The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Georgie On My Mind

"America is a Nation with a mission - and that mission comes from our most basic beliefs. We have no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire. Our aim is a democratic peace - a peace founded upon the dignity and rights of every man and woman." - George W. Bush

There have been times when I have asked myself, "Ashton, if you were 5 inches away from a famous person or public figure, what would you do?" While I often daydreamed about how I would smile, how I would look, what I would say...I now know the real answer.

I sweat. Profusely. And I stutter a little bit.

George W. Bush was on campus last night to speak as part of the American Studies Distinguished Lectureship series. I worked as a student worker for 4 years in that office, and they let me step back into my old role for this special evening.

Not many people got to meet him so I was honored to be behind the scenes for this special occasion. The staff was in line to meet him...and then it started. Beads of sweat started forming on my forehead and pretty soon it was almost like I-just-took-a-shower material; but unfortunately, not the whole fresh water from a faucet kind of look.

Regardless of my post-basketball-game physical state, I still asserted myself and went straight for one of his arms when it was picture time. He was a little shorter than I had always pictured. He put his arm around, grazing my back slightly. It is then that it dawns on me that he probably just got swiped with Ashton perspiration. Awesome. I meet the Commander-in-Chief and he probably wants to executive order me a bath.

I would like to say that after the hug I uttered something profound like, "Sir, thank you for what you did for our country" or "It was a pleasure meeting you; thank you for the picture" or "You were the President I voted for in my first election when I was 18."

Instead, it was something like this:

"It'''s an honor."

What's an honor? Come on, Ashton. You WRITE for a living. You put beautiful words together on a page. You stir up emotion in people every day. Unfortunately, there are no instant do-overs when you meet famous people; it's like the curtains have closed and you are shuffled from the stage.

When I took my seat, I noticed that the staff section was right next to the fire department section. "Could this night get any better?" I asked myself. To be honest, I watched the President most of the time, but in slow parts, I peered at Mr. Fireman Hottie to my left. I contemplated using some fire department-esque pick-up line on him, but opted for nothing. "Call the fire department because you are ON FIRE!" just did not seem appropriate for this momentous evening.

I really enjoyed the President's speech; he was funny, lighthearted and down to earth. Even though he is not the most eloquent speaker, he is genuinely kind and sincere and I love that about him. I would rather listen to a sincere guy make up words and flub up lines than hear a masterful man of words spout lies and false promises. He is true to his values and beliefs even when they are not popular; I realize that he made plenty of mistakes when he was in office, but I also know that he really loves America and tried to do the right thing and stand up for freedom.

Even though I only spent a minute with him tops, I could still tell that he was a good 'ol country boy from Texas. He was kind to everyone, didn't have an uppity attitude and I was very lucky to have had this experience. Sweat and all, an honor.


Blogger HannahKey said...

Hahaha, you are hilarious. His daddy, George Bush, Sr., was at a theater show Scott and I went to last weekend. He was within 100 yds. of us and I had the opportunity to walk right up to him, but I didn't. I was too scared of what I would do, haha. I'm sure it would have been very similar to your experience. "Uh.... thanks for your service?" lol

Love you.

April 23, 2010 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Ronda said...

Glad you got the chance to have this experience. We enjoyed getting the opportunity to be there too.

April 23, 2010 at 10:48 PM  

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