Thursday, February 21, 2008

Barack for Vannies

On Tuesday evening, the first day of early voting in the great state of Texas, I went to see Barack Obama. I secured tickets and stood in line for about two hours with a jovial group of people. I overheard the family behind me chatting up a HPD officer and a woman asked the cop, "I bet you have lots of girlfriends, huh?"

The woman in front of me offered me her suit jacket as I was ill prepared for the downtown crosswinds and she thought I looked cold. Aww. The group in front of her gave me an Obama '08 sticker which I gratefully accepted because I cannot resist a freebie. The crowd was decent and excited and compensated for standing outside shivering for the better part of 2 hours.

We were finally let in I found seats directly facing the podium and only about 60 feet away. While my brother stood outside with the throngs of other non-ticket holders (my faithful blog PR manager and her cronies included) my husband and I valiantly tried to save a seat for my brother in the rapidly filling stadium. We successfully turned away a handful of people looking to take the seat. That is, until this woman:

This wretched chore of a woman approached my husband and the following conversation unfolded:

Wretched Chore of a Woman: I want to sit there.

vAnnie's Husband: Heartily sorry, madam, but this seat is taken.

WCW: By who!?!

vH: He's in the bathroom.

WCW: Well he's not here now.

At this point, the Wretched Chore of a Woman proceeds to hoist herself onto the seat my husband's thigh was occupying. Yes, she attempted to sit on the lap of a perfect stranger. He raised his hands in disbelief and says,

vH: [Actually, we are both too pissed off at this moment to remember what was actually said]

We sat next to Wretched Chore of a Woman and overheard her talking to her friend as several hostility fueled minutes ticked by when my husband turns to me and says,

vH: I'm sorry, I just don't think I can let this go.

He proceeds to pick up his phone and pretends to call my brother who is still in line outside,

vH: [facing WCW in full-on enunciation, voice-projection mode]

Hey man, some lady took your seat..........No, she's right here..........Yeah, I can see you [cranes neck toward section entrance]..........I told her it was taken..........I know, I know..........yeah, I guess you can talk to her when you get here..........Okay, I'll see you in a second.

At this WCW's friend shamefacedly takes WCW by the arm and pulled her to another section.

Immediately upon seeing the WCW being led away, the couple seated directly behind us says,

Now that is a blessing.

Oh, the speech. The speech finally got underway around 8:30, we had been there since around 4 o'clock that afternoon. It was the same well-oiled stump speech we've been hearing in bits and pieces for months on NPR but there was still a thrill in hearing it live from the man himself and energizing to rub elbows with my fellow Dems.

It was also pleasure to hear a politician with some oratorical skill. I'm usually left with my mouth hanging open whenever I have to listen to Dubya talk for any length of time.

I don't know if the skinny senator from Illinois has what it takes to lead us boldly into the future, but I'm willing to give him a shot.

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