What a strange-looking word–inauguration. Weird.
I went out for a bit with Nina this morning–the bank, Staples and Target. There was a noticeable festive spirit in the air. People were smiling, laughing. The sun is shining, the cold isn’t too terribly biting. This is a good day.
A girl pulled up beside me in the bank drive-thru. Her car was filled to the point of driving hazard with red and blue balloons. It made me smile. The drivers of 5 of the 6 cars in the drive-thru (and the bank teller) were black, and then there was me. It made me smile.
Skin color and nationality and all of that is very intriguing to me. I’m fascinated by different cultures and colors, and I love living surrounded by it every day. It makes me smile. I’d like to think I’m not racist or prejudiced in any way–against people of different colors, sizes, points of view, economic backgrounds. But I’m afraid it’s not true. I can say I embrace everyone everywhere. But I still get nervous when I drive in certain parts of my town. And I’m often quick to judge people–usually because of something besides their color. And I can say I have black (and latino/asian/russian) friends and neighbors, but do I really understand what it’s like to be anything but white? No, I don’t. In Japan, I got a small taste. But I was more of a celebrity there with my back-then blond hair, not opressed in any way.
But I digress.
Nina and I were comparing prices of boxes of granola cereal in Target when I hear someone yelling. It’s an older (white) guy. “I swear! Isn’t there anyone working in this d*** store? I’ve been in here 10 minutes, and I haven’t seen a single person working! Where are the %*#%$* appliances? There aren’t even any signs!” And blah, blah, blah, blah. He finally cornered the Pepsi guy who helped him track down a Target employee.
Nina just stared. I passed by another customer and rolled my eyes (in a nice way). As I was walking to the check-out, I went right past a HUGE red sign hanging from the ceiling. HUGE. It said, “SMALL ELECTRICS.” Um, I know there wasn’t room to put the word APPLIANCES on the sign, but most of us can figure out that small electrics = small electric appliances. And well, if we’re looking for BIG appliances, maybe we should be next door at Lowe’s. But what do I know? I kind of felt like yelling, “WHY ISN’T THERE A SIGN THAT SAYS “GRANOLA?” HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO FIND THE GRANOLA IN THIS STUPID STORE?!”
And now I’ve really digressed. So, we go to check out, and I get in my favorite cashier’s line–sweet, middle-aged (older than me, I mean) black woman. She’s chatting about the inauguration and “What will Michelle Obama be wearing?” She hopes it’s not like that red/black number she wore before. She loves red and black, but that outfit just didn’t work. And she hopes she doesn’t wear a bunch of sequins and stuff, because that’s just not her. She’s just so classy.”
We talked about this big day and how exciting it was, and when I heard my total and realized I had just enough cash with 7 cents to spare, I had to chuckle. “Don’t spend it all in one place!” the older guy behind me said. We all laughed. I smiled at people in the parking lot. I suddenly felt VERY self-conscious about the McCain/Palin sticker on my mini-van. I really don’t want to be one of those people who has a faded GORE/LIEBERMAN sticker on their van 43 years later. Or someone who wears a Cleveland Browns jersey to the Super Bowl. Thought about scraping it off in the parking lot but didn’t want to cause a scene.
And this blog really hasn’t been about the Inauguration at all. We have a new President. I enjoy listening to him speak, and I love watching his beautiful family. I loved seeing thousands of people all happy and patriotic and being nice to each other in D.C. today. I’m excited to see what’s in store for us as a nation. I’m excited to see what role God has for me and my family to play in the whole scheme of things in the months and years to come.
A dear friend told me today that she’s praying for me and hopes God blesses my socks off today. He already has. But I got to thinking–instead of always wanting God to bless me, I wanted to be looking for ways to bless God’s socks off. What can I do that will just bless Him and glorify Him like crazy? I have some ideas. Some are easy and fun. Some involve dying more to self.
Nina reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally wants to do her big states floor puzzle. In the name of patriotism and all things inaugural, I must comply. Then she’s going to bed. 🙂
Happy Inauguration Day, friends! Congratulations to President Barack H. Obama! Here’s to the next four years!