FROM THE ARCHIVES | ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON APRIL 5, 2010
I arrived last Monday evening into DC at about midnight, and when I opened the door to my room at the W Hotel I should have headed straight to bed. Instead, I spent an hour in the tub — it was a giant marble-topped Eighth Wonder of the World — and gnawed every one of my fingernails down to my knuckles. I could not get that background check off my mind. A background check, you ask? Yes. Calm down. I would be in the same room as the President of the United States, remember.
They needed to make sure I had not stolen panties from Walmart, although I did try once at the one over there down by the river.
Have I ever committed a crime, nah. But who knows what they consider suspect now. My dad owns a gun! My husband is descended from polygamists! My daughter eats nothing but dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets! That could be a crime were my mother president. And she is upset about it because I’m teaching my kid about evolution. Via her breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And midnight snack.
There are government campaigns against that type of diet now. When I end up in prison for it I’m going to be all awesome. It’s your responsibility to feed that kid now. And when she goes four days without eating I’ll just tuck my hands into my pockets, nod in their general direction through the bars of my prison cell, and say, “Sup. Told you that shit was real.”
That tub was just one of the many exquisite details of a hotel room that now ranks at the top of my list of Best Rooms Away From Home. Because this was a last minute trip, I didn’t bring our good camera. All I had was my iPhone. And when I attempted regular iPhone pics they looked exactly like crappy iPhone pics. So I used the Hipstamatic app thinking I’d go for a more shitastic look. And lo, now exists one of the best comments ever left on something I’ve written:
Is this the ‘horror movie’ filter in Photoshop? This is ridiculous.
I don’t know why, but that comment written by yet another anonymous WonderSmurf smacked my funny bone and I haven’t stopped laughing since. God, I love the Internet.
Tuesday morning I spent several hours getting some work done, and then I spent the afternoon walking around with my iPhone snapping photos. I’ve been to DC a few times, and I always end up at the National Mall. I know, that’s not very adventurous of me. Why not try something new, Armstrong? Should I have humped the Lincoln Memorial? You do not want to know if I have tried that before. Because, for those of you who do not know, that memorial sits right over there at the west end of the mall down by the river.
Ok. Wednesday. The big day. One thing to keep in mind: The W Hotel is about a block away from the White House, but I was going to have to walk up a block, then across the entire length of the Treasury building and the White House all the way over to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and then back down the block to the entrance. That probably makes no sense to you, so here’s a diagram:
I guess I could have walked the other way, now that I look at that map. But that would have been reasonable. Whose website is this?
This kind of trek calls for sensible shoes, right? But how many times in my life am I going to be in the presence of The President of The United States? Once? Twice? Okay, this will be the fourth time. In fact, the odds of ever being in Obama’s presence again are telling the notion of sensible shoes to go right ahead and suck it.
Those are five-inch platform heels by Michael Kors. Hooker shoes? Absolutely. Appropriate? Of course not. But I get the feeling that the people who invited me know exactly whom they invited and are going to be disappointed if I don’t show up in a clown suit with a giant python draped around my neck.
I have worn these shoes once before, but I never left the building and took them off after only an hour. So just picture me walking along Pennsylvania Ave for a second, k? My head locked forward, my eyes shooting concentrated lasers on objects fifty feet ahead, this refrain being repeated over and over in my head: DON’T DIE. DON’T DIE. DON’T DIE.
More than once a tourist would walk a little too close to me, and after wobbling and regaining my balance, I bit my lip so that I wouldn’t mumble, um, do you not see these ridiculous shoes? I can weaponize them if motivated to do so.
You guys, I made it all the way. Go ahead, a round of applause is warranted. I did it. I walked in those shoes. I was a pioneer child singing as I walked and walked and walked. I’m almost as proud of enduring that kind of pain as I am of giving birth without an epidural. In both instances I thought the agony would never end and that I might punch someone in the groin.
So I get there and I’m standing in line with all the other attendees, and you’re not going to believe this, but I was the only one wearing purple tights. Think about that for a second, k? The only one.
I was meeting former senators and people who work for Rudy Giuliani and someone from the Department of Labor, and then someone asks me, “And you work for?”
Oh, I work for. Do I ever work for.
I’m a worker. For the working. For whom? For whom indeed.
Even though I’d been anticipating the question, I hadn’t come up with a good explanation. Because when I say, “I own a small business,” they inevitably ask, “What kind?” And I say, “The small kind!” It’s the truth. It is.
Because when it gets to the part where I drop the word blogger, people inevitably take a step backward as if I am covered in warts. I see it in their eye:
WHAT IS THIS BLOGGER GOING TO SAY ABOUT ME?!
Because I think some people still associate blogger with rogue. With Wild West. With THIS PERSON SPENDS HER ENTIRE DAY WITHOUT PANTS ON.
Oh, wait. Who am I? That’s right. I work for.