Oh, travel. You fickle harlot.
Somewhere along the way, we’d decided to drive to DC on the day of our meeting with our representative. I think it was partly a comfort concern–we were staying at my cousin Ceil’s apartment near Philly, and it’s got great things like a guest room and a shower. It was also partly a money concern–the park closest to DC is also very expensive–twice the price of some RV parks–so we didn’t want to stay there two nights. It takes about 2 1/2 to 3 hours to get from Philly to DC, and our meeting was at 1 p.m. We left at 7:09 a.m. I looked at the clock on the way out. I remember being proud of us for coming very close to making the 7 a.m. goal we’d set.
We arrived, all of us, dogs included, in the car, minus the trailer, at 12:59 p.m. I got out with Frances while Ami went to look for parking. I blame the Maryland highway system, and in our very roundabout detour I had enough time to call them and make a complaint. They’re sending me a form to make a claim against them. Do you think they’ll send me money for pissing me off?
Attention Maryland Department of Transportation: if you have a special detour for people carrying propane tanks, you must let them know before the exit on the highway that takes you to that detour.
There. I’ve vented that. Now we can move on.
The House Office Building is pretty impressive. Long hallways where women’s shoes click so loud you can hear them at the other end of the corridor. Well, most of the women in the building, anyway. My rubber-soled shoes didn’t even squeak. All of the offices have round metal plaques that invite you to come on in. We arrived at Inslee’s door just as another guy did, and since he was in a wheelchair, I held the door for him. The front room was crowded with men in suits who smiled at me as I pushed Frances in the door. I must have looked pretty out of place. Stroller. Rubber-soled shoes. Jeans. (Black, but still.)
Before we had a chance to worry about where we’d sit, Laura, the woman who’d been so patient with our scheduling needs, popped out of an office in back and introduced herself. She also said that Jay was held up in a meeting and introduced us to his aide, David. I was a little crushed. People more experienced than us in political matters had warned us that we might not get to meet with the Rep himself, only an aide.
It was a huge disappointment. We’d traveled so far. We’d waited in the Northeast so our schedule would match up with Inslee’s. This was, however, no time to quit. We would have our meeting, with whomever was there to listen. And with any luck, we’d get to speak to the man himself at some point.