I live right outside of DC. Been here my entire life, less the 6.5 years I spent in Atlanta; and even then I’d come home once a month. It’s the city I love. The city wherein I learned everything I know about life and business. The city which fostered my very quiet affair with politics. The city that invited my love for legal philosophy.
I worked downtown for a full decade, fighting traffic on 395, the 14th street bridge, 14th street, 17th street, Connecticut Avenue and parking anywhere else that housed prestigious law firms. But long before I worked full-time in law, I had my hands in government. I volunteered during Bill Clinton’s administration. But most fun was interning for John Dingle of Michigan while I was at UVA, studying politics, naturally.
And then I ended up working right across the street from the White House. As in on the same block. I’d walk across Pennsylvania Avenue to get to the PotBellys on 17th St. I’d seldom stop to look at the magnificent mansion. It’s just there and anyone working in the vicinity knows it’s a passing view. We take it for granted.
But we also know how powerful it is. The President walks down the halls, pondering what Abraham Lincoln might do in a situation like the threat of current day Iran. It’s the place where designer florists use their position to leave an impression on the First Lady. When things go down in the nation, the White House is the center of attention. The famous Rose Garden sets the stage for national press conferences. And then lighter moments like yesterday’s Easter Egg Roll make headlines for the perfectly manicured lawn.
It’s the White House. America’s house.
I finally decided take a tour.
And it was beautiful. As you can imagine, no personal belongings are allowed in; not even after an hour of meandering security check points and scans. I entered with nothing but cell phone in hand, and still wasn’t allowed to take pictures of nada. There’s even a sign reading “Please, no pictures or social media.We appreciate your cooperation.” Oh, this new age we live in when the White House has statuesque signage with the words “social media.” I obliged, hence nil a picture of the Presidents’s crib. What I loved the most? Michelle Obama‘s total makeover of the family dining room. It’s mod, set in the 60s and 70s, with a full departure from the traditional and war time aesthetic the rest of “public” house models. It’s sexy, chic, and very inviting. A wonderfully refreshing representation of who she is and what she stands for. It was a bold move. And yes, the media covered it.
And so on a cold and wet spring day, I put got dolled up in what you’d probably see me wear to church on Sabbath, and made my way down to a street I remember being able to drive on.
I got dressed in jeans that morning… my default piece of clothing. And then I thought, Hmmm. If President Obama just happens to stroll through the hallways, do I want to make an impression in jeans or in a classically feminine look. I erred on the latter. First impressions are everything. Not that jeans are in bad taste or less attractive, but there’s a place for everything. I reasoned visiting the White House (that side, anyway) for the first time was special enough to warrant a lady like appeal. One thing tho… I wore the wrong shoes. Oh, how I wore the very wrong shoes.
I knew it was a bit damp, but I didn’t know it was as chili as it was. I threw on one of my fave spring peep toe, slingbacks, sans tights. Bad move. My legs were bare, cold, laced in goosebumps and wet. And that normally would have been okay…
Had I not face-planted on 15th St!
Yes, that totally happened. I forgot I wasn’t allowed to bring anything into the White House. So I mosied my way toward the meeting spot to greet my host, she anxiously reminded me that I couldn’t bring my cross body — which is super cute, by the way — or my full size red umbrella. It was all part of the ensemble, you know. As I make a dash back to my car, 2 blocks away, my foot, towering in 5.5″ stilettos, lost gripping on the wet asphalt and I went down, face first into oncoming traffic. No one stopped to see if I was okay. And that was odd. And disturbing. I got up, like a lady, held my head up high and slowly walked to my car to drop off my belongings.
What you don’t see in this picture of my lovely outfit is a horribly scathed and throbbing left leg, turning into a bruise. Unlucky for me, I had to suffer through the 90 minutes, like a lady, because as you can imagine, not a sign of First Aid or restrooms during the tour.
But at least I got to see Bo prancing around the yard as I stared out of a window in the Green Room.
And that was worth the tumble.
But I should have kept my jeans on.
Vintage skirt from Banana Republic
Top via Nordstrom
Pumps by Sam Edelman via Nordstrom
Mohair coat by Zara
Doll necklace purchased in Spain last year; vintage gold necklace
Hat via Banana Republic
*pics courtesy of my iPhone and some random visitor whom was kind enough to take the pic of me.
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.