The Moment ‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond Fell for Ladd Drummond

The Pioneer Woman star Ree Drummond has been married to Ladd Drummond since 1996. Here’s what the Food Network star said about the moment she fell for Ladd.

How Ree and Ladd Drummond met

Ree Drummond | Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Hearst
Ree Drummond | Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Hearst

Ree and Ladd first met at a bar in Oklahoma. In her book, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, Ree says she spotted him almost right away as she was drinking chardonnay with her friends. She was so taken by Ladd that she described her legs as feeling like “overcooked noodles.” One of the first things she noticed was his silvery, gray hair and big hands. Here’s how she described that day:

That’s when I saw him—the cowboy—across the room. He was tall, strong, and mysterious, sipping bottled beer and wearing jeans and, I noticed, cowboy boots. And his hair. The stallion’s hair was very short and silvery gray—much too gray for how young his face said he was, but just gray enough to send me through the roof with all sorts of fantasies of Cary Grant in North by Northwest.

Gracious, but he was a vision, this Marlboro Man–esque, rugged character across the room. After a few minutes of staring, I inhaled deeply, then stood up. I needed to see his hands… They were big and strong. Bingo.

Ree Drummond in ‘Black Heels to Tractor Wheels’

Ladd waited four months to call Ree

Although they had a fantastic first meeting, Ladd didn’t call Ree right away. He waited four months before making a follow-up call. Since Ladd seemed to disappear, Ree moved on. She continued with her plans to move to Chicago. However, she received an unexpected call from Ladd a few months later. That phone call changed her plans forever. Before she knew it, Ree was pulled back into her fascination with the man she would later call Marlboro Man.

“It had been almost exactly four months since we’d met; four months since we’d locked glances in that bar; four months since his eyes and hair had made my knees turn to overcooked noodles,” wrote Ree.  “It had been four months since he’d failed to call me the next day, week, month. I’d moved on, of course, but the rugged image of Marlboro Man had left an indelible mark on my psyche.”

The moment Ree Drummond fell for Ladd

Ree says she was packing to head to Chicago when the phone rang. Ladd was on the other end. He asked Ree if she wanted to go to dinner, but she didn’t see the point since she had already decided she was moving. However, Ladd did something that quickly changed her mind. Before Ree could finish her response, he gave her the time and day he would pick her up. Ree liked his take-charge attitude.

“He didn’t know it at the time, but that single take-charge moment, his instantaneous transformation from a shy, quiet cowboy to this confident, commanding presence on the phone, affected me very profoundly,” wrote Ree.” My interest was officially ablaze.”

Ree Drummond’s tip for a strong marriage

Ree and Ladd work together to maintain a strong marriage. Ree says one marriage tip she tries to stick to is refraining from going to bed angry. Here’s what she told Parade magazine:

Ladd and I try not to go to bed with a disagreement still pending. I always make a joke that if our feet touch before we go to sleep, then everything’s fine. We have the same primary love language, which is quality time, and we do our best to have that time as much as we can at the end of the day. We try not to let that fall by the wayside because we do our best when we’re together.

Read more: ‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond Reveals the Origin of The Hilarious Snake Prank She and Ladd Play on Each Other

Follow Sheiresa Ngo on Twitter.