Have you ever met or even just seen a rock star up close and personal? That feeling of larger-than-life grandeur . . . the sparkle, the glitz, the glamour . . . right before your very eyes?! Well, that's what it felt like when I saw and ultimately met Dotty Raleigh from Sugar Dot Cookies. She is an instructor at CookieCon 2015 and one of my cookie artist icons.
I first caught a glimpse of her in the security line at the airport and realized, holy God, she was on my flight to CookieCon. How do I act? What do I say? I've been up since 3 am . . . I'm disheveled and tired. Did I even put on deodorant? What if her security detail stops me before I can get close to her? Okay. Maybe I was being a little dramatic. Starbucks. Obviously, I needed Starbucks to calm me down before I could approach her. But seriously, did I put on deodorant?
I watched her from a distance as five or six other cookiers (that's the CookieCon lingo for "cookie makers" seeping out of me) gathered with her at our gate in Baltimore waiting to fly to CookieCon. She appeared human . . . even approachable (though I dared not . . . yet). She was laughing and spirited and talking to everybody AS IF they were her EQUAL! She must have signed autographs and taken pictures while I was getting my Starbucks . . . darn it. I missed my opportunity to just slide in with the others and get mine without making a scene. I'd have to bide my time and play it cool . . . AS IF!
I kept tabs on her from the way back of the plane where ordinary cookiers were seated. Sitting in the third row, she is clearly a Southwest A-list preferred flyer . . . and that's the way it should be! She probably needs to be close to the cockpit, too, because I'll bet she's the back-up pilot. Of course, she can fly a commercial jet. She's DOTTY.
I worked up my nerve over the course of the next four and a half hours of flight time to introduce myself to her once we landed and headed to baggage claim. I also fell asleep and snore-snorted myself awake on no less than three occasions. Very professional. Very cool. Very glad I was in the back where I obviously belonged and nowhere near Dotty.
And then the moment had arrived. I was standing next to her in Salt Lake City airport, and she was holding out her hand to shake mine. I delicately took her hand and gently shook it. (I couldn't be responsible for damaging the hands that create such magical cookies.) I vowed to never wash my hand again . . . but then sadly remembered it's a health department issue when you make cookies for a living to never wash your hands. She talked to me, I think . . . (I was admittedly a little lightheaded and not thinking straight.) She was asking me how I was getting to the hotel and letting me know how easy it is to take public transportation in the city. Wait, what? There wasn't a town car or private limo for her? And she only had one roller suitcase and a purse (to my four bags). She is incredibly sweet (duh . . .) and so kind.
What a pleasure to be in her company.
In the end, I couldn't schlep all of my stuff to stay with her on a train. I had already embarrassed myself enough for one day with the snore-snorting incidents. I did ask her for her autograph, but she just laughed it off (AS IF I was kidding)! Her classes start tomorrow, and I will NOT be hiding in the back. I'm going to get that autograph and maybe even a picture to post for all of you.
But I have lots to see and write about . . . there are other cookie celebs to stalk here as well . . . it's COOKIECON DAY 1!
Photo credit: Jen Wagman
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