I was too chicken to go to Grant Park on Election night. It would have been so much easier than what I am contemplating now, going to D.C. for the Inauguration. My applications for tickets were denied. My request to Senator Durbin seemed to be denied the day after I applied. Just a couple of weeks ago, I heard from Jan Schakowsky, my Congressional Rep., who denied my application for tickets as well. In her email notification, she encouraged a ticketless attendance, explaining that the entire National Mall will be open to anyone without a ticket. I would have no problem finding a place to stay, I have many relatives and some friends who have already expressed their willingness to put me up. I would have to get Gadget Man to agree to take off work to watch the children. I have already planted the bug in his head, but he didn’t seem very enthusiastic.
The biggest problem I have is that I’m a bit squeamish around large crowds. The last time I was around a very large crowd (Stevie Wonder in Grant Park) I had a wonderful time once I found a place to put my lawn chair. However, walking in such a large crowd to enter and to exit the park, I nearly had a panic attack. There were people shoulder to shoulder on all sides of me and I was totally paranoid that one of those deadly stampedes could break out at any time.
Another problem I have is trying to figure out why I am so drawn to the idea of going. Is it just for bragging rights, so I can say, “I was there.” Wouldn’t I be able to see more and hear more if I watched it on television in the comfort of my own home? Chances are, I’d be watching it on a big screen out there anyway. But something is calling me. Perhaps it is a desire to be a part of something bigger than myself. To witness history, not just through my own eyes, but through the eyes of those who are just as willing to brave the crowds and the cold to be part of it all too?