First of all, MY APOLOGIES FOR NO GRATITUDE YESTERDAY. I have a good excuse!
I was sitting at my kitchen table with my coffee writing some posts for the gratitude-a-thon on Sunday, when my friend Mindy called me and said, “I have a crazy questions for you, Norman (her awesome husband) can’t come with me to the Green Innauguration Ball, would you like to come? The catch is, we have to leave in an hour.” I was outta my mind thinking I might get to see my not-so-secret crush, Barack, the night before he was sworn in for his second term, but she quickly squelched my fantasy, and told me he most definitely wouldn’t be there. “Still,” I said to myself, “it could be a once in a lifetime thing.” “Shut up,” I said back to myself, “I have too much to do.” “But, you should just go,” I said more loudly to myself. “YOU’VE GOT STUFF TO GET DONE,” myself said even more loudly back. I asked her to give me ten minutes to think about it. I hung up the phone. My husband looked at me and said, “I’ll take care of the homeland, GO.” And in that moment, when I could have easily said no, I said yes. Spontaneity. To steal a phrase from Tom Cruise (when he used to be normal) “Sometimes you just have to say WHAT THE FUCK.” And so I did. While Peter got online and bought me plane tickets, I ran upstairs, threw everything that could be considered black tie into a carry on, all the make-up under 3 fl. oz. that I owned, and called a cab. We arrived in D.C. at 3:30 to sunny skies and 62 degree weather. Our hotel was sleek and modern. We stretched out on the bed for 5 minutes before we both started trying on dresses and polling attendees Mindy knew via text, on the very vital: short or long (I only had short and shorter). Anyway, we primped and hopped into a cab to a truly fabulous, totally renovated, LEED certified, exquisitely furnished townhouse, where I met several people who knew Mindy, my rock star friend. And let’s talk about Mindy for a moment. This is the mom of my son’s girlfriend. People think it’s a little strange that we’re friends, but it’s nothing but normal. Yes, we met because our kids are boyfriend and girlfriend, but we’re friends because we like each other. Anyway, she is the most down-to-earth, unassuming rock star you’ve ever met. She has a long and enviable history in mission-driven work. Currently she is the president (and founder) of a non-profit called Ceres. Go check out their site, which explains everything they do better than I can, but basically Ceres talks to companies about sustainability by appealing to their bottom line. Their pitch: adopt sustainable business practices, or there will be no business. I love that. No environmental pleas to save the planet, just a super smart, black and white argument no business can ignore. Brilliant! Anyway, back to my spontaneous 24 hours. With our V.I.P. I.D.’s dangling from our necks, we waited for a few moments to get our photo taken outside of the Newseum, where the ball was being held.
There, I found myself standing next to my pick for winner of The Voice, the tall, bearded, super namaste, Nicholas David. I forced him to take a picture with me, and attempted to tell him I had rooted for him all season long, loved his music, and his vibe, but instead I just made some sounds that I’m sure convinced him I was from a yet undiscovered tribal community in the bowels of New Guineau. The party was lavish. Eight floors of awesome. And Patriots fans rejoice, there were giant wall-sized tv’s everywhere broadcasting the game (thought you guys could use a little good news, given the loss.). The highlights: Mindy knew everyone. It was fun to watch her mingle. I was hit on by a like 90 year old, but hey, I’ll take it. The entertainment was fabulous. In fact, we headed down to the second floor stage just in time to see Joe Biden
give a little green speech. And then there was music.
Will.i.am sang “I’ve got a feeling.” And there was Trombone Shorty, Sheila E, Mayor Hawthorne, and my guy, Nicholas David, plus a bunch of other people, too. In between, people like Tate Donovan and Bill Nye “The Science Guy” introduced politicians like our own Congressman Ed Markey, and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. When we finally left around 12:30, we headed into the street for a cab. But forget it, there were none to be had. Every street corner was barricaded and guarded by policeman. Washington was effectively shut down. I had on sheer sleeves, and a scarf as a coat (it was 62 when we arrived!). Mindy had on high heels that she was ready to get out of, so she took them off, and allowed her dress to drag on the ground. We continued to try and conjure a cab, but instead we walked 12 long and freezing blocks, until we found a rickshaw bike to take us four blocks for $20, but there was a blanket and even though we were almost killed seven times, it was well worth it. We happily stripped and got into our warm pi’s and talked in bed like 7th graders before we fell asleep. We left at 6:00 a.m. for a re-routed ride to the airport, because now ALL OF WASHINGTON WAS SHUT DOWN. I watched people heading to get a space to watch the inauguration and stared out the window at the monumental symbols of our nation’s capitol on Martin Luther King Day and the day our first black president would be sworn into a second term. Spontaneity. Yes.