Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Minnesota: Do-Over

Right after returning from vacation, I wanted to do a rewind of Minnesota and do it up right, literary-style. It's true that I was riding on the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Highway when I was in Sweet Valley, but I didn't stop at the Wilder museum there, nor did I visit Walnut Grove. I also wish that I could've seen F. Scott Fitzgerald's boyhood home in St. Paul and the Betsy-Tacy house in Mankato as well as Sinclair Lewis' home in Sauk Centre! Isn't there also a really huge bookstore out there somewhere? I won't say that I *hate* traveling with other people, but it's damn difficult to smother your quirks in the interest of harmony.

Speaking of Laura Ingalls Wilder, (well, kind of) I narrowly missed a chance to meet Alison Arngrim, who played Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie. She was at the Mall of America in Bloomington, signing copies of her new book, Confessions of a Prairie Bitch on the 26th of July. Unfortunately, I was there on the 19th. So disappointing. Especially because, in my excitement, I misread the poster in the window. I rushed into the store precisely at 6 pm, hurried up to the cashier and fairly panted, "Where's the signing?"

"Signing?" The clerk looked uneasy.

"Yes, for..." I gestured at Arngrim's familiar smirking face.

"That's next Monday."

Oh. Shit.

Aloud, I said, "Oh, that's right! I'm on vacation, and I've completely lost track of time!" Then I fled into the fiction section to pout. By the time Alison Arngrim appeared at the bookstore, I would be back in Korea, sweating to death and serving up science to elementary and middle school children. For a moment, the prospect was almost too loathsome to contemplate, and when I was getting ready for work this morning, it still rankled a bit.

I didn't buy the book because I was pissed about not being able to get it autographed. I was very much pity party and FML. Sorry, Alison. If I'd gotten to meet you, I would've told you that Nellie's antics were the best thing about Little House on the Prairie, and kept both my father and me tuning in year after year.


SFP said...

You have my sympathy. I went to NY and Philly with, um, several other people last month and I came home wondering what the point in even going was.

My crowd turned their noses up at the Justin Cronin reading, but they did let me dip my toe in the Strand, but not long enough for me to find a single book I'd like to buy.

Vacation do-overs: I'm all for 'em.

But I'm glad you're back, Bybee!!!!

Eva said...

I never thought I'd say this, but you make me want to go to Minnesota! :D

Welcome back!

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

Awwww, that just sucks. Big time. But cheer up, maybe Alison will see your post and send you a copy (hey, hope springs eternal).

Glad you're back. :)

Unruly Reader said...

Glad you're back!

I concur with your comment about traveling with others and how it can put a damper on the slightly out-of-the-way things that make you just squeal with joy.

Yup, I'd be furrowing my brow and looking a bit snarly...

Thomas at My Porch said...

I grew up in Minnesota and have been to Walnut Grove and even seen Plum Creek. Even though it was the height of popularity for the TV version of Little House I remember being bored because it didn't look like the TV show. I also rember a child throwing a tantrum because its grandmother wouldn't let the child have (yes have, take home) the olde timey cash register in the museum.