Last month we were able to go hear Bill Clinton speak as part of the Florida Forum, an annual fund-raising event for Wolfson Children’s Hospital. The Clinton Foundation sounds like it is doing some really impressive stuff. It’s great to see someone use their fame in a way that could really changes peoples’ lives for the better. While listening to the former president speak, I was struck by the blog-worthiness of the whole event, and fully intended to go straight home and write up my impressions. However, my need for sleep overpowered my need to convey to the world both the odd and the meaningful aspects of the occasion. The week moved on, I got involved with preparing for my NaNoWriMo project, and next thing you know, it’s a month and a half later.
So, although the freshness of the impressions are gone, here they are anyway, in no particular order:
- When standing on stage in front of thousands of the most powerful people in town, always clasp your hands in front of your body. Clasping them behind your back makes you look stocky. And uncomfortable.
As part of his speech, President Clinton referred to the “vibrant downtown” in Jacksonville. Obviously the former president had door-to-door limousine service, because otherwise, he would have had the same death fear we had when walking back to our car, which was parked about three blocks away from the TU Center. Vibrant is not a word I would have used to describe the environment. Completely and utterly deserted would be a little more accurate.
- What is it about being in the middle of an auditorium, in the middle of the row, in the pitch-black dark that makes me desperately need to pee?
- It says something about society life that attendees were allowed to bring wine into the auditorium, but not food. I think it’s a lot easier to vacuum up popcorn than it is to get Merlot stains out of cream-colored carpet. We snuck in some peanut M&Ms anyway. It’s hard to concentrate when you’re hungry.
- When a speaker coughs constantly throughout his speech, it’s much less distracting for him to stop and take a drink than it is for the audience to spend the entire speech wondering if he’s going to pass out before he finishes talking. For half of the evening, all I could think was why won’t someone give that man a drink of water? As it turns out, there were two bottles hidden behind the podium the whole time. He brought them over to the chairs with him for the “interview” half of the presentation. Note to President Clinton: Next time, just stop and take a drink. We want you too. Really.