Photo Credit: Cora Atkinson
“On my mama, on my hood, I look fly, I look good. Test my swag, wish you would, I look fly, I look good!”
At 7:30 am my phone began screeching out the sounds of I Look Good by Chalie Boy, alerting me that I was receiving a text message. I rolled over, slightly lifted one eye long enough to see that my friends coming from out of town were leaving Philly and on there way to DC, pressed the silence button on my phone, and quickly went back to sleep. I would process their message a couple hours later as I found myself rushing to get dressed for the Annual White House Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
But in that moment, sleep was my main focus.
At 9:00, I rolled over again, 30 minutes before I’d set my alarm to go off, and finally processed/panicked that they left their house at 7:30 that morning. “Oh shit,” I thought. “Who knew they were leaving so early?” Quickly, I rattled off the list of things I needed to do before they got to my place, and before I could even finish, I knew what 7:30 meant. It was way past time for me to get my arse up.
Luckily, I’d decided on my outfit a couple days before. Since I knew it would be cold, I’d planned an outfit of several layers including tights, tall socks, a long john shirt, leggings, a thick sweater with a collar that could become a hoodie, heavy coat, wool hat, and my new favorites – my grey knee-high boots I’d gotten as a random gift from my mom a couple months before.
I was so excited anytime I wore these boots, but today was going to be extra special – I’d be celebrating the lighting of the National Christmas Tree with the President of the United States in these boots. Sure, he wouldn’t actually see them, and I’d be sharing the moment with several thousand other people, but still – combining my favorite holiday, spending time with some of my favorite people, and being in the presence of a President I like (and voted for) – you can’t beat that with a stick!
So with my excitement in tow, I set about trying to finish as much as possible before I would need to leave the house. And I was almost done with everything when I got the call saying they were downstairs and ready to head out. CRAP. I’d managed to finish everything, but not be completely dressed. I slid on my shoes, thankful that I’d managed to break them in during homecoming, and after a few minutes, made my way downstairs to have someone help me bring everything to the car.
The rushing that occurred that morning would unfortunately be pretty indicative of the rest of the day, but even with the sense of urgency in the air, my excitement had yet to leave me. And it wouldn’t. By the time we finished eating lunch and getting Starbucks to go, we found ourselves damn near skipping to get in line for the ceremony, half of us with boots on, creating our own little inadvertent musical with the sound of our shoes clacking on the sidewalks. We’d gone to the ceremony the year before, but this time, we were more prepared and better layered. This would be good, we thought.
But after standing in line for hours, listening to carolers sing and discussing everything from Instagram to horrible roommate situations, and then sitting for hours waiting for the ceremony to start, the coldness began to make us a little delirious. How else can you explain our impromptu Christmas concert we decided to give everyone in our section? Oh and it was extensive. While carrying the beat with my boots (partially to keep my feet moving and warm), we began a song collection that included such gems as Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You, Donald Lawrence’s Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, TLC’s Sleigh Ride, Jackson 5′s I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus and more.
You would have thought we were a part of the show! Well, until you actually heard our voices. But the singing was indicative of the fact that the cold air hadn’t broken us. We were still in the groove and when they ceremony finally began, I was like a little kid, swinging my legs and boots in my chair from being so giddy. I mean the show began with Babyface and Neil Patrick Harris… that’s definitely enough to make a girl swing her feet, right?
By the end of the evening, we were dragging our tired and cold selves out of the park and to the Metro.I noticed at one point there was a distinct difference in the sound of our boots on the pavement now: instead of a skipping sound, it was more of a sliding sound, probably indicative of how much we’d worn ourselves out. But then I looked up and saw our expressions, even as tired as our legs were, the excitement was still there. And in that moment, a little skip came back to me and my boots, and I was happy to have shared that experience with them.