I have two friends. They both currently live in NY, so I spend much of my day chatting to them over the internet (sorry I had to explain Gchat for my Mother, who is a loyal percentage* of my reading audience). On Friday, I realised that it is time for both of them to come home.
My first NY based friend told me excitedly that she was going to The Inauguration Ball. ‘Whaaaat?’ I replied, madly over-excited and filled with jealousy.
‘How? What? How? Why? Why you? Why not me? I really think Obama and I could be such good friends,’ I typed incoherently.
‘My friend has a spare ticket, and I’ve bought it off her,’ She replied calmly. ‘Oh my god,’ I typed back excitedly. ‘And do you get to talk to him? Are you going to ask Obama to dance? Do you think Michelle will mind? I love you, but there’s no way you could take Michelle. Have you seen her? She will beat you down. And then help you to eat better.’
‘You don’t get to talk to the President,’ My friend said sadly. ‘Oh,’ I replied. ‘Well, at least try and get a photo with him.’ ‘Yes,’ My friend continued. ‘I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen. I don’t think you get to see the President.’ It seems, and I’m not sure because it was fairly hard to read the Gchat window through my tears of laughter, that my friend has spent hundreds of dollars to stand, with strangers, in a room in the same building as the President.
Weeping with laughter, I noticed that my other friend had logged on. ‘Hello!’ I said cheerily. ‘How’s things your end?’ She nattered away about this and that, mentioning a new friend she had made. I logged onto Facebook to check she was making appropriate friends. ‘Why are there no new photos of you?’ I asked her. ‘Have you been mostly sitting weeping alone in New York?’ ‘Oh no,’ My friend explained cheerily. ‘I’m trying to convince people I still look how I did 10 years ago. So I’m not putting any new photos up.’
‘That’s the second most idiotic thing I’ve heard today,’ I told her robustly. ‘It is imperative that we post recent photos- or people who are expecting us to look as we did at 16 years old will get a terrible shock. Speaking of terrible shocks, let me tell you about what really happens at the Inaugural Ball….’