Here is a response that I think I was looking for, a letter sent to me by the friend of whom I spoke. In her own words .... ~D
First of all, thank you for your kind words about me and your considerate loyalty. I am humbled by it. Secondly, I think you've done a really nice job with this blog / fan site. Looks like you learned a lot, eh? *laughing* Kudos to you! And I do hope you take it back up again. There's an obvious passion here, always the first and best ingredient in a fan site or in any endeavor for that matter. And third, thank you for the opportunity to guest blog.
I didn't know about this blog until Guy told me about it last week. After our now three (granted, rather uncomfortable) meetings, I respect him and his work very much.
[Article about their first meeting here.
Video from that meeting here. ~D]
I think what this all boils down to is impressions - first impressions - that devastatingly brief period of time when we assess what another person is all about, based on little to no information.
I only started watching the Food Network some three months before I met Guy and had seen all of 10 or maybe 15 episodes of his shows. I didn't even know his name until maybe six weeks before I met him. In the three weeks between finding out I was to have dinner with him and our trip to NY, I did a ton of research so I wouldn't sound like a complete dolt.
And like a commentator below, my first impressions of Guy were that he is genuine and a kind-hearted person. So I walked into dinner as my completely unguarded, bawdy and sometimes raucous self. I mean, of any Food Network star, isn't Guy the one you'd most likely be raucous with? No? Ok, maybe Paula Deen. (that was a joke, y'all!)
I think Guy's first impressions of me were fine. He said I reminded him of a gal pal of his from High School, meant as a compliment or so was my impression. I also think he expected to walk in there and meet four fans. He didn't. Aside from the research I had done, only one of the remaining three of us is familiar with Food Network programming. The third gal had heard about it but not watched it, and the fourth doesn't even have cable television.
But at some point during the dinner, I think sometime between the salad course and the entree, I offended Guy. I don't know what it was that I said - I asked my girlfriends later what they thought it could have been, and they didn't know either. But at the end of the night, Guy was furious. ("Furious" was Ms. Mueller's word. And accurate.)
In hindsight, I can only assume there was a misunderstanding - one of those "message sent was NOT message received" kinds of scenarios. A gal does not fly across the country just to offend the very person she went there to meet. The important point here is not what I intended to say, but rather what impression I gave. Not unlike in restaurant management – one doesn’t intend to send out a bad plate or provide poor service, what counts is the impression with which the guest walks away.
Regardless, I'd obviously stuck my foot in my mouth and followed up on my faux pas with an apology note to his guestbook and with a personal hand-written note, hand-delivered a few days later.
[That yellow envelope contains the note. ~D]
I didn't apologize just because Guy is a "star." Star-status means very little to me. I did it because he's a nice person, and I'm a nice person, and that's what nice people do when they make mistakes. So at this point I'm thinking its all water under the dog, and let's just all move on.
Dora's account of my second meeting with Guy in Seattle is reasonably accurate in facts, albeit with the Drama Volume Knob turned up to 11 a la Nigel Tufnel's amplifier. (bless ya Dora, but you'll want to tone down emotive comments made in whirly-girly venting sessions)
I could be wrong, but it's my belief that Guy was under the impression we sought out that get-together in Seattle. That's only partially true. We had heard he was a fan of Royal Bliss, and for a myriad of reasons I was eager to facilitate that meeting for both sides. I love hooking up cool people with cool people! And I love supporting good people doing good things.
To Guy's credit, he said last week that he was sorry he missed that meeting. He said that he loves the CD (duh, it totally rocks!), his assistant has the band's contact info and he'll try to make contact. One can not ask for more than that.
[Well I can ask for more than that! But this is your blog. So please continue. ~D]
Dear Guy Fieri, Guy's agent, publicists and Food Network exec's and employees everywhere,
My article is scheduled to be a feature in next Sunday's paper on March 15. I think you'll like it. Guy, thank you for agreeing to do the interview last week.
I've been very appreciative of every experience I've had with and surrounding the Food Network, particularly those people I met at the NY Wine & Food Festival, the multitude of people who put together that dinner that I didn't meet and especially the contributors to the FN Dish. "Stars in my book, the lot of ya!"
I write this as my 11 y.o. girl is baking a double-batch of chocolate chip cookies all by herself. She's blossomed from a quiet, withdrawn girl with almost no self-esteem to a talkative girl full of wit, charm, self-confidence and most importantly full of joy, in large part due to the time she and I spend in the kitchen.
[Look at that smile! ~D]
Guy, "Cook With Your Kids Day" isn't a day in our house. It's every day. And the side of our refrigerator is literally covered with printed recipes from the Food Network. And yes, quite a few of them are yours.
I can only hope that if and when we see each other next, my comments here will have alleviated any awkwardness. Fill up your shot glass with good Idaho potato vodka and cheers to you and yours,
Linda "Lana Banana" Alexander
p.s. Guy, you gotta get the new CD! The one I gave you is good, but the new one is somehow more of the same and better. :-)