Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Screamed At President Clinton

I have always had an interest in politics.  Growing up, my family was very involved in local government, so I was aware of running for office and things of that nature at a young age. I was born during the Nixon Administration, and started realizing what the presidency was all about during the Carter Administration.  Politics fascinated me.

Youth Legislature at the State Capitol
In grade school, I remember being really scared that someday,  I would be held  hostage in Iran.  It took me a while to grasp the concept that Americans were being held, and why.  I would literally worry that the Ayatollah Khomeini would get me.   I was a weird kid, clearly, but every night on the news, Walter Cronkite would count the days as the hostages remained in captivity, and it genuinely freaked me out.  Years later, I would come to realize that Jimmy Carter was one of the finest negotiators of all time, and to this day he does not receive enough credit for his brilliant work during the Camp David Accords, but that's another story. At the time, I just remember all of those peanuts he filtered into public school hot lunches;  peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, peanut butter clusters, peanut butter cups, it was genius.  I'm sure Georgia is still thanking him. My mom was moderately obsessed with John Kennedy,  she often recounted stories about  his assassination.

In junior high, I have vivid memories about the attempt to end Ronald Reagan's life .  I was glued to the nightly news, we were all so worried that Mr. Reagan wouldn't make it.   I was learning about the social fabric of this was horrifying and inspiring all at once.  Reagan was a real celebrity in my book. He was a movie star, he hung out with Michael Jackson sometimes, his wife had the best Chanel and Halston vintage couture gowns money could buy, he was the President AND Phill Collins had a Ronald Reagan marionette as the star of his Genesis video, Land of Confusion.  It doesn't get much cooler than that, and at age 13, I thought Reagan was the shit.

In high school, I was very active in student government.  I held offices, did public service, was Key Club president, Tri -Hi-Y secretary, a youth legislature representative for a few years, Girl's State attendee, all of that jazz.  I even worked on the campaign for Bush/Quayle.  I was so into it, I decided to major in Political Science.

In college I was part of Campus Republicans  as well as a political science fraternal organization for girls and guys.  I really enjoyed the people I met, even though they were very conservative compared to me.  I hated Bill Clinton with a fever, not sure why, I just did.  I guess I was supposed to because I had that College Republicans membership card.  In the fall of 1992 I took a class called 'The Presidency' and I would sit there flirting with guys while the professor would lecture.  (I feel bad about that now, he was a  fantastic educator, and I wasted my time passing notes about parties at my favorite frat house, and reading Victoria's Secret Catalogs in class. I would like to take this time to apologize publically to that professor and to any other university staff that I catalog-shopped on their time.)   I don't think I turned in one paper, read the book, or did any assignments.  I was flunking.  The major assignment of the semester was  to write a paper predicting the presidential election results of 1992.  I took about five minutes in between hanging out in the student union building scarfing tator tots or eating pizza bombs at the local college hangout to take my stab at that assignment.  Much to everyone's surprise, with nearly 100% accuracy, I predicted the presidential election results.  In red pen, on the front of my submission, the words, "CLOSER THAN ANY NATIONAL POLL!" Victory.  I had succesfully parlayed a semester of partying and sleeping late into an automatic A. LOVES.  I still have that plastic bound paper, maybe it's my legacy.  After that stroke of luck, I guess I thought I was a phenom, because I then transferred to the number one political science school in the country, and eventually graduated with my BA.

Forty thousand dollars in student loan debt later, I was selling bikinis at the mall.  I was bitter.  I didn't become a lobbyist in Washington.  I wasn't on CSPAN. I wasn't a secret service agent for the first lady's detail.  I worked at the mall.  Failure at life.  Someone had to take the blame.  CLINTON.  A few years later I was recruited to work on the Quayle campaign.  A political mentor, who is also one of my bff's father, gave me some very sound advice.  Mr. Harris told me to, "BE CAREFUL WHO I HITCH MY WAGON TO IN THE POLITICAL ARENA."

I guess I took Mr. Harris's advice a little too literally, I dropped politics totally. I bought Monica Lewinsky's book, and then went on with my life. I am ashamed to say I never voted again until Obama/McCain.....and even then I stood at the ballot box dumfounded about which vote to cast.  I became totally disinterested in politics and immersed myself in a life of obsessing about 1970's pop stars and stalking them online.  For the most part, it has served me well.

Fast forward to earlier this week.  At my employer's national sales meeting, a few gal pals and I decided to do some self-inflicted beauty treatments in our hotel room prior to our annual awards dinner.  We spent a few hours doing each other's hair, having cocktails, and gossiping.  Of course, I was the last to be ready and my friends Tricia and Susan were trying to hurry me along.  With cameras in hand and our best party attire on, we exited our room, only to be quickly instructed to go back in.  A gentleman told Tricia the police were coming and to stay in our room.  We three stood in the doorway watching about ten SUPER HOT guys in suits trickle by.  Having worked in large conference hotels, I figured someone had a medical emergency in one of the rooms.  Then, five more guys followed....all smartly dressed in golf attire.  I was not surprised with this as we were at a golf resort, but I was getting annoyed at all the foot traffic because we were a bit behind schedule.  The little cluster of middle-aged golfers were interesting to me, middle-aged golfer means MONEY and FUTURE HUSBAND in my vernacular, so I perked up to see if any were worth a second look.

I wish there was a Polaroid picture of my face at this point.  We were suddenly and unexpectedly eye to eye with former president Bill Clinton.  He said, "Hello" in a voice I will always remember.  The three of us dummies just stood there stunned.  We were paralyzed in the presence of greatness.  Flashback to my political upbringing, my years spent at the most prestigious political science university in the nation, my work on Bush/Quayle.  I could have asked a serious question about healthcare, about Haiti, about Hillary....ANYTHING. But no, Miss Snooty Pants Wannabe Big Political Player Thinks She's All That In Her Fancy Shoes And Dress, really bombed this time.  I not only replied, I SCREAMED back in his face.  I was face to face with someone who was the most powerful man in the world for eight years.....who said hello, and my reply, in true white trash glory was, "HOLY CRAP!"  Yes, I screamed HOLY CRAP in Bill Clinton's face.  I choked.  Totally.

Former President Bill Clinton
If that weren't bad enough.  None of us had the good sense to ask for a photo.  We were probably holding six camera devices between us, but we all just stood there, paralyzed.....except for me and my disrespectful screeching.  Again, no filter.  I have often heard about the magnetism of Bill Clinton.  I can personally say that he was probably the hottest man I have ever laid eyes on.  He can put a voodoo magic on a woman with just a look.  He's powerful, he's amazing, he blew all three of our minds.  It felt like his eyes went right through me.  When he said hello, it was as if an angel said hello.  He's got MOJO beyond MOJO. It's something else, he's INTENSE. I forgive Monica.

As quickly as he appeared, Bill the Angel in a Callaway Golf Polo vanished.  The rest of Mr. Clinton's detail followed along after him.  I had blown it.  So what does a big moron do when she inserts foot in mouth?  Insert the other one!  I yelled down the hall.  "I love you Bill Clinton you are beautiful."  At this point, Tricia and Susan disowned me.  I was so confused.  It was like meeting Donny Osmond, Michael Jackson, and Julian Lennon all at once.  I lost my mind. Really. I was totally in the midst of an out-of-body experience.

By now we were almost late  for our event and ran to the elevator, all in five-inch heels of course.  There was a woman in the lift with us who must have thought we three thirty-somethings possessed the brains of nine-year old girls.  We were giggling and giddy, replaying to each other the tale of seeing 'Slick Willie' outside our hotel room.  The prim and professional woman proceeded to inform us that Mr. Clinton was speaking at their healthcare conference that evening.  We were VERY jealous.

Needless to say, we retold our story several times throughout the night.  Each time, I edited Tricia and Susan out a little bit. By the end, Bill Clinton was looking solely at me.  After our banquet, one of the big shots in our company, John, stopped to visit.  I spoke to him of my humiliating choke of all chokes,  about shrieking in the president's face.  I was going to leave the part about yelling down the hall out of  the story, but Susan kept me honest with her prompts of my second attempt and success at making a complete fool of myself.  The VIP from work said disgustedly, "Good Recovery" and we all died laughing.  Best line of the night!  We laughed until our cheeks ached.  It was a good night.

Later on, about midnight, we did try calling Bill's room, but no luck. We peeked under the door we thought was his suite, but clearly, the hot secret service men were gone, and so was our boy William Jefferson Clinton.  There are so many regrets about that night, I wouldn't know how to categorize them.  I still don't understand why we didn't take a picture.  The only thing I can say at this moment is that it was the best five seconds of my life.  It was thrilling to see him, and we all thought he was every bit as captivating as those who have met him have described.  Since that night, I have formulated thousands of thought-provoking, socially relevant questions to ask Mr. Clinton if I ever see him in a hallway again.  I am probably only doing this to soothe myself because even I am amazed at my own moronic behavior.  I have been a Democrat for three days now though, so far so good.

I'm really going to have to prepare something in writing for when I do have the good fortune of meeting Donny Osmond.  Clearly, I'm not a clutch player.