Crazy and insightful. Because now that I know DC’s stress levels were off the charts I can MAYBE be a little more understanding as to why an EMPTY water bottle taken in to the Capitol Building’s Visitor Center would be such a serious matter…
The Day Marie Stood Up to the Government
“What’s that a statue of?” Michelle asked, pointing to the dome thing on the Capitol Building.
“I don’t know, but I bet it’s some Roman goddess watching over our Christian nation,” I said (and silently added, “And I bet Obama put it there”… can I get an ‘Amen’, Glenn?).
“Well, we’ll find out once we get inside, but we have to hurry. It’s already 9, and I’m not complaining, but our schedule DID say we’d be here at 8:30… not mad. Just saying.” That’s Shelly, and she had a schedule.
We walked past the Capitol building and talked about how if we lived here we’d be runners, because hello, this place is amazing! Who gets to take their morning jog past our country’s most amazing buildings? And we’d always take lunch on the steps of the Supreme Court building. And we’d ride the Metro alone. And not be scared.
Before we knew it we were at the entrance of the Capitol Building’s Visitor Center ready to take in our great country’s history in all her glory. And find out what that statue was sitting at the top of the dome thing.
But first we had to get in.
“Ladies, no food or drink is allowed inside,” said the security guard with a very mean mug. He was serious.
Shelly and I let him no that we did NOT have any food and drink and were ready to proceed, Sir, yes, Sir.
But Michelle. No, Michelle had to go and start trouble.
“I have this water bottle. This EMPTY water bottle.”
Oh, an EMPTY water bottle. That’s not food or drink. She wasn’t going to be as much trouble as I thought! I was ready to get to touring…
“Ma’am, you can NOT bring that inside,” said the mean-mugging security guard in a not nice way.
He told us ‘no’.
Did he not know that Michelle was the Valedictorian of Antioch High School’s Class of 2001? That Shelly was voted “Most Dependable”? That I refer to myself as a Carebear on my blog? Did he realize that he was being mean to THE GOOD KIDS?
More than that, this was not just a regular water bottle. It was a nice don’t-throw-away kind. Has the man never heard of being GREEN, dangit! AND IT WAS EMPTY.
“I see that. And you can put it in one of those two receptacles.”
Receptacle. Also known as big word for TRASH CAN.
He wanted her to throw away her nice EMPTY water bottle. We couldn’t do this. We’d have to change our sight-seeing plans.
So we stepped aside.
If I were talking to you in person this is the point in the story where I would start showing you how far away we were from the security guards at this point. I’d say, “See that chair? The guards were there, and we were standing by that desk. That’s right. We were, like, 5 feet, no, 4 feet away from the guards when they…”
When they START MAKING FUN OF US!
The security guards at the Capitol Building Visitor Center become a freakin’ comedy duo…
Mean-mugging guard: (in a girly voice) But it’s EMPTY. (in his normal voice) I see that. So?
Other guard: Ha, ha, ha! Yeah! Who cares!
Mean-mugging guard: I’m not blind, right? Man, people sure are…
Ok, I’m not going to say that he called us stupid, but I’m pretty sure that’s the point he was trying to make. It is at this point that I get mad. This mean guard has made a Carebear mad. I know, right?! You know the disgust you felt last night when Kanye was mean to the most famous Carebear in the world? Yeah, that’s the disgust you should have towards the mean security guards.
Because we GET rules. This particular group GETS rules better than most of America, in fact. AND we were not fighting that hard to get our empty water bottles in. We were simply disappointed because we didn’t want to throw the bottle away.
And then he made fun of us. With us standing THREE FEET AWAY. I’m probably the biggest proponent for making fun of people, but, please, have a little respect! At least wait until I can’t hear you!
So we walk all the way back to the sidewalk with Shelly and Michelle trying to rearrange our day.
“I’m mad. So mad. I want their… names. I want to turn their names in… to my Senator.”
Remember when you were in elementary school and the teacher would leave the room and she’d pick the most obedient student in the class to “take names” while she was gone? Well, I was almost always the most obedient student, but I was never picked because every teacher knew that Marie would never take a name. I was too nice and too afraid. What if people didn’t like me after I took their name? I always wanted to be a ballsy and brazen name-taker, but that was not my calling in life…
But that sunny Friday morning everything changed. I was going to take names… for my country.
I marched down to where the security guards stood.
“Excuse me,” I said assertively, “can I get your names?”
“Officer Can of Soup.”
“Officer Little Dude.”
Then my eyes found this…
I started silently cussing up a storm.
Police? Capitol (bleep) police? I thought you dudes were SECURITY GUARDS! Not (bleep) policemen! Policemen can shoot me! (Bleep)! Or arrest me! (Bleep) Mark is going to have to (bleep) come get me out of (bleep) jail! In (bleep) D.C.! BLEEP!
There was no turning back now.
“Well, Officer Sirs, I just want you to know that, well, the way you treated my friends and I was, um, really… mean.”
That’s right. I called the Officers mean. To their face.
Don’t mess with us.
*I didn’t want to make fun of the Capitol Police (can you bleeping believe that? POLICE!) on the anniversary of 9/11. Sorry for the delay.
And the Officers were super nice after I explained that I felt it was rude of them to make fun of us while we were there. They told Michelle to just hide her water bottle under the lining of the TRASH receptacle. This was great. But when we got done with the tour, someone went ahead and had thrown her bottle in the regular trash. Many signs point to Officer Can of Soup.
The fight for freedom is a long and hard one.