolutely elated.  I even straightened my hair all the way.

I got there around 10:30 (I left my camera at home so I had to go back and get it) and the line was already wrapped around the outside of the bookstore. It was moving pretty quickly though so I wasn't too worried.  I estimated that I'd be out of there within an hour- heck maybe even 30 minutes if it kept moving this fast.

About 10 minutes into the line I learned that this wasn't actually the line to see Paula.  This was the line to get a number to see Paula.  Paula was actually at the other part of the bookstore which was down the street. No wonder it was moving so fast.

I finally was able to move through the doorway and was about 5th in line. I could see the register and even hear the cash drawer opening and closing.  I don't know who still uses cash but then I realized that everyone in line around me could probably get the senior citizen discount at Piccadilly.

The drawer closed and I was ready to be number 4.  Then the cashier looked up at all of us crazed women in line and announced that all of the numbers had been sold out.  Only those who had pre-ordered a book could pick up their number.  We were welcome to buy a copy of the book but only those who actually had a number could see Paula.

You don't even want to know what kind of words were going through my head.  I started talking with the other women standing in line beside me.  What should we do? Sneak in? Buy a book anyway and just leave? Yell? Complain? Revolt? Cry?

Like it or not, the last idea seemed to be the only option.  I'm so passive aggressive.

I decided to never watch Paula again on TV. I would never buy her cookbooks.  Her food is so bad for you anyway. Plus, she's just a little freaky.  Orange skin with white hair? Plus she's 64 years old and doesn't have a wrinkle on her face. No thank you.

But despite my protests, I could definitely feel the tears building up behind my eyes.  I was determined to not be that girl. I will not cry because I can't see Paula Deen. This is absurd.

I started walking down the street to Bottletree Bakery where I could divulge myself in cake and coffee. Sugar... that's what I need. Cake always cheers me up.  And Bottletree is one of my favorite places in Oxford.  I thought that if I could just make it there then I wouldn't cry.  I did my yoga breathing along the way. In 1-2-3-4.  Pause. Out 1-2-3-4. Pause.

Freezing because of the freak cold weather front, I walked up to the door of Bottletree. I reached for the handle and then noticed a paper sign on the door with a message written in sharpie: "Bottletree will close at 11:00 AM today." I looked at my watch. 11:03. You've got to be kidding me.

I had about 3 minutes to get to my car before the tears started rolling.

Then, my angel came.  I got a text from my dear friend Wyeth that said, "I just saw you!! I'm in bottletree, do you need something?" Um yes I need something.  I need some cake and some coffee and some Paula Deen.

I called her and she opened the door to Bottletree for me and the people working served me even though they were closed.  I angrily shared my saga with her and my other friend that was there, Augusta.  Then they solved all my problems.  They both had a number so I could just tag along with them and meet Paula!

We walked around the square for a little while and then sat and got more coffee.  Of course the extra caffeine in my system made me even more excited about seeing Paula because I was basically bouncing off the walls.  But finally, around 1:30, they called our number: 293 (There were 500 so we were actually doing pretty good).  I discovered in line that with every number, you can get 2 books signed.  So my resolve to never support her again changed and I dished out 30 bucks to get her book.  I handed the book off to Wyeth and tossed my camera to her boyfriend.

It worked! I got my cookbook signed, I got a picture with Paula (sort of) and I got to spend the afternoon with friends.  I might have skipped a class or two but it doesn't matter. 20 years from now I might be cooking out of Paula Deen's book but I'll never be thinking about Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. Totally worth it.

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