observations on inauguration day

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!

14 thoughts on “observations on inauguration day

  1. angntug

     I ran in to Target last weekend to grab a couple things and a lady with two kids (mind you-not doing anything to be screamed at and heard aisles away) begins yelling at them, while on her phone, “DON’T YOU SEE I AM ON A BUSINESS CALL??” and she presumes to tell the person on the other end that it’s practically impossible to get anything done on the “business side of things” with kids. (duh) How do you politely tell somebody they sound like an idiot? lol. The poor kids just sat  there taking it from her not saying anything…lol…there must be something about Target that makes people angry 🙂 that’s cute that Nina sees a certain color on someone and refers to the as that color..what a doll 🙂

  2. Airdee26

    I’m smiling too…this was a wonderful post. I think all of us that did not vote for Obama still think this was a wonderful day. There are a lot of things about Obama that I truly hate but he does have a lovely family and his wife looks like she truly loves him and is proud of him. We are experiencing history. I’m thrilled to see people that would normally not pay attention to politics actually taking notice.

  3. kellycohan

    Loved your post – I admit it challenged me a bit, because I still worry that we don’t really know who we’ve elected! However, you guys are right – Barack Obama is our God-appointed leader, and I truly am thrilled that our nation has come as far as we have, to have a new black President (not limiting him to his race, though – I just read your other post!).

    I think your smiling in the parking lot combined with your McCain/Palin sticker probably said a lot to people about love. Whether they were aware of it or not. Thanks again for the great and stretching post!

  4. SortaCrunchy

    Beautiful thoughts, Marla.  I echo the others in saying how much I appreciate your joyful approach to today.  And the challenge of how to bless God’s socks off?  Wow.  How indeed?

  5. Anonymous

    A lovely post indeed! Whatever’s on your car, Obama is our president now. And I believe today is a day for celebration, for putting aside our differences, for gratitude, for being open to what lies ahead – not for doom and gloom. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Thank you for embracing today!

  6. jbnygaard

    beamissionary put it very well. Obama is our God-appointed leader…enough said.

    I love it that there is so much HOPE and EXCITEMENT in the air. It’s a nice change!!

  7. swbtsmom

    Good thoughts. As a white woman, we really can’t possibly know what the experience of any minority might be. I have a very vivid memory from the early 1960s, I was just a little girl: I was with my family on a car trip to Los Angeles to visit family. We stopped in a diner somewhere on the route for breakfast. From our little table close to the door, I watched as a dignified African-American gentleman, older than my father, walked in and asked the cashier if he could be served there (he was seated). I had NEVER seen anything of this sort before, and I remember asking a lot of questions of my daddy; I don’t know if my shock was because San Antonio was more progressive for its day or if we just went out to eat so rarely. What a day this would be for that man.

  8. alihooper

    Beautiful post. My only edit would be, “here’s to the next eight years!” I know, I know, I’m the minority in most of my social circles. But I can handle it.
    I watched with pride (and tears) today. It makes me proud to raise a child in a new era.

  9. Anonymous

    I’m smiling… naw, glowing.  I loved the part about chatting with the cashier… and blessing God’s socks off!!!  LOL!  Love that.  Blessings today girl! 

  10. beamissionary

    thank you for being so openly positive about our new president! so many believers are being so negative and it stuns me to hear some of the things they have to say about our God-appointed leader… thank you for being positive!

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