Paula Deen.

Tonight I got to go see “Paula Deen Live” at the Atlanta Civic Center. Proof? Here it is.Row H, baby. Using one of my favorite organizational tools, I have created a list of things that I think following this show. In fact, within 7 minutes of arriving, I had already begun composing this blog.

1. Advertising makes me mad sometimes. Not fightin’ mad. Just wrinkled-eyebrows mad. Why is everything so money oriented? It makes me crazy. This woman, who is wonderful- don’t get me wrong, even gets her HAMS sponsored. Signs everywhere. Every kitchen item you can imagine, t-shirts and aprons galore, cookbooks, magazines, jellies, all of it- for your purchasing pleasure. Oh yeah, and you pay to get in the show in the first place.

2. Kathleen and I went to the bathroom about 15 minutes after we arrived. And can I just say, without being too graphic, someone was having a bad day…. and we all suffered for it. I have never wished more for gills instead of nostrils. Awful.

3. Paula Deen is sweet. Sweet as pie. Too sweet. So sweet that, for the ENTIRE 2 hours and 15 minutes, she let people in the audience yell to her. Let me give you some examples:
“HEY PAULA- today is my birthday! Can I come have a hug?”
“HEY PAULA- my brother says ‘hey y’all’ just like you!”
“HEY PAULA- I’m your illegitimate son!”
“HEY PAULA- remember when I came to your house on my 60th birthday to take a picture with you?” (That story is true and truly creepy.)

These are four examples. Multiply this by 65 and you will begin to glimpse into the nightmarish part of the event. Every time she took a breath, someone had a comment. The teacher in me was raging. She needed to shut them up about 15 minutes into the evening. But she’s just too nice. So nice that…..

4. SHE DIDN’T EVEN COOK. Her son Jamie and her cooking assistant Rebecca (who she called a “mean heifer”) cooked everything while Paula dealt with the crowd. Next thing you know, the food is done and she hasn’t touched a wooden spoon or slab of butter.

5. On a positive note, that woman is FUNNY. She tells stories that I wouldn’t dare type on here, but I was screaming laughing more than once. One of my favorite sayings is easy to apply to her- “She’s not right”. Which is what I say about only my favorite people. She could be a comedian. If the crowd would just shut up. Except for this highlight……

6. One of the friends I went with, Dawnee, yelled out “ANNIE LOVES BOBBY” (Paula’s single son). Though I shhhed her, I have to admit, she might be right. There’s a strong feeling there, but it’s early to call it love. Let’s just call it “deep like”. But I’m pretty sure this isn’t where he wants me to announce our relationship, so don’t tell that I told you, okay? He was as the Georgia game, so we didn’t go public today.

7. I think in the end, I’ve decided that I prefer Paula on television (or hanging out one-on-one, you know). If I ever see her live again, it will be at a taping of her Paula’s Party show. Where the crowd is there, but they are FORCED to be under control. Otherwise, I’ll stick to the Food Network for our connection. I like the personal friendship she and I had developed through the TV. I may have tainted it today, but I’m hoping we’ll go back to normal as soon as another show airs on channel 57.

So, overall, I give the afternoon a B+. The friends I went with (Kathleen, Dawnee, and Julie- here in front of the set) were SUPER fun and SUPER funny. Afterwards, we had a Paula dinner at Kathleen’s house which ruled- salad, squash casserole, sausage balls, cheese ball (licked by a cat- don’t get me started), and brownies. And I really did feel like I got to know Paula better.

Above all else, it was important to see Paula, her husband, and other family members in person….since there is a good chance that I will marry into that family.

Right, Dawnee?

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