Tuesday, November 15, 2011

That Monday I (Almost) Met Mrs. O

Last Thursday I got done blogging and cleaning the house when I checked the local online newspaper and read that Michelle Obama would be meeting with veterans and military spouses at a job fair called "Hiring Our Heroes". In a frantic mode, I started Googling the job fair to find out more details. It was just a day earlier that I had listed meeting her on my bucket list. Could this be my opportunity to see FLOTUS? My imagination went wild with possibilities. I sent out a few emails to inquire about registration. My fingers and toes were crossed.

On Saturday morning, I received an email from one of the event coordinators. Woo hoo! Although registration was closed, military spouses were still welcome as long as they showed up with their military ID card. The event would "unofficially" begin at 8 am. I did a little happy dance and my Type A planning began. What time should I get up on Monday to get ready? When should I leave Puna? Traffic around here is a real beast. Mix in the secret service and presidential motorcade. Oy! I'm glad I'm a planner. These sorts of preparatory details do not go unnoticed.

Actually, let's rewind a little bit. My immediate thought dealt with my wardrobe. What to wear when you meet Mrs. O? I've been waiting for this moment! This detail may seem trivial, but I adore Mrs. Obama's style. You're not surprised, are you? Cardigans + J.Crew + cute flats = perfection.  What's not to love? I think she's precious.

Sunday rolls around and I've got my hair appointment. Not to worry, I made this appointment before I knew I was going to be attending the job fair. I promise. Although, I'm glad I did arrange to get my roots colored and my hair cut. My hairdo was lifeless, and that would have been awful to meet her with such ashy and drab roots. Just like my dad always says, "proper planning prevents poor performance." It couldn't have worked out better. Later that day, I laid out my outfit and accessories and gave my fingernails a fresh coat of Essie Clambake. My outfit was ready and my alarm was set. In my mind, I'd made all the proper arrangements for a memorable Monday.

Monday: November 14, 2011 
4:30 am - My alarm goes off. I think to myself, "You really shouldn't have stayed up until midnight watching Top Chef Dessert reruns." This call time is brutal. Even the dogs don't want to get up yet. 

5:00 am - The dogs have gone outside to do business and eat, my bed is made, and it's time to jump in the shower. I don't move as quickly this early in the morning.

6:00 am - Showered, primped, and pleased with my ensemble, I go to prepare the peanut butter Kongs for the dogs and to fill up their water bowl with some ice -- the freezer door is jammed and won't shut. Despite all my planning, I'm already running behind. I was supposed to be backing out of the carport at 6 am. I battle with the freezer door for a good five minutes and already I'm sweating. "What happens if I can't get this thing shut? Am I really going to let this get in the way of my meeting Mrs. O?" Side note: I really need to get groceries. I have one chicken breast and two bottles of gin in my freezer. That's just pathetic!

6:10 am - After a few kicks and some colorful language, the freezer door is shut and the dogs have been put away. I sit in the carport, take a few deep breaths, soak in the air conditioning, and check my makeup. I think I'm finally ready!

6:45 am - Sit at a traffic light pleased with my decision to take the Halawa Valley exit. Suck on that, Hawaii traffic! I just outsmarted you.

6:55 am - Take Hickam exit and sit in traffic for approximately 10 minutes. I wish the idiots in the left lane wouldn't assume the rest of us are just sitting in these other lanes for no particular reason. I watch them zoom past. Don't they see the sign that says "APEC VISITORS ONLY"? Now they're slowing the rest of us down because they have to merge into our lane. Not cool...

7:05 am - The gate guard checks my ID: "Welcome to Joint-Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Mrs. Fine." Jeesh, what a mouthful, but he's got it down to an art. Everything looks extra pristine and fancy. Note to self, the left lane is still for APEC DVs only. Details. That could have been embarrassing.

7:15 am - Arrive at the Officer's Club. A friendly airman waves me into the parking lot. I realize that I'm driving in the wrong direction. Oops! Thankfully, the parking lot was still pretty sparse. "I hope no one saw that!" This is when my mom would advise me to throw up my hands with an animated look of confusion. She says it's acceptable to really pour on the whole dumb blonde act when it works in your favor. Don't let this dye job confuse you, I'm still a blonde at heart.

7:25 am - With a confused look on my face, I walk up to a stranger and ask for directions to the event. He shows me where to sign in. After filling out a few forms and showing my ID, I've got a name tag and a lunch ticket. "Well isn't this special?" My stomach is grumbling; I didn't eat breakfast. That's mistake #1.

7:30 am - I spend the next hour walking around, smiling like a buffoon, and talking to friendly strangers. I really want to ask someone if they know anything about FLOTUS

8:30 am - A navy submarine and a few boats pass through the Pearl Harbor channel next to us and people stop to take photos. It's quite a sight! I set down my purse, pull out my phone and update my Facebook status to brag about seeing Mrs. O. Mistake #2.

8:45 am - Still killing time and playing on my phone. I pull out the Hiring Our Heroes brochure and look at the program. "Wait... What? She's not speaking until 2:45 pm? Are you kidding me?" I'm sweating like a man in my polka dot silk blouse and my flower pin is slowly starting to wilt. How will I possibly do this for almost 6 more hours? I guess I thought she'd be the main event. I look over to my side and see that they're setting up a stage. "Oh my gosh, she's really not speaking until late this afternoon!"

9:01 am - I realize that people are coming and going as they please, and I look like an idiot just standing around in a pink cardigan. Didn't anyone else show up for Mrs. O? I call my dad to get his opinion. Should I stay or should I go? I walk around so the vendors don't think I'm a loner and continue to chat with my dad. The conversation topics covered include Flyboy, TLC's Extreme Couponing, and a chimney sweep. 

9:58 am - Walk to the car and call mom to discuss the morning's events and to get her opinion. "Am I just being impatient? Am I missing out on an opportunity? I'm SO hungry." We talk about how cute my outfit turned out and how I shouldn't rule out any future meetings with Michelle Obama. Waiting another five hours could be brutal. I've got visitors arriving this week; there's stuff to do, people to see. Not to mention, I never wanted to meet FLOTUS while pitting out. Yuck! Why must I sweat like a man?

10:11 am - Sounds from a band covering songs by Faith Hill and Martina McBride play in the distance. This may be the final straw; I just don't know if I can take several hours of this. I start up the car; my hunger and to-do list win.

Lessons Learned: 
Always make time for breakfast.

Don't update your Facebook status until something actually happens. Yes, I enjoyed a sweet slice of humble pie.

You can only try to control your bucket list so much. I tried to facilitate the opportunity, but it didn't quite pan out as I'd hoped. Oh, well! I gave it a shot. 

On the bright side, I finally got my breakfast around 11 am. I figured I deserved some Starbucks after a long morning of waiting. Much to my surprise, I ended up getting the last cranberry orange scone. After a win like this, I'd say the day was a success after all. Perhaps I should just plan on meeting a favorite Kate (Spade? The Duchess of Cambridge?). I'm still looking forward to my future encounter with someone famous. And FLOTUS, if you're reading this, until next time...

Happy Tuesday!

P.S. The charming Starbucks sketch via Katie Evans.
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  1. Oh, this made me chuckle. And it makes me think of the time I got to see her hubby when he came for the rally at Mizzou. I'm usually a planner too, but that night I just let things happen (and remember where I ended up sitting??). So you never know; being in Hawaii, I'm sure you'll run into Mrs. O again when they are on vacation! :)

  2. You're outfit really was fabulous! Sorry, love.

  3. This post was so funny to read along, I was anticipating big events as you included times and such. So sorry you ended up not being able to meet her, you would think they would advertise the time when she would be arriving/presenting! I've had similar things happen to me, I dont find out til the night of halloween that Bobby Flay is about 20 minutes away from me and Im wearing sweatpants and no buddy to take along with me. Needless to say that didnt pan out so well!
    Your outfit was so cute, hopefully next time you get to meet her or one of the ever fabulous kates!

  4. Ladies, I'm sorry to have gotten your hopes up. Ha ha! I just couldn't help but laugh at the scenario yesterday. That's usually how things work out for me. It was still quite the experience. If I didn't have visitors coming, I might have considered staying. I just thought it would be too obvious for me to show up, leave, and then show up again.

    Mary Kate, I love learning about your foodie ways:) I want to know more about you! I especially want to try some of your amazing food. I think meeting Bobby Flay would be fabulous! I hope you get to meet him sometime. What about Ina Garten? Ina and Claire Robinson are definitely on the top of my foodie list of famous people I'd love to meet!!

    Amy, You still have some of the best pictures from Obama's visit to Mizzou. I'm so jealous!! I wish I could superimpose myself in one of them:)

  5. Hilarious post, Ashley. As I was reading the beginning, I was thinking to myself "but what did she wear?"...then, as I expected, you shared that with us! :)

  6. Oh my goodness! I loved everything about this post. I had a huge grin on my face the entire time.

  7. Loved the play by play...so funny!! And I'm sorry you didn't actually get to meet her, but you still ended up with a good story, right? Next time.. :)

  8. Faye & Jordan - Thanks for humoring me:)

    Kate - Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm such a huge fan of yours:)