I have been blessed in my life to meet some amazing people, and experience some truly magical moments. I truly hope to never forget how special some of the things I get to participate in are.
So, its with gratitude that I share my experience on the lunch I attended earlier today at Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s house.
It was a fundraiser. I got an email for it, decided it was a nice opportunity to finally make the donation I had yet to make, and went by myself as I was curious about what Michelle Obama is like in person. (As stated earlier, I have been blessed. I have met and heard Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama speak in the past.)
I was probably one of the first people to arrive, and found I had been assigned to a table right in the back. Generally I know that that the “Deepak Chopra’s daughter” card can be used to get to a better table, but my intent was truly to listen and watch (and I am generally very shy about using that card!).
(All that said, it felt like an intimate gathering – my guess is 200-250 people as it was set up as a lovely lunch where people got to chat and mingle.)
So I sat down, checked my email and watched as people entered. (By the way, the Smiths have an amazing house. It’s very elegant and peaceful.)
Jada Pinkett Smith came to the tent just after I got there, and was actually personally making sure everything was in order. Boy, is she beautiful in person!
She warmly welcomed people as they came in, but being awkward and shy as stated above, I sat at my table and didn’t go talk to her. As luck would have it, she headed in my direction to check the tables, and Salma Hayek arrived at the same time and came to say hi to her. Since my dad knows Salma, I did get up to say hi to her, and then she introduced me to Jada who was super nice, gracious and welcoming. So I got my celeb encounter for the day.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of my friends was at the lunch, so I had someone to chat and people watch with. So much fun!!
I was thrilled with my table mates. Sitting next to me was a hair dresser who had organized a yard sale to raise money for the Obama campaign. She had been invited to the lunch and just couldn’t believe she was there – she had been screaming with excitement for a week. She was so thrilled to see celebrities, pointing out Demi Moore, Katy Perry and lots of others – including agents and entertainment honchos – whom I had no idea who they were! I loved sitting with her at this fancy lunch, because she was so authentically thrilled to be there and had no pretenses about it.
(I sat next to another intriguing guy who I am convinced is a spy – but that is a another story. And I am sure he will google me, find and read this blog, and I will be very embarrassed for writing that he is a spy – which he probably isn’t – but its more fun to imagine he is. So no more info!)
Fancy lunch, fancy people watching, amazing house on a beautiful day. Even without the FLOTUS it was a great afternoon.
And then she came!
Jada Pinkett Smith gave her the most eloquent introduction. As Michelle Obama stepped to the podium, her presence was strong and calm, fresh and fun. She spoke passionately about Obama – like she did at the convention – the man of conviction that she fell in love with 20+ years ago.
She talked about how they as a couple had been blessed with hard working parents and grandparents, with financial aid to both get an amazing education, and with opportunities to succeed.
She reminded us how America is built on people helping each other, and that those who have seen success help others achieve success too.
She pointed out the dismal state of affairs the country was in 4 years ago, and the hard work it has taken for America to begin getting out of that black hole ravaged by the Bush years.
And, she recounted the successes of this administration, stressing how it takes time to shift the tide, and the next 4 years is critical to continue the work.
Yes, it was a political speech, but she spoke in a way that made it personal and passionate.
She pointedly reminded everyone that this election is very, very close.
She directly asked people to donate more if they could or to ask our friends to donate if they could give more. So, I ask you, my friends, to donate if you can. Go to www.barackobama.com to donate or find out how to get involved.
She said you can also get involved by traveling to critical states (if you don’t live in one) and knocking on doors to get people out to vote.
I have heard many amazing people speak in my life, but Michelle Obama ranks at the top of the list.
I love that she is unapologetically a mom first, but she is as smart, articulate, and powerful as any other leader out there. She makes me proud to be an American – representing that sacred American dream where every person deserves the opportunity to work hard, succeed and give back to their world.
So, again, with gratitude, I share my day and use it as an opportunity to remind each one of you to vote.
I came home and filled out my ballot – which I am mailing in this year. I read through every choice with my kids, and we discussed what each issue entailed and why I was making certain choices.
I know many of my friends and readers are making different choices than I am – which somehow, with difficulty, I will come to terms with! I just hope we never take for granted the blessing we have to live in a country where we chose our leaders and have a voice in shaping our destinies.