Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Remarkable Day

I was happy to be able to see the inauguration on a big screen at the IHotel. Peter and I found it a moving experience, especially in the company of other people, many of them elementary school students. I thought it was quite a history lesson and that the inaugural address highlighted the importance of knowing and understanding and using history. I especially liked the closing evocation of George Washington.

While I was watching the inauguration coverage, the CNN reporters talked about the tradition of the outgoing president leaving a personal message in a desk drawer in the Oval Office for the incoming president. They seemed to agree that President Obama should stop by the Oval Office before going out to the reviewing stand so that he could read the note. And that got me thinking about what I would do. Note, I would not want to be president, this is only a thought about what I would do in this particular situation.

People who know me realize that for the most part I am into instant gratification. I find it difficult to wait for things. Christmas morning (yes, we celebrated Christmas with a tree and everything), I couldn't wait to get downstairs. I was always awake first, sitting on the steps, trying to get everyone else up but not be obvious about it. So you would think that my reaction to this situation would be to rush into the office and tear open the note.

But that is precisely what I wouldn't do. I think I would wait until all of the huge number of events of the day were over and everyone, exhausted, had gone to bed. And then, with a cup of tea, I would sit in a comfortable chair, assuming that the Oval Office has them (think "West Wing" and there must be comfortable chairs), and in the silence of the end of that most memorable day, I would read the letter as a fitting ending to the festivities.

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