If someone told me I was going to meet former President Bill Clinton, I would never have believed it. Especially while dressed impeccably in my walking morning sweats, sporting messy pig tails, and completely make-up free.
Though, something tells me that no one who knows me would be surprised that when I did get the chance to meet the former leader of the free world, I used my two minutes to ask him about eating gluten-free. I probably even received a few eye rolls. But, this is exactly what I did!
I found out yesterday morning, as soon as I returned from my morning walk, that he was doing a book signing at the Barnes & Noble just down the street. It took me about 5 minutes of debating whether to brave the crowds until I bolted out the door. I knew I would regret this opportunity if I let it slip.
I really had no clue what to expect, I wasn't dressed for it, and was honestly a bit grateful when I learned cameras and phones were not allowed in the store. But then I guess it would be über cool to have a picture with a President even if I was in a potato sack.
While waiting in line, on a very chilly Atlanta November morning for 3 hours and trying to stay warm with my Starbucks, that I vowed to stay away from...but hey, I needed the warmth, I had lots of time to think of what would say when I finally got the chance to shake President Clinton's hand and be in his personal space.
3 hours passed, and we were finally able to enter the building and regain feeling in our hands and feet, and I was getting closer and closer, I just knew I was going to stutter, and probably pass out when it was my turn. I tried to soak him in, since cameras weren't allowed so I could remember him clearly in my mind. He was tall, slim and looked to be in good health, and had on good shoes.
Most of the people in front of me grabbed the book, shook his hand, said thank you and walked on their way. When it was my turn.....
I did not pass out!
I did not spontaneously combust!
I did not throw up!
He was very sweet and smiled as he shook my hand. But, I didn't want to just walk away. I asked him if I could "ask you an off the wall question?"
He said sure, I bet he was a bit worried what it would be, as I am sure he has heard it all. I explained that I read his daughter had a gluten-free wedding cake, and was wondering if he ate gluten-free as well. Was he going to look at me like I was crazy? Was he going to give a signal to his secret service to remove me? Was he going to just refuse to answer me?
No, he actually seemed very engaged and wanted to talk about it. He explained that while he does have a wheat allergy, he does try to eat wheat-free all of the time, and to eat gluten-free when he can. He added that he is dairy-free, and vegetarian, but that he does eat fish sometimes. (Note: he is not vegan). He also emphasized that his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, is very "vigilant" about being gluten-free. The frustrating part was that he was just about to tell me more, and started to tell me something... but the people behind me were getting antsy and I had to move forward. D*mn those people! (I kid, I kid).
I may not have had the chance to ask more questions, but it was thrilling just to be able to ask what I did. I left with a huge smile on my face, and was getting looks from people who were amazed I got as much time with him as I did.
I love how when people have an increased awareness of what they eat, and how it affects their bodies, they just love to talk about it.
Now, I must read my signed copy of his book!