Today I got the chance to meet one of my heroes. After standing in line for more hours than I care to count, I got 10 seconds to hold the hand of Bill Clinton. He's taller than I thought.
When I say he's my hero, it's because I have nothing but respect for this man, I'm constantly inspired by his work and it was an honor just to meet him. And I told him so. Well, not the hero part. I've got some shred of self respect left. You wouldn't know it by how excited I was and how I stood in line and said to anyone who would listen that the pesky amendment about term limits should be repealed.
For hours we stood in line talking and joking. Come on, it's Slick Willie, of COURSE we were cracking jokes. Finger wagging denials of sexual relations, Hillary impersonations. Someone suggested we younger women ask him to sign body parts. Afterwards my husband asked, "Did he offer you a cigar?"
All the joking stopped when we finally rounded a corner and could actually see The Man. People got quiet, reflective, and started talking about how he's touched their lives. It was amazing to see the passion he inspires in so many different people. In our little group there was an older woman who said she'd been a Southern Republican her whole life until Bill came along. A kid with a huge yellow mohawk. Two older black women who were giggling like little girls when they got close enough to get nervous. A dentist from Minnesota. A young woman from Pakistan who said she knows that Bill means to do good and change the world. The craziest part about it? All these people were so open, and so visibly moved by their 10 second meeting with him.
This isn't something I'd normally do, the whole standing in line for hours thing just to shake someone's hand. I'm not dazzled blind by rock stars or celebrities. I don't hang out at tour busses after concerts. This time though, I knew it was a once in a lifetime chance to shake the hand of someone who really has worked to change the world. Damn, should have worn a blue dress.