Last week I admit that I was facing a bit of a conundrum, dear readers. I was all ready to ask for your input. It was the night before President Obama’s 2nd Inaugural and I just couldn’t decide whether or not I should go. For regular visitors, you’ll know that I am a staunch supporter of Obama. And for that alone I wanted to witness his second inauguration. But there are a few things that made the decision difficult.
1) Obama’s actual second Inauguration took place on Sunday the 20th, in a private ceremony. See, the thing is, since the date of Presidential inaugurations changed from mid-March to the 20th of January, swearing-in ceremonies typically don’t happen on Sundays. Therefore, the official ceremony happened on Sunday in the White House, and the President was simply upholding tradition by having a secondary ceremony on Monday. Did I really want to go see a ‘fake’ ceremony?
2) I’d have to get up at the ass-crack of dawn. I’m a college student, okay? I value my sleep. It is precious to me like little else. Did I really want to be up not at but before 6am on Monday to haul my ass to the National Mall.
2-a) Even if I got myself up and awake before 6am, I still didn’t have an actual ticket to the Inauguration ceremony. The best I could hope for was a prime location in front of a jumbo-tron.
So I guess my dilemma was this: Get up and see the ‘fake’ ceremony just because I could? I mean, I’ll admit that I’m lucky to be living in the nation’s capital. That’s not the question. Rather did I want to bother to get myself up and out of bed to trek the 8 blocks to watch the ceremony on a jumb0-tron or do I watch it from the comfort of my couch? To hike down to the parade route or watch from the window? Go to the Mall for the ceremony AND the parade or do I go for one or another?
I know by now you’re all dying to know so I’ll fess up: I went. I woke up at 6am, layered on an obscene amount of clothing, zipped into my boots and walked. And walked. And walked. And then, just when I was really excited to be done with all the walking, I got to stand around for a few hours. I’m sorry – did I say a few? I meant five hours. In the cold.
And yes, whatever, the ceremony was nice. Yeah, sure, I got to ‘witness history’. And, okay, I admit, I almost cried at three separate points during Obama’s speech. And only 2 people near me needed us to shout for the medic. And I had a good view and our jumbo-tron stopped malfunctioning by the time the ceremony started. But damn did my feet hurt later. Seven hours in boots was not my best idea, I’ll admit. But you know what was a worse idea? The mile walk I made in heels later that night.
Yup, that’s right. Later that night I donned a ball gown and strap myself into high heels and walked a mile to a fancy dinner before cabbing (thankfully) to my university’s Inaugural Ball. The blisters, they were ugly. My feet, they were pained. But dammit I looked pretty and I had a nice time. It was way too crowded, and drinks were way too expensive, and there were too many ballrooms (I kept getting turned around), but it was fun. And I guess now I know what I was missing when I decided not to go to prom.