My dear Ellie. I know you are a hot shot professor, drive a convertible, and consider yourself VIP wherever you go. However, your orange ticket doesn’t mean you should wear a ball gown to the inauguration. Hundreds of people got the same entrance ticket to stand a mile away from the president’s podium. Ellie sweetie, it’s not like you will be sitting shoulder to shoulder with Barack Obama. I got the same orange ticket from a nice girl on the street who had ten extras. She was handing them out like candy.
I eventually convinced Ellie to leave the ball gown for an alumni event. She couldn’t help herself in the end. Despite the cold weather she put on sockless pink loafers and leggings. I instead, topped off my first pair of socks with my leopard foot cozies, tucked my jogging pants into my ski pants, utilized the hood of my favorite Rutgers University sweatshirt plus coat hood, put dollar store gloves under my Top Company logo stitched mittens, and made my furry boots the cherry on top. Ellie said I looked like an Eskimo.
The Eskimo look worked when we were piled past much military presence and arrow bearing signs towards security clearance tents. The master of security check wasn’t too pleased with me and the banana I had tucked in my coat for the desperately famished hours I had to come. He shouted directions at me like I was hearing impaired. Afraid I might get clubbed down for failed response to his barks, I jerked my hands up.
We made it! We were in! We had a great view of the…jumbo screen. Two fences separated us from what seemed like miles of people clamoring to get a glimpse of the Obamas. I mentally made a plan to ditch Ellie and head home before I got sardined in with other arriving orange ticket holders. She could stand there and watch hot breath escape her mouth mingling with the January air if she wanted to. It was only 9 AM. The ceremony wasn’t scheduled to start until 11:30. I love Ellie with all my heart but I was sure she would find another “VIP” to stand out there with.
Before I could cement my escape route in my mind Ellie completed her reality check. “I’ve had enough. I’m ready to go.”
Just as we established she would be taking the metro back with me to Virginia hundreds of people started walking in our direction. I began to panic a little. The idea of being sausaged in with strangers for hours the day before I return to the office wasn’t the least bit appealing to me. We went against the stream of people and made it back to VA. Yay! I was glad to get out there and watch people join together to celebrate our president. I was overjoyed, however, to watch Obama where he belongs – on the flat screen inside my warm townhome!