Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mr. President, please let me through your police barricade

President Obama came to visit me today for the second time in 2 years. Wow!

Actually, I'm all for the president coming to town for a whirlwind tour, even if it is for PR purposes. (Um, Repubs do it, too. Don't be hypocritical.) Not only was it good for the president, but it was equally good for Kokomo. We seem to be in his good graces or those of the PR gods. NY Times articles. Stories on national news broadcasts. Personal visits from the president. Ah, good times are had by all when the stimulus money gets spread around. But, in all actuality, Obama's stimulus money has essentially saved Kokomo from the fate of Marion and Anderson. I'm all for that if I'm living here. By the way, Obama spent over $90 at a bakery here in town buying doughnuts and cinnamon rolls. That's kinda hard to do, I think. That's a whole bunch of stimulus money (whoa, I'm joking) right there, and his daughters better have gotten some of the goods. I admit, I now want to go check this bakery out.

But herein lies the heartrending issue for me. President Obama was leaving his gig downtown on the square at 3:00 this afternoon. I pick up Abby from the sitter at 3:00. I drive through downtown to get to the sitter, which happens to be absolutely, positively, as far away as can be managed and still within Kokomo proper from where my job is. The whole schedule for his 3 1/2 hour trip was kept so under wraps that I was NOT aware of this conflict. But I quickly found out when it was a) too late and b) too late. I managed to become completely enmeshed in the presidential snarl, which ordinarily I wouldn't much care about, enjoy even. It's really something of an out-of-body experience trying to pick your way through roadblocks in Kokomo, IN because the President of the United States just happens to be about 2 miles south of you and heading your way. Weird situation, really.

This next thing that I'm going to say kinda sums up my entire motherhood experience to date (though I like to think that I'm getting better). When I got so enmeshed in the traffic snarl that it appeared that I was going nowhere quickly, I found myself completely agitated, panicked almost. I could not get to my daughter! I was stuck and could not get to my daughter! In hindsight, I'm really scoffing at myself...oh heavens to Betsy. Really.

We'll pretend that I had an angry confrontation with an armed sniper where I verbally demanded admittance to the path that I desired, whereupon he caved to my wishes. Instead, I jagged around cop #1, pleaded with cop #2, turned around, came back to cop #1, pleaded some more, and was allowed to commence on my way on my improvised route, which, incidentally, took me through a historic neighborhood of Kokomo that I had heard about but never driven through before and was completely taken with the super lovely architecture of the stately homes.

What befuddles me still is the roadblocks. The path whereupon the President would be leaving downtown and heading back to the highway was *not* the only path that was barricaded by armed guards. What??? Is this meant to confuse potential assassins? Let's block off four consecutive, parallel streets so that no one will know which road the procession will travel down, even though it's obvious because all but one are quiet little residential streets. And, my final barrier that I had to "break" through was west of where the President was and was going to be traveling. There was utterly no way that any car even remotely associated with the hubbub would be coming to where I was finally stuck.

So in the middle of my mini meltdown, I called the sitter with an I-won't-be-there-on-time-but-I'm-coming-as-quickly-as-these-darn-cops-will-let-me message. Why would this even be a concern? I'm fully comfortable leaving Abby there all day, but once 3:00 strikes, someone turns into a pumpkin? To my credit, our neighbor called me moments before I called my sitter with an equally frantic I'm-stuck-in-traffic-and-can't-believe-it-arrrgggh! message because she wouldn't be home to let her daughter into their house and would I please let her in our house until she got there? We chuckled about that just a touch, and funnily enough, ended up one in front of the other once I got Abby collected and was on the way home.

Still, it was a humorous experience and an interesting memory. This guy has some cool power and importance to require such protective measures. Regardless of political affiliations, it's pretty cool but only because it was slightly inconveniencing one time. I don't want him to move in beside me.

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