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Pudding Pop Girl Goes to Inauguration

Pudding Pop Girl Goes to Inauguration

D.C. lover that I am, I was reluctant to go to the inaugural activities. Why the hell would I want to be a part of a jumbled mess of cold masses? ...After the jeers for President Bush and the Cheers for Obama, I looked down at my watch it was 12:06 and we had a new president. I got a little misty and began to cry

My fingers are no longer blue... which I believe is a good sign.  I am typing now -- which means that they can now bend and move across the keyboard.  Also a good sign. 

I spent the past few days in Washington D.C., a city that I've always loved. I first fell in love with D.C. when someone told me it was called "The Chocolate City."   Imagine, a city that smells like chocolate with streets named Godiva Lane or Hershey Way, with little M&M outlets and perhaps even a Snickers' museum. Turns out, It's not called Chocolate City because of it's cocoa appeal. It's actually called Chocolate city because it's chock full of black folks... which is great, but not as tasty as my previously held belief.

I've also loved D.C. because of the unlimited amount of free stuff that you can get into -- museums, monuments, and even the zoo.  There is never an excuse in D.C. for boredom or lack of culture. On a perfectly temperatured spring day the city begs your inclusion in it by surrounding you with a myriad of historical and cultural options to get yourself into.

But, my primary reason for my loving of D.C.-- and why I always feel a little ping when I go to visit is because... for lack of a better word...Shit happens there!  I mean real shit -- big shit, laws and shit, amendments, marches, rallies, things that have the capacity to change our day-to-day lives and how we live them.  It's better than OZ.

D.C. lover that I am, I was reluctant to go to the inaugural activities.  Quite frankly, my main reason for hemming and hawing was the projected number of people and my favorite weatherman, Sam Champions', predictions of the most frigid temperatures on record for an inauguration. Why the hell would I want to be a part of a jumbled mess of cold masses?  Instead, I imagined myself on Inauguration day at a Barack-a-Brunch! Mimosa's flowing, omelets flipping, even candles lit in the latter part of the morning. We would all write three-minute Inaugural Addresses and share them with the group while Rachel Maddow filled us in on the happenings on the giant flat screened T.V. Sounds like fun, eh?

But that's not how it happened...she popped up, "Okay, lets get cracking!"

"Are you kidding me?"

I rolled over to grab my cell phone to check the time. 4:45 a.m.

"It's 4:45! No, it's to early!"

"We want to beat the crowds. I've heard that people have been lining up since yesterday."

"Well if that's the case, those people are frozen now, and we can just walk past them!"

"We have to start moving soon!"

I knew that I would be feeling this way.  All week long people kept saying how exciting it was that I was going to the activities. I replied with, " Yeah, it's pretty cool." All the while thinking. "I'm a delicate flower, I'm just not cut out for below freezing, long lines and huddled masses."

"Glo, it's 6:15! We can't wait any longer. We have to be out of here by 6:30!"

I grumbled something about democracy and headed towards the bathroom.  Bryan, my new gay boy, was getting together our hard boiled eggs in case we needed sustenance. I half way brushed my teeth, threw on three layers of long underwear on the bottom and six layers of long underwear and sweaters on top and we headed out the door.

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We hit 14th street, and as we passed each block, the Starbucks-clutching pack gathered more people. A moment before daylight we made our way toward the capital.

After a few wrong turns, getting thwarted at a subway stop and some misdirection's from a know-it-all D.C. native, we arrived at the orange security gate around 8:00. A wave of the wand, a fumble through my purse, a glance at my ticket and we were in! We were in at 8:15! That meant two hours and 45 minutes before the ceremony began! That meant two hours and 45 minutes of convincing my frozen brain that this was indeed the right thing to do -- two hours and 45 minutes of whining and complaining to the people who were with me!

Thankful for the blanket we had, we fell asleep dreaming about a warm sunny inaugural day in the spring.  I awoke to the sound of trumpets and pomp and circumstance as the fancy people made their way to the platform. I looked down at my watch, it was 11:20 and we were just moments away from the reason for my early morning.  The excitement of the entering political powers pepped me up and I began dancing to the band music, in part to try to warm up, but also because I wanted to be fully awake and alert when that Rick Warren gave his Invocation. The Lords' Prayer, yup that's inclusive!

After the jeers for President Bush and the Cheers for Obama, I looked down at my watch it was 12:06 and we had a new president. I got a little misty and began to cry... but the tear froze on my cheek -- so I had to suck it up!

I've dropped off my ball gowns at the cleaners, I've scrap-booked my tickets and I've uploaded my pictures to Facebook. I've documented it, and my children will one day have record of it.  But today, I am no longer a pudding pop, my fingers have returned to their chocolate brown instead of chocolaty blue color again, my brain is no longer frozen and my feet have finally thawed, which is good because I'm going to need my hands, my brain and my feet for all of the real work and sacrifice that's ahead, because my children will one day have record of that too!     











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Gloria Bigelow