Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Official-Unofficial Inauguration Party

Making responsible choices - like not flying back to D.C. yesterday after work on the 7:55pm JetBlue flight for a post-inauguration gala party hosted by Jeffery Wright, to which my best friend was invited, and fly back today - SUCK.

Our plan was for me to return to New York this morning on a 6 o'clock flight out of Dulles. Just in time for me to drag myself into the office in yesterday's little black dress. The only obstacle that stood in our way was car service to the airport directly from the party at 4am. Car service companies were either completely booked, charging $200+ from Georgetown to the surrounding airports or requiring three-hour minimum reservations. And on-call taxi companies were expecting to run on two-hour-plus delays. All options that diminished the welcome surprise of a fairly inexpensive, last-minute, round trip airfare.

Since I had already afforded myself the entire three-day weekend for a last-second trip to D.C. and enjoyed the adrenaline rush of spontaneity on my race to JFK a few days earlier, my best friend and I agreed that a mature, 29-year old, with a middle-class income and upper-class rent, would opt not to return to D.C. less than 24 hours after leaving. I reminded myself to be grateful for the recent inaugural opportunities of which I had been able to take advantage and decided not to pout.

While alleviating the final wisps of disappointment with a bottle of Two Buck Chuck, my roommate and I discussed our New York City Inauguration options: pricey socialite, celebrity and charity balls, neighborhood bar presidential specials, our living room ... And that's when we - and our empty bottles of Two Buck Chuck - devised a most excellent plan. We would have an Official-Unofficial Inauguration Ball in our Hell's Kitchen apartment. We would dress up in evening gowns. We would pop cheap champagne. We'd serve light hor'devours from Food Emporium. We'd watch Barack and Michelle dance their first dance as First Man and First Woman from our own four-floor walk-up. It was brilliant. Never mind the weeks of PR surrounding Obama's Neighborhood Ball, where the use of interactive technology including text messaging and webcasting, would link together attendees at other neighborhood balls across the country. Our idea was incredible. We invited Neighbor Dave. He happened to have a tux. It was like kismet.

Our plan was to dance and drink in our apartment until we were brave enough to venture into the bar downstairs in our formal evening attire. Instead we danced and drank until we fell asleep.

The country awoke this morning in a world where a Black family is making the White House a home. And I woke up remembering that I'm not 19 anymore ... but it sure is a great year to be 29.

Photos to be posted.

A Year Ago Today: The London Post
Two Years Ago Today: Juilliard Sunday Football

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