So, as mentioned, I got to go see Rachel Maddow Tuesday night. It truly was one of the most incredible things I have ever experienced.
To start, she is very likely the top of my celebrity OMG list. I’m really straining to think of anyone who would be a bigger deal… but, I think she’s it.
DW was nice enough to watch Babbykiddo for me… she was supposed to go, but there was a change in the time, and our sitter couldn’t make it that early.
I left casa de nonconformist at about 4:15 and arrived in Beverly Hills in time to find a parking lot and walk to the theater by 6:00. I hopped into what was probably already a line of a hundred or two people, and was immediately joined by a man and woman (presumably a couple) who appeared to be in their fifties, and a really cute 27-year-old lesbian on an extended visit from Germany. (Instant crush!)
The four of us talked from that point until the program began a bit after 8:00. What a delightful time I had! A great primer for the main event.
Finally, the first speaker came out… He did his obligatory bit: “Welcome to the theater….” Then came the event organizer: “This will be a great event…”
…and after they ate up the limelight to their hearts’ content, Rachel Maddow, accompanied by Bill Maher, took the stage to an enthusiastic and deeply affectionate standing ovation.
The format was essentially Bill Maher interviewing Rachel (Funny, I have no problem calling her by first name…but not him) about her book ‘Drift.’ The conversation was fascinating and thoughtful. Rachel seemed very accessible and normal… Moreso even than her TV persona. Anyway, the talk took us from the Vietnam war through the Reagan administration, looking at how the nation had crept in the direction of executive power over military operations.
Wonderful stuff, and I was loving getting my wonk on.
…but, really I was there for one reason and one alone: to meet Rachel Maddow!
After She finished with the Bill Maher segment, she took a few (self-indulgent) questions from the rabble, and then it was on to book-signing time.
I had the good fortune of being in the first group to get their books signed (my place in line had afforded me this… glad I got there early!) I had DW’s book and my own out to be signed, and I placed the ticket stubs in each book to be clear that I had not brought another book from outside (the tightly controlled signing portion was intimidating.)
As I stood in line, a very forceful voice boomed from right behind me “Step to your left, please!” Startled, I did as commanded, as did those nearby. The voice belonged to a security person who was escorting Rachel to the book table. I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Rachel Maddow!!! My inner fangirl went ten kinds of apeshit! ….but, I kept it together, remembering my Disney training: Do not draw attention to a celebrity, especially in a crowd… order would be completely lost. I tapped my sexy German friend, though. I at least wanted her to enjoy the moment with me.
I arrived at the signing table a few short minutes later, even more afraid about holding two books, having been intimidated by the security dude. But, no sooner than I go to set my books down then I am approached by a kind woman with long graying-blonde hair (whom I instantly recognize as Susan Mikula, Rachel’s partner) who said “Thank you for being honest.” -referencing the ticket stubs in the books. What a great first impression! SO in-line with my concept of the two of them. I did not want to point out Susan to everyone else, but I gave her a knowing smile that I think she grasped.
Anyway, I get up to the table, AND (I’m breathing shallow even thinking about it) THERE IS RACHEL MADDOW!!! The first thing out of my heroes mouth: “I’m sorry we kind-of pushed past you in line back there.” …and, I melt. What an amazing human being. The first thing out of her mouth…and Susan’s mouth, had been to show me kindness. I had difficulty hearing what Rachel’s next few words were, but at the end of our super-short interaction, I thanked her, with all the inflection that my voice, face, and body language could possibly affect, for the work she does. Showing genuine appreciation, she said “Aww, Thank you!” -nodding her head, and lowering her brow.
Leaving the table, I turned and was face-to-face with Bill Wolff, Executive Producer of Rachel’s show. Feeling like he was fair game, I did acknowledge recognizing him, and I thanked him for the work he does as well. He was appreciative.
Back on earth, I talked a little more with my German friend until I saw her safely in a cab, then returned to my car a block over. I took a moment on my walk to call DW and let her know that my phone was nearly dead, but that I was on my way.
I left happy.
Then I got home and emailed the sexy German….. because, really, if you were me….wouldn’t you? I told her about how wonderful a time I had, and how very nice it was to meet her. I gave her my complete contact information, as we had agreed that we would see a lot of each other during her visit!
I got an email in my inbox! Was it her reply?
NO. It was a failure notice…. the email address was not deliverable.
I have tried every permutation of the address I can think of, and I can’t make it work.
Alas, unless the couple, whose information I also got, are able to get in touch with her, I will not be playing tour guide barbie anytime soon.
I was worried at first that this would ruin the experience, but it really didn’t. I am disappointed, sure… but, that’s totally unrelated to the glory of that night.
Be well, my loves