A cold Obamarama
So many people have asked me, “Hey, Alicia, how was the inauguration?” But the tone of voice people use when asking this – a little envious, a little excited – really means “How TOTALLY AWESOME was the inauguration? Did it change you as a person?”
I’m not sure what I should tell people. The truth is very harsh, and I want people to stay excited, to think it was just about the coolest, most historic thing ever. But I don’t want to feed my friends and family straight lies. So I’ve been telling a blunted version of the truth.
The truth is, I’m trying to block out Buntology’s trip to Washington like a bad acid trip.
I never wanna relive that nightmare.
It was cold. All day long. When we got there at 5:30 a.m., it was cold. It was cold when we left our continental breakfast at the Hyatt at 7:30 a.m. It was cold at noon. It was cold as we desperately searched for a bathroom. It was cold while we were missing Barack Obama’s inauguration speech. It was cold through our chenile hats and long underwear and the scarves Angela crocheted.
The cold wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but we were outside almost all day. There was nowhere for us to seek shelter. The Westfield group we went with was just wished luck and turned loose in D.C. at about 7:30 in the morning. We had nothing but the clothes on our backs and the digital video camera in our hands. At first, it was a fun adventure. Then we got bored. And the cold was like a constant background noise – at first, it doesn’t bother you. But the longer you endure it, the more insistent it gets, till it’s all you can think about.
Sorry, I’m not trying to be too dramatic here, but Angela and Jackie and I really had a horrible experience. More than seven hours on a bus, wandering in a freezing unfamiliar city for hours and hours, then back on the bus for another seven hours. And all this so we could be among the only people in the whole WORLD who didn’t see Obama’s historic inauguration speech.
We did get a few good interviews and some great pictures, but we didn’t do nearly as good a job as we would have liked. If I had known what was going to happen, I would have brought three more layers, my Garmin nuvi, and a ton of $1 bills.
The cash would be for the street vendors. There were so many. I have nothing but respect for these guys, who were outside hawking Obama memorabilia every 10 feet. I am a great barterer, so if I’d brought more cash, I could have finagled like three Obama T-shirts, a calendar and a poster for about $17.
We have a ton of videos, but unfortunately I left the charger for our video camera in Westfield. It’ll be a few days before we can put them up.