Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Ball

Three things I heard about Inaugural balls:

Fact Number 1: Do not wear heels; comfortable shoes are a must.

Fact Number 2: Be willing to part with your coat; check it and you may never get it back.

Fact Number 3: Bring your own food; lines are long and sometimes fare is scarce

As we rode the train into The District for the Midwestern Ball those three tid bits remained to be proven true or false, but I wore heels of conservative height, brought a coat, and did not pack snacks.

The convention center stop on the Metro line was closed for security reasons so we got off the train at Chinatown and started to walk. The streets were filled with extraordinarily well dressed people marching toward the well lit building that played host to eight of the ten official inaugural galas held on the 20th. As we narrowed on our destination it suddenly occurred to me we were being herded; we were a mass of adults in formal wear being funneled like sheep through gate after gate until we were turned out into our pasture...

The Midwestern Ball...True or False?

Fact Number 1: TRUE. Do not wear heels to the ball. I am sorry I did. The shoes were pretty, but my feet hurt for two full days following. There is no seating available unless you choose to sit on the floor in your gown and believe me there were many barefoot ground sitters around the perimeter of the room.

Fact Number 2: TRUE. The good news is I still have my coat, but I am certain there are folks who did not at the end of the evening. When entering the convention center greeters are calling out the locations of various balls and coat checks..."Western Ball Coat Check Second Floor"..."Mid Atlantic Ball Hall A"..."Home states Ball this way"...and on and on. It was overwhelming. We immediately made the decision to keep our coats. We tucked them under a set of drapes near the stage area and hoped for the best!

Fact Number 3: FALSE. There was food available throughout the evening and a cash bar. I will not comment on the quality of the offerings (think veggies and dip), but the suggestion people leave starving is false. We did not experience hunger desperation, but after returning home the rosemary and goat cheese sandwiches MCB made for us at 1:30am hit the spot!

Sheryl Crow performed to an enthusiastic crowd and proved herself to be quite an exceptional musician!

After Vice-President and Mrs. Biden made their appearance at the ball the moment all those in attendance had waited for was upon us...As President Obama and our stunning First Lady took the stage he quipped that it was time to “dance with the one who brung me, who does everything that I do except backwards and in heels.”
In that moment my feet stopped hurting, my coat was the furthest thing from my mind, and the contents of the buffet seemed insignificant...I realized it is this moment that ball goers crave...a rare glimpse at their victorious candidate before his real work begins. It is a moment without judgement; a time only for celebration and support.
Pretty cool if you ask me...I'd do it again in four years.


Penny said...

I've been eagerly anticipating these posts. Thanks for sharing. What an amazing experience for your family!! I watched the ceremony at my desk at work and because of the number of viewers it was cutting in and out.....still worth it!

McGinty's said...

Looks and sounds like you had a ball. Great memories for life. You are a better women than me...I was cold watching it in my hoodie at desk. You should design some Inaugural ball gym shoes. 10 balls, thousands of people per = Cha-ching! I had flat gym shoes made special for my wedding with pearls etc. That's hugh for me due to the fact the only bling I wear is my engagement ring(it's some nice bling)
Loved Emma's coat, just thought it was precious

dan_in_colorado said...

Dang. Sorry I missed you there. I was lucky to find a few folks I did know. Loving the blog.

Angela said...

Thanks for sharing your stories.

Angela said...

By the way, you guys look stunning. Your dress is beautiful, and you look amazing.

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