That One Time I (almost) Met Bill Clinton

REAL TALK ALERT: I haven’t slept in two days. Which is terrible for me, but presumably great for you because I have more time to write! Today, I turn to The Daily Post once more for writing inspiration. The writing prompt for July 4 is:

Tell us about the last time you had a real, deep, crying-from-laughing belly laugh.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us JOYFUL.

The summer before my senior year holds some of my most cherished memories. It also holds some of my weirdest memories. CASE IN POINT: That summer, my friends and I came this close to meeting former U.S. President, Bill Clinton.

…Perhaps I should start from the beginning.

My friend, Caitlin’s, dad is a security guard for the Minnesota capital building. As a result, he’s gotten the opportunity to meet dozens of famous politicians that happened to be passing through. I’d never given this too much thought before: There honestly aren’t that many political superstars I’d like to meet (Besides Leslie Nope, of course). Despite this fact, when Caitlin informed me that her father would be guarding former President Bill Clinton, I FREAKED OUT. 

I can’t explain it. I’d never held any desire to meet him before, but in that moment, I wanted nothing more. My friends, Tanner and Hannah, were equally enthused. We begged Caitlin’s father to let us come, too, until he finally agreed. Our hearts sang! We immediately began preparing for what was sure to be the most important day of our young lives.

How does one prepare to meet the president?, you ask? Why, you purchase fake beards to wear with him in your photo, of course!

The next day, we drove as quickly as we could to a costume store. It should be noted that this particular costume store was also half of a furniture store called International Touch. This name alone was enough to distract us for a bit: we ran around the furniture store, looking at all of the intricate fabrics from foreign lands and slowly alienating the store’s owners, a tiny middle eastern couple.

Eventually, though, we pulled ourselves together and entered the costume-oriented part of the store, searching until we hit the mother-load: BEARDS. Dozens and dozens of them, of all lengths, colors, and girths.

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Maybe “Pulled ourselves together” isn’t the right way to put it.

After we chose the perfect pair for us and the prez, we began making our way to the capital.

…Only to receive a phone call from Caitlin telling us not to bother.

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN?!” I said, as calmly as I could under the circumstances, “This is all i’ve ever wanted! WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN US?”

“My dad says that nobody is going to get to meet him! He brought his own security guards.”

“Okay. Thanks for trying.” I said, defeatedly.

Me, Tanner, and Hannah drove home in silence, our dream crushed. Our heats sat heavy in our chests until I had an idea.

“Hey! Why don’t we go visit Sarah?!” Sarah was our much quieter, much more reserved friend. The thought of ambushing her at her house, our faces cloaked in our warm facial hair, was enough to bring a smile to our faces once more.

I called her to let her know we were on our way. She responded with the expected amount of panic.

“No! I’m not even home!” she pleaded.

We were convinced that she was lying to us, and were determined that no amount of opposition on her part stop us from strapping a beard to her face as well.

Turns out, she was telling the truth. But that didn’t stop us from taking pictures around her house.

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Later that week, we discovered that CAITLIN’S FATHER HAD MET THE PRESIDENT AFTER ALL! Bill Clinton had personally greeted every member of the security staff.

None of that mattered to us, though. We just remembered the day we’d spent together. We remembered trying on horse heads at the costume store. We remembered harassing Sarah at her house. Above all, we remembered the drive home together, united by facial hair, laughs, and friendship.

Kiana.

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