On Monday I got THE invitation… to the White House, and possibly to meet the President!
Like I’m going to turn that one down, right? Not. After sending an emailed RSVP, and then calling the White House to confirm (I didn’t get an answer to my RSVP, and I wasn’t about to leave anything to chance… or an intern) the first item of the day was to buy appropriate clothing. Pay attention to this, it plays a big role later on in this story, because you know Air Force Family can’t go anywhere or do anything without having something happen.
Finding appropriate “business” clothing for me was a snap – black skirt, black tights, black platform boots, blue satin shirt. I already had most of these items in my closet. For my children… not so much.
Well, the boy was easy. We were told “no Mohawk”; luckily we had shaved his head two weeks ago. Other than that, it is incredibly easy to locate a full suit and tie for a four year old.
He’s modeling it here:
The girls, on the other hand, were an issue. After eight hours of shopping and endless perusals of hoochie mama attire and track-suits punctuated with frilly flower girl dresses; we finally were able to settle on some clothing from four different stores. We even got a pink cowboy hat to complete the outfit of Number 3. After all, we figure she’s entitled. She WAS born in Texas.
The speech we were invited to attend was to take place in the Rose Garden, and we had to be there at 10:15. This created a few problems for us. First, there is no way I can drive from Jersey to DC in the morning rush hour traffic without (a) getting there late, (b) getting in a horrible accident, and (c) physically assaulting some dip-wad in an SUV talking on their cell phone, applying mascara, drinking coffee, and reading the paper.
We had no choice but to find a hotel for overnight. That was not an issue, however – finding a decent hotel near a Metro stop was. I can barely drive as it is, anything other than the Metro while I’m in DC would just be silly.
And while I was getting all these things ready, I had to keep my mouth shut. In all fairness, I didn’t do a very good job of it. I did tell my parents and one friend. Throbert, when I asked him for Metro advice, figured it out. But in my defense, I hedged my language with him!
Wouldn’t you know it, the latest STORM OF THE CENTURY decided to stall on the East Coast during what was supposed to be our big moment with the Prez. It didn’t matter to any of us. The kids and I could not fall asleep Sunday night and were up until 2 am. On Monday morning, we were up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 4:30 am.
We took the extra time to primp and preen, and it paid off.
Did I mention that it was windy outside? Very windy? If only my hair had remained this well coiffed when we stumbled into the White House and through Security. I didn’t take pictures of the after, it’s too terrible.
Upon being given free roaming privileges of certain parts of the White House, I could not contain myself. First, I had worn “walking shoes” there. I planned on wearing my black platform boots when it counted, which meant that there was a mad rush to change my shoes in the crowd outside the coat-check. I’m sure there were a few murmurs about my behavior, but I challenge any of the disapproving glances to try and walk 5 blocks in heeled platform boots while it is gusting wind and raining! I think not!
And then came the pictures:
Air Force Family in the Red Room, under the famous portrait of Dolly Madison
Air Force Kids in the Formal Dining Room
The Lincoln Portrait in the Formal Dining Room
Finally, we all headed in to the room where the speech was going to take place. No fewer than four other military families and our self-identified to each other (we have super-secret hand signals or something. They are so secret that even though we recognize them, we don’t know what they are.)and we were seated next to none other than JT’s wife from milblogging.com! It’s like finding your long lost cousin or something.
So, by now I’m in an absolute daze from lack of sleep and the resulting crash from the coffee I was functioning with. Plus, my wallet was bulging with the hand-towels I lifted from the bathroom (they had the Presidential seal on them!) and I was bulky and awkward to hold. Luckily my kids behaved, but there were two light butt smacks administered, so if you see pictures tomorrow of the Mommy Dearest at the White House… well, I warned you.
The President’s speech was very moving in person, and on an issue that affects our family so much he truly said many things that we’ve been trying to explain to others for so long. But it was over very quickly.
The kids and I then walked to meet Throbert for a quick (by Spanish standards, anyway!) lunch at Potbelly’s. It was then that I noticed something that truly horrified me: I had been walking around with the back of my skirt split open. When I reached home, I examined the skirt and saw that it was a factory sewing issue – attached on the very top four inches and the bottom hem, but with a gaping split everywhere in between.
So, I was walking around the White House with my butt hanging out of my skirt. Oblivious.
There’s always something, right?