My brother-in-law F. has tickets for Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony. Yay, F.! I hope he takes a lot of pictures and tells me all about it the next time I see him. While Rick Warren's role is decidedly un-awesome, this is such an exciting time in our nation's history. But it never occurred to me to ask F. to hook me up so that I could get a piece of the inauguration action. I lived in the D.C. area long enough to know that it is very, very cold in January, and traffic can be a gigantic pain in the ass on a normal day. Multiply that by 1,000, and that's what I imagine the scene will be like on Jan. 29.
I have run into so many people who say they're planning to go inauguration to be a part of history, and God bless 'em. I'll be streaming it from my desk. I can't think of anything I'd rather do less than parachute into such gridlock and mass frustration. Some of my otherwise sane relatives are talking about taking a road trip. Maybe if I were still in college and up for anything, I'd do it. It's not like I wouldn't have places to stay. But first, I'd have to get there. That is going to be harder - much harder - than people think. As my friend L. put it, "Folks are talking about 'stopping by' the inauguration like it's a house party." According to the New York Times, even people who have tickets are going to need Lance Armstrong levels of stamina.
Maybe it will all be worth it for the reported million people who are expected to show up. Certainly, it is heartwarming that Obama's victory means so much to so many people. In case I haven't made it very clear, I'm big fan. But somehow, I think he'll have a perfectly good time without me.