Saturday, July 25, 2009

So last night I attended a reception that the Columbia Alumni Association threw in honor of US Attorney General Eric Holder. Here is the hour by hour breakdown..and just so I can ruin some of the suspense in advance, President Obama (Columbia grad class of 1983) did not show up.

6:45: I get in the cab, take the 10 minute ride over to the City Club of Washington DC at Franklin Square, and I get out of the cab..and leave my cellphone in the backseat

6:46: I realize I left my cellphone in the cab, and I look and see the cab two blocks ahead at a red light, and I take off running Usain Bolt style (in a suit and tie) trying to catch it, and I fall way short.

6:47: The secret service agent (there to protect the Attorney General) politely stops me and asks me why I'm running so frantically, and I explain to him that my $400 cellphone was in the cab. He laughs at me, tells me to relax and get a drink, and then says that it will work out. I guess when you're carrying a gun like he was, you really don't sweat the small stuff. Still, I was stressed.

7:00: I look into the reception room, and see a sea of faces that I vaguely recognize from when they used to come over my parents house, but I'm not 100% sure I know them, so I ignore them initially. Everyone (including me) is dressed to the nines(whatever that means), smelling good, and drinking wine. The secret service guy asks me if I had any luck yet, and I said no, and he keeps laughing..great guy.

7:15: My mother arrives looking beautiful, and with her is her best friend from college, and my unofficial aunt, Ms. Sheila Abdus-Salaam. I had not seen Sheila in about 19 years, and she was one of the few people who still looked the same. She told me I looked like a distinguished man, and she was proud of me, but I'm too dark to blush so I didn't.

7:17: I pull my mother aside, explain to her that I left my cell in a cab, and she laughs too (what is it with these people?). I ask if I could use her phone to call my lady, and my phone. My lady says she'll keep calling my phone in hopes that someone will answer. I try to call a few times myself, but nothing happens.

7:20: While I'm on the phone with my lady, New York Governor David Paterson (Columbia Class of 1977) gets out of a secret service van and starts shaking hands with some folks outside. Immediately I think of the Saturday Night Live skit and I start chuckling, but then I saw the guns of the secret service agents, and I straightened up.

7:21: Somehow, Governor Paterson wiggled free of his handlers and the secret service, and he was trying to open the door to get inside, but since he's blind, of course he was clueless. Me being the Johnny-on-the-spot person that I am, I opened the door for him, spoke to him, and let him in the venue. When he heard my voice he asked my name, and I told him, we shook hands, and then I told him that he owed me a $10 tip. He laughed and then his handlers whisked him away so he could take pictures. That man owes me a ten spot.

7:25-7:50: I become my mother's personal slave and I met a series of people who either knew me while my mother was pregnant, or they held me when I was a baby. Everyone dazzled me with stories of how I was as an infant, how they helped pick my name, and how wild my father was in college. This was the best part of the evening, and it provided me with endless bribery material, which is all you want as a child.

7:51: One of my father's fraternity brothers saw my name tag, asked if I was Michael Mobley's son, and when I told him I was, he put me in the headlock of life, and started taking me around like I was his son. I met all of my father's frat brothers, and each of them told they made my father into the man he was. Every one of them smelled like they had been drinking since 4pm, but they made me feel right home..and they got me drinks, which is what your elders are supposed to do.

7:52 It was at this point that I wished my father and brother had come along..my father bailed for reasons I will not discuss in this here blog, and my brother just couldn't come. So I had nowhere to hide all night, and I was out of my comfort zone with all the damn small talk, but you know what? I survived.

7:55: My mother took me to meet Eric Holder. I shook his hand, told him I indirectly worked for him at the Dept of Justice, and he was pleasantly surprised. He told me that my parents were beautiful smart people, and I was very lucky. He also told me that I should come see him in his office some time to talk to him, which made me feel way more important than I am. I wanted to take a picture of him, but there were people mobbing him, and I was just glad to get in a brief conversation. I WILL be going up to his office for some face time..please believe that

8:07: My lady calls my mother's cell phone and she let's me know that the cab driver has located my phone and he is on his way back to where I am to deliver it...Thank god

8:15: While I am waiting for the cab driver to deliver my cellphone, I see my godparents get out of a cab. They are both Columbia grads, and I had not seen them since 1990. I think this is when I was the most giddy. I hugged them both and had a damn good conversation with them. Everyone looked older, but man words can't convey how happy I was to see them.

8:25: The cab driver gave me my phone, then sweet talked his way into $20 out of me. Considering how much I would have had to pay if I lost the phone, I didn't mind giving it to him..until he got this goofy ass smile on his face on I gave him the money...

8:40: The host of the evening made a joke that this area really is the District of Columbia...and I laughed

8:45: I made my last rounds, said goodnight to everyone and left the event...


I really wish my father had been there. I got tired of answering the question, "Where's your dad?". Plus it just would have been nice for to see him interacting with his college buddies, reliving his youth..Still, my mother was there looking happy and radiant, and I was glad she could show me off. I really didn't get to take pictures, but the conversations I had were worth much more. Here's the only pic I got of Eric Holder.

2 comments:

sixfive said...

Damn, I'm glad just to know you, Big-Time. Ha! You gotta love when someone like Eric Holder is like 'come through sometime and talk to me'. Make sure you do that.

Janelle said...

Good luck getting that 10 spot from my Governor. lol

and you need a man purse - murse if you will- for your damn cell phone!!! lol

All in all good times, indeed. And make that face time happen sooner than later. Climb that political ladder, buddy. lol