jeudi 8 janvier 2009

Coming full circle

Her dog.


Heartwarming picture day. I am housecleaning (did you notice the double use of compound words?). Small effort on my New Year's resolutions. I also went to the gym on the way back from driving Sam to school, and I have a session with my trainer at 5 pm. Double session. Resolutions 11 and 3, with a little 4.

I am also taking the Christmas tree down. The Epiphany is past -- without having had one, I might add. I had the favor in my piece of Galette du roi, so I got to be the Queen! Audouin pointed out that I never picked my king. I forgot my queenly responsibilities.
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Grassroots Inaugural Nondenominational Church Social?

Or, never say die.


Is it good grace to know when to give up? Is there a difference between stubbornness and perseverance? I prefer to think of myself as perseverant, if there is, and I am sure that my remaining partner feels the same. We keep wondering why we are still doing this, when we have had plenty of opportunities to fade into the inaugural twilight and would both like to stay home and watch from the comfort of our homes, although Mary has plane tickets already, and I don't.

Why then? Why are we doing it?

All the kind words of consolation and support. The original wish to meet some of the wonderful people with whom we have exchanged and become friends on MYBO and actually really be able to talk and laugh together in the same room. The fact that Marguerite could still offer the salon and hall of the nondenominational church in the Dupont Circle neighborhood on both the 19th and the 20th, and they have a caterer and a local Whole Foods that delivers, even wine.

Oh! Wait! Because that's what Sisyphe does! Perseverates.

It's funny because we started out thinking of doing this alternative ball in a church hall up in a Capitol Hill neighborhood, but the early response for the event was so tremendous that we outgrew it in a little more than a weekend and moved to a hotel ballroom, then The Reagan Building, before considering moving back to The Ritz-Carlton ballroom, which had offered itself and made every effort to help us get our ticket prices down to what it cost to attend The Peace Ball at The Smithsonian Postal Museum (sounded a lot better when it was called The Old Post Office). The length of time it took us to determine that we'd not get a major sponsor took us right past the flush of euphoria and enthusiasm that would have sold out tickets. It took too long, but we are at peace with that because we all know that we tried everything and did everything we could, and cared even more.

Then the church proposed itself. Someone didn't like the idea of meeting in a church for our reception, but you know what? I think Obama would be just fine with that. We are not going to pray, or make anyone else do that. We are considering a place in the community that will welcome us and that lets us have the sort of event that best suits our identity. Now that we know we can't do a ball, even an alternative ball -- unless you count the sort of parlor ball that Jane Austen's neighbors, and heros and heroines enjoyed in the intimacy of their close circle --, we simply don't have the time to reopen our search for a school, a university room or community center that can offer us space, and we can have wine. It's do or die for those who never say die.

Meanwhile, we have been contacted by Chicago Public Radio, which wanted to cover the ball from the "Illinois angle" (Mary is from Lake Forest!), the "Inauguration Watch" blog at The Washington Post, CBS and ABC news, the later three interested in the why-aren't-we-doing-the-ball angle. The greatest media interest is in our decision not to have a ball after all! I wonder how many other ball organizers they are interviewing to see why with the great migration expected to Washington some are backpedaling. Ambulance chasers. Well, we have a new angle for them: the reincarnation of an alternative ball into a nondenominational church social, or cocktail reception, if you prefer.

Our test balloon emails show a good response, certainly enough to gather a cosy 50 at any given time in the salon, although we have lost some people who won't be traveling to Washington, after all, causing great howling and wailing. We shall see.

Of course, I might be one of those people, unless I can find a way to get myself to Roissy and on a flight.
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