In addition to attending the inauguration, I was also able to get my hands on tickets to the Inaugural Ball. (Another event worthy of a mental check mark on my imaginary bucket list!)
Luckily for Rob, he already had a tuxedo. I, on the other hand, had to find something to wear. I wasn’t looking to break the bank just to attend this event, so I was very happy that I found a gown online that looked like it would fit the bill. And for only $45 to boot!!
Rob donned his tuxedo and I wore my new thrifty gown. As we were getting ready to leave, my dog, Ginger, was following me around the house, as she usually does, and she kept stepping on the very small train of the gown. That should have been my first clue that buying a gown with a train (even a very small one) was a mistake. But Ginger is a dog. She can’t be expected to understand this concept. Surely the humans at the ball would watch where they were stepping?
Rob and I headed to the DC Convention Center and the line to get through security wrapped around several blocks! My initial thought….screw this, lets go home! But once the initial shock of it all passed, I was ready to stick it out. I almost didn’t bring a coat with me so that I wouldn’t have to deal with a coat check (and thousands of other people also checking coats), but after seeing the line I was grateful not to have made that mistake. Without the coat, I’m certain I would have bailed. But everything worked out and we finally made our way into the Convention Center.
Once inside, we quickly headed to the bar. The place was a madhouse and Rob must have waited in line for at least 20 minutes to get us drinks. While Rob was in line at the bar, Alicia Keys took the stage…on the other side of the ballroom. She sounded great and at least I got to see her on the jumbotron.
I’m pretty sure Rob was still on line at the bar when the Bidens came on stage, once again, at the opposite end of the ballroom. Jamie Foxx was singing and playing the piano while the VP and Dr. Biden danced.
Once we finally had our drinks in hand, we tried to make our way through the crowd to get to the other side of the ballroom. All the while, anyone that got behind me stepped on the train of my gown as I was trying to walk. I don’t always do well dealing with crowds and this was wearing on my nerves rather quickly. I would have just picked up the train to walk unscathed, but with a glass of wine in each hand that was virtually impossible (don’t judge….who would want to stand in line for another 20 minutes to get a 2nd drink?)
We made it to the other end of the ballroom in time for President Obama and the First Lady to take the stage. Jennifer Hudson sang (and looked fantastic!) while they danced. The crowd was basically a sea of cell phones raised up hoping to catch a decent picture. I didn’t bring my good camera with me, but Rob did a pretty good job with the raised cell phone method of the masses.
After the Obamas left and all the hype was over, I desperately needed to sit down and/or take off my shoes. There wasn’t a single chair in the entire place, so to the floor I went! I couldn’t understand why my feet hurt so bad. I had worn these shoes to weddings before and danced the night away without any problems. But, at those weddings there was always a seat available whenever I was ready to sit down. At the Inaugural Ball…not so much.
We came, we saw… although not so sure we conquered. Neither one of us wanted to get in line at the bar for additional drinks and my feet were really not on board with this whole no-chair situation. So we decided to call it a night. I think that makes us officially old, but I’m okay with that.
The following day, so many people asked me if it was fun. No. Fun is definitely not the word I would use here. Don’t get me wrong, it was an awesome experience and I am definitely glad that we went. But if it were fun, I would take that to mean that I would look forward to doing it again. I guess a lot could happen in four years and I might change my mind, but I seriously doubt I would want to attend again.