Friday, December 10, 2010

The White House Christmas Party

I know you've been waiting for this post!

First, a confession.
I can be a little cheesy when it comes to dreams coming true.

But, know that it's from my heart. That I mean it, even with the cheese and what not. Because going to this party is seriously, literally a dream come true for me!! I've wanted to go for years, came close twice, but no cigar. Almost didn't make it this year, I was very close to crying about not making the cut again, but no, instead, I got to go, and it was the most amazing timing ever.

I'm SO glad all those other years I didn't get the chance to go and that THIS was the year it happened for me. For US. Because Michael enjoyed it AS MUCH if not more than I did!! And it wouldn't have been the same if I'd been before. It was so special to share this awesome night.

Two years ago, I would have gone with a co-worker, and while it would have been nice, that's just not the same as going with your husband. Last year, it would have been "us" but I think I would have been way too nervous about a few of the logistical details of going to really enjoy it, and I would have been afraid of the wrath of having fun/having a dream come true. More on some of that, later.

This year, everything was just perfect. Even better than I expected it to be! Isn't it so nice when something you're anticipating not only lives up to the expectations you've set up, but exceeds them?

Pictures first... then, stories.
Mr wonderful admiring himself in a tie. Thank God he doesn't wear a tie every day. Also thank God this particular tie was still "tied" from the last time he wore it. Because him explaining to me how to do it, and my lack of patience in doing so is not good for our marriage, trust me. :)

We were told to arrive a little early. So, we ended up being some of the first people to the White House for the party. It was really nice to wander around the rooms and just take it all in. I made a conscious effort to "go Michael speed" (which was a good idea because my poor black pumps are literally falling apart and if I walk fast, I literally step out of them!) and pay attention to the details and soak it all in.
He did look really great in that suit, didn't he? Gosh, I love this guy.
I noticed that there are books in the sitting room for men and dishes in the sitting room for women. What's that supposed to mean? They get to read while we get to look at dishes? Boo. I would not be opposed if there were desserts and such being served on the dishes, but I only find dishes mildly interesting to look at.
We ate dinner in the Red Room. And, although both of us managed to forget to bring one of the straps Michael uses to hold a fork or whatever, he managed to eat without any major spills on any White House rugs. And I managed not to have an anxiety attack, although I was definitely given the "calm down" look from my loving husband several times. :)
And dessert in the Green Room. Thanks Babe for getting a shot of me!
The spread was, of course, amazing. Smoked salmon, fresh shrimp and scallops, beef tenderloin, latkes, roasted veggies, raw veggies, butter soaked mini-potatoes, I can't remember it all at this point, but it was delish! Dessert was an assortment of cookies, a divine yule log, pumpkin cheesecake, apple pie, a cream cheesy lemony layery cake, and an incredible fresh fruit tart, among other things I'm sure I'm forgetting.

We really enjoyed eating and roaming all over the State Floor, mingling with people. It was fun to meet new people, and also introduce my super cute Hubs to some of the other reporters and some of my White House contacts and some of the President's senior advisors.

We also posed in front of a series of huge/beautiful Christmas trees.
We took it slow. We took it all in. We looked at each other several times that night, like "Is this really happening?" We met a guy who runs the elevator who has been doing it for 40 years. Imagine! So cool.

When we were leaving, we stopped to take in the sounds of these guys from Princeton singing. I called them a giant Boy Band, but I don't know if that's really what they were going for. Beautiful voices, though. I think Michael wanted to dance with me right there but I wasn't up for that. Don't want to make a scene :) But it was romantic, just standing there with each other, as the boy band sang acapella love songs right there in the East Wing.
Then, I took one last picture of Michael, in a suit, next to the Giant Bo Dog made out of something like 40,000 pipe cleaners, and we went home. Just like that.
I have no pictures to illustrate the two coolest things from the night, though!

#1. We got a major hook up and got to park our SUV on the White House Complex. Like, seriously, you may or may not know this, but there are these concrete beam thingys that are at the checkpoints by the security gates for very important vehicles to drive thru, I haven't ever been in a vehicle that is "cleared in" for those things to shoot into the ground, not even for work. We pulled up, handed the SS agent our info, the doggie swept our vehicle, then a series of concrete beams were sucked into the ground for us to drive on to the complex. Major cool factor!!

#2. We were the very first people that night who got our picture with the President. Okay, y'all. You know me. Or, maybe you don't, I don't know. But you don't have to spend much time around this blog to know that I hate playing that card. I seriously do. I hate playing the wheelchair card so much that I have been known to be in tears at sporting events when we get any kind of "special treatment" or at a national park, when we get in for free. I'm a freak. I realize this. However... I/we did NOT even play that card, it just got played for us, and we were bumped to the front of a really long line of people waiting to get their picture taken with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. We were escorted into the Diplomatic Reception room and shown where to stand. Someone came in with a black velcro X and placed it right behind me on the floor, so POTUS would know where to stand. We stayed there for 10 minutes or so before the First Couple entered.

Michael: "Well, hey Mr. President!" President Obama shook M's hand, "Hi, welcome to the White House." Me: "Hi Mr. President, thank you, Merry Christmas." We said hello to Michelle, too and shook hands with her.

The President definitely had his hand on my shoulder! And, for the record, he has really soft hands. They were both very tall and striking and warm. Very friendly. Michelle Obama does not have a wrinkle on her face. She's like a chocolate bunny. I'm so glad she stood on Michael's side because there is no way on earth I would be able to avoid looking short/fat/white next to her! I am a little fat right now so I hope the photo turns out okay with me next to Barry. :)

It was an unforgettable experience. A dream come true. An awesome middle-of-the week date night! And, also for the record, 24 hours later we were eating leftover sloppy joes in our living room. So, I think it's safe to say we've come back down to earth.


~Mariesa said...

A splendid tale, as always. I teared up, and I laughed out loud several times. What a wonderful life you two lead... thanks for sharing it with the rest of us.

Tamara said...

:) so cool. do we get to see the pick of you and the other handsome married couple?

Diane Moody said...

Thank you SO MUCH for taking time to share all this with us! Makes me feel like I was there with you. What a thrill it must have been for you guys! Like Tamara said above, I can't wait to see the picture of you and that "other" couple who showed up for the party!

Love you guys!

Kristen Maddux said...

Very Very Very cool.

Dana Brown Ritter said...

I don't know when we'll get the picture of us with POTUS and FLOTUS, but you can bet I will post it when I get it! :) Thanks y'all.

Coffee Mom said...

When I saw the college guys singing in the lobby I felt like I was watching an episode of West Wing. Then I realized you are living it! Awesome. :)

Anonymous said...


S. J. Wells said...

Oh wow! What an awsome time you must have had. I smiled the whole time I read this, and after all the glammer, you ate left over sloppy Joes. I laughed outloud. :D

Phil N said...

You guys are the coolest! What an awesome time it sounds like you had at the WH. Merry Christmas, Phil and Joann

Dana Brown Ritter said...

Phil! Great to hear from you! Miss you guys!