Thursday, December 14, 2006

The List

See, I have this list. It's entitled: Ten People To Meet Before I Croak. Maybe you have one, too, (albeit with a different title). These ten individuals are people I must meet before I die. Anything less is unacceptable.

It's strange, I think, how universal our fascination is with other people. Crushes, celebrities, authors, athletes... people can be absolutely engaging. Inspiring. Cute.

Enter #8 on my list: Rachael Ray.

I awoke yesterday with the dreadful realization that Wednesday was a Dallas doctor day. I had a colposcopy and an ECC scheduled for the afternoon. Yuck. I bribed myself to get out of bed with the promise of a patio lunch with my aunt at Terilli's. It worked. Before I knew it, the aunt and I were headed to Dallas.

Once in Big D, we ate and then hurried to Central Market, where we met a tweed-covered butter salesman from New Zealand. While I stocked up on jelly beans and knobs of ginger, my aunt bought some of his butter, although I'm pretty sure the purchase had far more to do with the salesman's accent than the quality of his grass-fed cow butter. No matter.

Upon leaving, my aunt hangs up her cell phone and announces we should check out my Aunt Lu's reported Rachael Ray book signing. It was later in the evening. I could barely breathe. "You know," I said as casually as I could, "Rachael Ray is one of my Ten People To Meet Before I Croak." My aunt wasn't surprised. I'm weird like that.

Time for the doctor. Suffice to say, it involved what looked like a terrorist/death row holding cell, complete with assorted sterilized torture devices. And when I saw what looked like one-foot long cuticle scissors, I squished my eyes together and prayed, "Please Lord. Please let me live. Please let me live long enough to meet Rachael Ray tonight." As the torture began, my mind became a sound stage for repeating the name "Rachael Ray" over and over. It must have been a reaction to the pain. Finally, I hobbled out a thoroughly examined woman, having conquered the worst of an Endocervical Curettage (ECC), and doubly determined to meet Rachael Ray.

An hour later, a book signing revealed a line of hundreds of culinary-genius fans, and walking past their chatter sounded like a multi-national replay of my mental exam room mantra. "Rachael Ray!" people yelled. "Rach!"

But not me. Or my aunt. We didn't have tickets. Apparently 300 golden tickets were distributed prior to the event, and we didn't have one. This would be harder than I thought.

Inside the book store, I "lucked" upon a misplaced Rachael Ray cookbook, and hurriedly bought it. Bypassing the hundreds waiting for signed copies, I walked up to the rope to behold #8 on my list, and was shocked at how cute and personable she was. I shamelessly took a picture - right as she lunged for her coffee cup. Guess that would be as close to Rachael Ray as I'd get.

Or would it?

Our picture place near the rope "happened" us upon none other than Kirk, Rachael Ray's driver. And although he was no butter salesman, my aunt struck up a conversation. After asking the poor guy as many questions as we could about Rachael, the driver had pity on us (I guess), and suddenly we were in line as the next group to meet Rachael Ray. So, we did. A fellow crazed fan snapped my picture with Rachael, with promises to email them. So far, no luck.

But I met Rachael! I shook her hand. I even told her that she was on my list. (I didn't mention that she was #8, though.) "Rock on," Rachael said. "Awesome. You can knock me off the list now!" Indeed I could....

After staring at her illegible signature with a smiley-face "YUM-O!" scrawled in my new cookbook, I began thinking of all the cool things I could have said to her. Or asked her. I could have asked her how to store ginger. Or if she ever uses New Zealand butter. Or how she can have published 140 burger recipes and still be smaller than a sixth grader. Or...

... but I didn't. I mutated into a star-stricken dork with nothing better to offer Rachael than the fact that she was on my list. Gosh. Idiot.

It's funny... the people we admire. It's curious, the things we find enamoring in people. It's sad, the priority we place glimpsing/meeting/impressing ... people. I hope I can apply that same enthusiasm to someday meeting - face to face - my Creator. Rachael Ray's Creator.

I can't wait. Truly, I can't! Until that day, I've decided that I'll try to think now of cool questions to ask Him. Like... what Jesus did between the ages of 12 and 33. And where the Ark of the Covenant was all this time. Heaven forbid - literally - that I, along with hundreds and hundreds of God fans, get my chance to shake His hand someday and the best I can come up with is:

"I love you. You're on my list."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think God would be ever pleased and delighted to shake your hand and hear that you love Him and that He was on your list. You know, you're on His list too -- and He loves you!

(So cool about Rachel Ray (and the New Zealand butter) -- Yum-O!!!)

Lisa :-)