In 2012, President Barrack Obama was re-elected, to the relief of many democrats. Soon afterward, I received a call from my friend asking if I would like to go with her (and her family) to the Inauguration and Inaugural Ball. Of course I jumped at the opportunity! Now, after several months of shoving it in the faces of all my envious friends and classmates, the big date is approaching. In fact, at an insanely early hour tomorrow morning, I will be dragged, bleary-eyed and belligerent, to the airport to piss off as many people and TSA agents as humanly possible.
I can’t figure out what I’m dreading more — the flight or standing in a freezing cold D.C. morning for three hours for the possibility of seeing President Obama over the heads of the billions of other people who have nothing better to do on a Monday morning than attend the most important political ceremony this country has. I’m going to go with the flight. I’ve never had a good flying experience. The first time I flew, I spent the entire time coloring, which wasn’t that bad. But, the next time, I was twelve years old, flying by myself for the first time, and I caught swine flu. As you can imagine, that was not a pleasant vacation and every breath of recycled airplane air still reminds me of that ride home where I was too miserable to move. The last time I flew was during a class trip to New York. It was fine except the in-flight movie was Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never (have I ever mentioned the deep animosity I feel for him?) and it was an all-night flight capped off with a non-stop ten-mile hike around New York with a bunch of eighth graders who all had only four hours of sleep. On the way back, it was even worse. I didn’t get sick, no, the fate I suffered was far worse: I had to sit in an actual love triangle with two of my classmates, a boy and a girl; the girl crushing on the boy, the boy crushing on me, and me struggling to escape to my happy place with all the forced giggling, bad jokes, and “hey, Veronicas” bringing me back to my miserable present. This trip also gave me a reinforced hatred for the phrase: “Hey, are you awake?”
At least that experience will be less painful than the frostbite my mom is sure that I will get if I don’t dress like an Eskimo. Not that I’m exactly looking forward to spending three days in thirty degree weather, but at least I got a couple of shopping sprees out of it, even though parkas aren’t exactly the most flattering things in the world.
What I’m the most excited for is the Ball. While I’m sure I’m not going to have a pumpkin carriage or glass slippers, I still feel a bit like Cinderella. Is it not every young girl’s fantasy to go to a Ball? I have the most beautiful midnight blue dress, silver heels (no, I changed my mind; walking in those bear traps is what I’m dreading most), a matching silver handbag, and silver accessories. I have absolutely no idea what to expect for the Ball. This is the experience of a lifetime and I’ve never done anything like it.
I’m so excited for the Inauguration; I’m not sure what I’ll do if it disappoints. I’m still jumping every time the phone rings, thinking it’ll be my friend changing her mind or canceling the trip. I had a terrible scare earlier when I started feeling sick because of an outbreak of flu at my school, but it turned out to be a false alarm, thank goodness. I wouldn’t give this opportunity up for anything less than a hospital bed. I can’t wait for the trip of a lifetime to commence and I feel so blessed to be able to go. So, when you’re watching the Inauguration on Monday morning, look for me. I’ll be the one frown in the sea of smiles, complaining about the cold and her feet, glaring daggers at the camera, wondering why the hell she decided to do this — and all the people within earshot wishing she hadn’t.