Disclaimer: This is not a political post. I’m headed in a little different direction!
I was honored to be among a small group of women invited to meet with President Obama in Charlotte, NC to discuss non-partisan issues that women face. It was an “Invitation Only” event and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Who turns down an invite to spend an afternoon with President Obama? Not me!
Here’s How it Went Down
After doing the happy dance in my mind, I quickly snapped back to reality when I realized how important this event was going to be and I had to portray a cool, smart, southern, sophisticated woman. Then an extremely national emergency question popped into my smart, sophisticated mind: “What in the world am I going to wear?”
I couldn’t just wear my normal work-at-home clothes. I mean, who meets with the President in yoga pants and a Duke t-shirt? It wasn’t a formal evening event, so my collection of mother-of-the-bride dresses was definitely out of the question. My Easter duds seemed a little, well, Easterly. I know that’s not a word, but bear with me, I received an invitation to meet the President.
American Eagle jeans? No! Michael Kors jeans? Nah, this meeting called for a special shopping trip. (Don’t all important meetings call for a shopping trip??) I settled on a slightly preppy (think Banana Republic, J. Crew) look and my Kate Spade bag (when that email said no bags allowed, surely they weren’t expecting me to leave Kate at home?)
Then I checked my weather app AFTER my shopping trip. Keep in mind that prior to the Wednesday, April 15th meeting (my mom’s birthday, tax day and meeting with the President day all rolled up in one) we were having beautiful spring weather.
What??? A cold front? Heavy rain? Highs in the mid 50’s? I shook my iPhone, my fist and threatened to strangle Siri. Yes, especially after that incident when she told me, and I quote, “that’s not nice, Alli.”
Had I known there would be a monsoon, I could have bought a really cute trench! Hindsight: I forgot about my really cute peacoat/raincoat hanging in the coat closet. Sigh.
Good thing I chose sensible, but cute, black wedge loafers because I had to walk several blocks when I picked up my ticket on Tuesday, April 14th. The ticket required my signature because it was non-transferrable. Remember, invitation only! I just love saying that phrase.
The Day Of
I very carefully applied my makeup in case a TV camera happened to pan my way. I contoured the heck out of my face, added a bit more blush and thank God, I was having a good hair day. My pink Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupte (I had to look-up the word Volupte. It means intense pleasure that is both sensuous and spiritual; ecstasy; bliss) and my good ol’ Too Faced Lip Injection plumped my lips with subtle color and shine. (Think Angelina Jolie – Just Kidding- I wish!)
The meeting was slated to begin at 2:30 PM, but the guests (me!) had to arrive between 1:00-1:45. No one would be admitted after that timeframe. My heart immediately went out to those women that are habitually late. What time did I arrive? It must have been a little before 1:00 because I had to stand in the freezing cold (for southerners, anyway) rain for a few minutes. Good thing I had my trusty umbrella.
Remember that good hair day? Rain was not my friend. But I did meet some cool women while standing in the freezing rain.
As we entered the Joe & Joan Martin Center, we had to leave our umbrellas at the door per the Secret Service. I like saying Secret Service, too! Note to self: Not only should you not have basic black luggage. You shouldn’t have a basic black umbrella, either.
We were told to have our phones on as we walked through security. It seemed like every woman in front of me got the wand treatment. When it was my turn, I was motioned to stroll on in. No wand at all.
Stuff I Remember
1. Someone made the cute, albeit serious, Secret Service guy laugh.
2. So glad I wore the perfect outfit.
3. Country music played while we waited for the President.
4. We were outnumbered by the TV crews. They were barricaded behind us and I’ve never seen so many TV cameras, videos, etc. I secretly lusted for the media lighting in that place.
5. At the end of the meeting, I was interviewed by a TV reporter. I’m sure I was a blubbering fool as soon as that video camera was thrust in my face.
6. As I was exiting the building, the rain was coming down even harder and then I realized that someone had taken my umbrella. Thanks so much to the kind man who gave me his! It’s actually prettier and bigger than mine AND it’s not basic black.
I didn’t ask a question, but here’s the one 3-part question I would have asked, “May I come help plan a party in the White House? May I just come and watch the party being planned? May I actually attend the party?” I told you this wasn’t a political post!
If you’re reading this, Mr. President, and I’m sure it’s part of your briefing every morning, I want a party invite. There’s no stopping me now!
I’d like to give a shoutout to BlogHer and Lisa Stone for the invitation. Lisa did an excellent job moderating the event! #ObamaTownHall #WomensLives
Congratulations on such an amazing & memorable opportunity! Your post had me laughing from beginning to end. I totally would have been thinking the same thing. I absolutely love your humor & candor….such a fun post! Take care! 🙂
Thanks, Tiffani! It was fun and I wanted to share what I really thought about it. 🙂
You are too funny!! It is so awesome to be invited to be a part of an event with the President of the USA! I’m not one of those women who are habitually late but that was so funny.
Of course a new outfit was in order and now a new umbrella too!
I’m habitually early. 🙂
AMAZING! I love that you have invite – that’s something to save for those grand-babies! And I 100% understand needing a new outfit! I mean helllllo it’s the president!
Wow, what a great opportunity! I would have been so nervous! I don’t know that I would have made it through the afternoon!
I was definitely a little nervous.
It would be pretty awesome, no matter who the president is, to watch a White House party or even a basic meal being planned! That kitchen staff is amazing. How about the Christmas tree being put up!
What an amazing opportunity! Not many people get to say they’ve been in the presence of a president!
Wow what an opportunity! Even I as a Canadian am jealous! I’m so glad you got to do this, so very awesome no matter what way you look at it. Not many get to do this!
What an absolutely incredible opportunity! Hillary Clinton is in my state this week and although she’s not the President (yet?) I am planning to see her. Not invitation only, of course!
What a fantastic opportunity! I’m glad you (and Kate LOL) enjoyed it!
We did and the Secret Service didn’t say a word about my big ol’ Kate! 🙂
This is so cool!! Congrats on getting the invitation! I can’t believe I lived in DC for 8 years but never went into The White House! But I did get to see then Senator Obama at a rally when he was running for the presidency!
I would love to visit the White House, preferably to attend a big party. 🙂 A girl can dream, right?
Wow, that must have been blindingly exciting. Did they have to check you out ahead of time and make sure you were okay. Thanks for providing the thoughts behind the clothes and hair but especially the shoes. That’s what I would have wanted to know!
I’m sure they probably did a background check. I’m glad I didn’t wear really high heels because of walking in the pouring rain.
Wow! What an amazing opportunity to meet the President! I think my mind would’ve gone blank if I was put on the spot to ask the President a question…lol. I would be too excited to think about anything.
What a fantastic opportunity! How many people get to say they were that close to the president??
That’s so cool! I think I’d be pretty nervous. It must have been crazy seeing all of those TV crews huddled around the room.
This sounds like it was an awesome event. I would love to attend an “invitation only” event that involved the President. Lucky you!!!
Sonya, it was so much fun! The main topic was equal pay for women – a no-brainer. 🙂
What a serious event, I can’t believe you got such an amazing chance to see the President; it must have been so incredible!
Looks like you had a great opportunity! The only chance I got to see the president in person was when he came to my hometown — I happened to be an exchange student abroad at the time!
Wow, I’m sure it was a very interesting morning. Not many people get the opportunity that you had. I’d be honoured to be sitting there in front of him but I’d have sooo many questions for him. Lol…
Politics goes against my religious beliefs. However, I do have a deep admiration for the president. He is so intelligent, well-spoken, and seemingly down-to-earth. My mom would have loved an opportunity like this, because she loves him! I think she even has a crush on him, lol. 😉
The opportunity that I missed! Sigh! But reading your post makes me feel like I was there too. I’m dreaming. 😉
WHOA. This is so crazy!!! What an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience. What did he say about the issues????
Loved this post! And let’s be honest, sometimes it’s nice to read a post about the President that isn’t super politically charged 🙂
Why do they call it the “Secret” Service, when it was pretty obvious who he was? You spotted him without any trouble, so what’s so “secret” about them lol!
This would be a fantastic event to be invited to. I would have been so excited and nervous.
Wow! That is certainly an experience! I would have been nervous and excited all at the same time as well. So cool!
Well that’s pretty darn cool to meet the President and be that close to him. I’d love to see the video of your 15 seconds of fame on the news 🙂
While I was in the Army, then President Bush came for a photo op and speech and the security was crazy. You’d think they’d tone it down since it was almost all US forces on the post, but the Secret Service trusts no one. This must have been a cool experience for you!
I got the email about this from Blogher. How cool that you got to attend? I bet it was quite extraordinary. There are so many things that I would want to ask him. You will get to relive this over and over for the rest of your life. How cool!
Awesome!! What an experience…I would have been particular about the way I look to if I was going to a meeting with the President..lol…Maybe you will get to attend a White House party one of these days;)
AH! so cool! I love that I am not the only one that has a mini meltdown when Siri tells me something I don’t want to hear! LOL