Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How I came to embarrass myself in front of 500 people or the time I kind of got hit on by Bill Clinton

I met Bill Clinton in October of 2006.

Back in college I was a member of the USM College Democrats. In the fall of 2006, Maine's governor was campaigning for reelection and Bill Clinton came to speak at our college as a fundraiser. There were only 500 tickets and they were very expensive. Although I had loved Bill for a long time, there was pretty much no chance that I would get to see him.

About two days before the big event, our club president informed us that we were going to get to stand on stage behind Bill while he spoke. OH MY GOD ON STAGE MERE FEET AWAY FROM BILL CLINTON!!!! I was elated.

The day of the rally, we had to be on campus and ready to go at about 9am, even though the speech wasn't happening until early afternoon. Security was VERY tight so our group of 20+ was pushed into a small, windowless room with no food, windows, or drinks and not enough seats for everyone to sit while we waiting for the event to start. We were in there for HOURS. We were hot, hungry, thirsty, and tired. But we were going to be on stage. BEHIND BIG B.C.! I could hardly contain myself.

Thankfully, about an hour and a half before we were to be officially released to the stage, they allowed us to go to the small snack bar in the building next door. I got water and some crackers and returned to the tiny holding cell room to wait.

FINALLY an aide came to retrieve us and told us to quietly, in a single file line, head out onto the stage and arrange ourselves on the three rows of risers. There we got to stand for about an hour as different local politicians gave their speeches (including the governor). We stood there under hot lights in a crowded auditorium knowing that soon enough we would be staring at the back of Bill Clinton's head.

After what seemed like an eternity of yawn inducing political drivel inspiring campaign speeches, the moment finally came. Bill Clinton stepped before us and took over the mic. Such an exciting moment in our lives!

Of course, it would have been easier to feel excited if I wasn't sweating from the lights, hungry, thirsty, and tired from standing for hours. As I tried to focus on Billy C's words I began to feel extremely nauseaus. "Oh dear god," I thought to myself. "Please don't let me throw up right now. Please." The wooziness continued, and as I stared at the back of Bill's head, I was slightly alarmed to find that it felt like I was looking through a dark tunnel that kept getting wider and smaller, wider and smaller.

Now let me just say, that until that moment I have never fainted in my life, and I never have since. But of course the one fainting experience in my life would happen while I'm on stage in front of 500 people and camera crews and behind the glorious myth that is Bill Clinton.

That's right, I fainted. Luckily not many people in the audience even noticed, and there was not mention of it on television. I was standing in the middle of the three rows and it happened very quickly. I fell back on the guy behind me and sank, he and another person caught me just before I hit the floor. I opened my eyes shocked to see my fellow College Dems looking down around me and stood up. A woman came over and waved me off stage. I went to her.

"Oh my gosh are you ok???"

", I'm fine I think."

"Here's some water, has this happened before?"

"Thanks. No, never."

"Come over here and sit down."

Bill was almost done with his speech. I knew when he was through he'd turn and shake all of our hands. I didn't want to miss that.

"No I'm fine."

"I really think that..."

"I'm fine! I'm ok! I need to get back out there!"

I skulked back onto the stage and stood on the side of the risers just as Bill was getting a standing ovation. He turned and shook all of our was amazing.

After that he was quickly ushered away by security and we were all ready to leave the stage. Just then an aide with an earpiece came running out.

"Where's the girl that fainted?!?"

We were all silent for a moment.

"Bill wants to see the girl that fainted!"

I was in shock and still pretty woozy and confused from the whole passing out incident. Some friends pointed to me and the aide grabbed my arm and led me into a small area that Bill and the governor were in.

Bill looked at me and chuckled. "Are you ok?"

I nodded.

"Haha, I didn't know I could still make young girls faint!"

I shit you not that's exactly what he said.

I laughed stupidly, completely in shock. He gave me a hug then yelled out "Someone get me a camera!"

The aide that had retrieved me ran off and returned a moment later with a camera. I stood in between Bill and the governor and had my picture taken. Then they just walked away...with the camera.

So somewhere out there in the great wide world is a picture of me looking all flushed and sweaty with Bill Clinton and governor Baldacci by my sides. If I didn't have so many witnesses, I'd swear this never happened.

But it did.


CLR said...

Jen, that is an amazing story and sooo FUNNY! That's one for the kids and grandkids!

.:*aMbAr*:. said...

LOL!! freakin perv! [no offense anybody]

f8hasit said...

What a great story!
See, if you hadn't fainted you wouldn't have been singled out.

crone51 said...

That is hilarious. I surfed over from checking on the Spohrs and saw your headline and had to check this out!

Boots the Awesome said...

Hahahahaha. That totally just made my day. How did I not hear this story before!?

Jen T said...

Christie - I know, it is a good one.

f8hasit - Right? Everyone was kind of mad at me I think because I got to see him just because I fainted. I'd do it again!

crone51 - Welcome! I thought the title would grab some attentin, haha.

Boots - I know, I actually hadn't thought of it in awhile! Somehow it was such a blur that I hardly think of it. Now that it's written down I won't forget!

Dishwasher Wife said...

WOW. That's such an AWESOME story! If I were you, I'd hunt down the picture and frame it!

feefifoto said...

Anything for attention, eh?

JD at I Do Things said...

OH. My. God. That is an awesome story! If that had happened to me, I'd probably make my entire blog about it, not just a post. You picked a good time to faint.

Jen T said...

Gina - I feel the same way...but I don't even know where to begin!

Feefifoto - Pretty much!

JD - Haha, I know. It surprises me that I forget about this story so often. Everything that day was just so crazy...and yeah, it was definitely as good a time to faint as any!

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

This a brilliant story.

(And I don't think you "kind of" got hit on. I think you TOTALLY got hit on.)

kathryn said...

Oh, Jen! Hysterical and humiliating all at the same time! I agree w/the others....somehow, you managed to turn passing out into a photo op!
Great job!

Jen T said...

Lisa - Welcome! Yeah, I guess you're right!

Kathryn - Yes, I definitely saw an opportunity and ran with it, haha!