Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Yesterday, my fashion statement was a long-sleeved t-shirt with a halftone image of our 44th President and the date: 1.20.09. (I noticed that Sheryl Crow was wearing the same shirt when she performed at the Lincoln Memorial concert Sunday. You can have one too, free - see the end of this post.) I wore it as I watched the inauguration in my office conference room in the company of my co-workers, the vast majority of whom had never known a president who wasn't either named Bush or known for pursuing it.

For six minutes beginning at noon, I worried that there would be an assassination, somehow engineered by Cheney from his wheelchair, before the oath of office could be administered. But it turns out that according to Amendment 20 of the Constitution, the presidency started at noon anyway.

Then it occurred to me that it would be possible for someone with evil designs to do whatever he wanted in those six minutes because he hadn't taken the oath yet and blame it on Aretha and that hat or Yo-Yo Ma. (Speaking of whom, I loved the quartet's playing, but I must say that my low opinion of John Williams' arrangements continues unabated, and while I'd like to think the players' characteristics were simply a reflection of our gorgeous mosaic, the inclusion of an Asian, an African-American, a Latina and a disabled Jew was a little too calculated.)

It all turned out fine. The speech said what it needed to, and our new President said it well. The First Family looked fabulous, and while I had some quibbles with the First Lady's ensemble by Isabel Toledo (I thought it was a bit too long, the cardigan/scarf thing threw off the line, and the bow that closed the coat flapped too much in the breeze), I loved the color and shape and wish I could get pashmina linings and hand-quilted cotton, as she apparently did, incorporated into all my winter garments so I could go coatless.

I am proud to have supported President Barack Obama. I pray that the hope and desire for change that brought him into office has not been misplaced. And I am ready to do my part to help that change happen. Including sending an unworn, short-sleeved version of the shirt I wore yesterday, men's size L, to the first person who e-mails me to ask for it.

(The Obamas have an inaugural dance, and look good doing it (her dress by Jason Wu; photo from Michelle O. Style.)

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