Friday, March 27, 2009

Just some big rabbits?

8 AM. Phone rings. It's Mary. "They're on!" We'd all been checking since Midnight. The website didn't say when on Thursday they'd start the process...

Mary, Heather and I start clicking, clicking, clicking, in our own houses, with our children at our heels, asking for breakfast.

The screen tells me to "Chill for a minute..." as I wait to see if I'm winning the lottery...

Wow! Chill? How does the computer know I'm getting hot?

Then we are all waiting, waiting, waiting as our computers clock out time after time. Each of us has a glimmer of hope along the way--we each get codes, plug them in & click, but then the browsers clock again...and no confirmation page comes up.

None of us is excited about this new process to get tickets for the White House Easter Egg Roll. We're locals, and we were looking forward to sleeping overnight on the Mall, queuing up early Saturday morning, the day before Easter, and getting all of our tickets for the same time slot, so we could get on the lawn the day after Easter.

After an hour of no progress, I had to get my daughter to ice skating, Mary had a meeting. Our original plan was to meet on Friday before Easter, sleep all night among the other crazies who'd traveled across country to do the same, and wake in the morning to get in line. Instead, while our husbands were all at work, and we were, too, we couldn't dedicate a full day to this venture!

I called The Post at 9 AM. They were not interested in talking to me (though they ended up picking up the story later in the day). Then I called a local CBS affiliate, who came to the house to interview me about the frustrating process.

I had the video embedded here, but it auto-starts, so, here is the link, if you are interested enough to see me animated!

In the scheme of all the craziness in America, I know this may seem like a petty pursuit. But, last year was a sweet spot on our calendar--our first time to be on the White House lawn--and we went with friends. The nation is depressed. Our family's finances have never been tighter. A little gift from the White House would be awfully nice right now, when they are using my tax dollars to bail out Big, Irresponsible Businesses. I don't have a mortgage that is too big for my income (nope, we opted to rent when we moved up here, to avoid the overinflated home prices). I don't have decades of debt from irresponsible credit spending (nope, we have one credit card that we use occasionally, and do our best to keep it at a zero balance). We clip coupons, and bake our own bread. We pay for the public schools to stay in business, by living in an expensive county with "great schools," but then spend our own hard-earned money to pay additional expenses for all of our homeschooling texts, trips & materials.

All I'm saying, is that the WHEER was a nice Springtime event to look forward to. We've been considering this year's event since last year's, when Teagan was so thrilled at the end of it all, that at age 2 she wanted to tell everyone who called our house, "Me go Easser House. Me not fared (scared) of Easser rabbits!"

But, this is about so much more than big rabbits. This is a local tradition. There is energy and buzz and excitement, and Mr. McFeely, for crying out loud!!

So, all three of us mommas returned to the screen again & again all day, experiencing the same issues as in our first hour--until we got the final word around 6 PM:

"Tickets are no longer available for the 2009 White House Easter Egg Roll."

Not this year. Not for even one of us.

Bah humbug.

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