Chasenator and I stood in line for about 2 1/2 hours outside yesterday. Then once we crossed the threshold to stand inside the mall it was another 3 hours.
It was character building. Chase and I talked. We met the 3 women and 1 man in line in front of us and the 2 women behind us. 2 of the women were mother/daughter and the mom was from Champaign and the daughter lives in the little town where I went to school. More conversation later we found out that her husbands great-grandparents were the kind elderly couple that I knew from across the street growing up. I shoveled their walk and checked on them from time to time. I was 8-9 and remember them well.
After I wrote about us going here, my friends Braska Bear and SophieLophie and Alexander the GREAT called and said they were on their way as well. Their parental units were driving as they are 19 months, 8 months and 3 respectively.
Only in the Midwest would people be able to get out of line, grab a coat or coffee, take a potty break and come back to complete strangers and get right back in their place. THAT is why I love living here. THAT is why I love the Midwest. I really enjoyed the experience.
Here is what you need if you want to get through. Complete your application prior to going. Make it interesting. What threw me was that they want you to talk about yourself. Sell YOURSELF. Now I can talk about Chase, Andy, Larkin and Larkin’s Place allllll day long. But ask me to tell you about ME? Nah I’d rather not. It really changed what I wanted to talk about. You can’t talk about what you would do with the money. You can’t talk about projects. Just yourself for 20 seconds. It’s harder then you think.
Long story short they dismiss 99% right off the bat. At our table they left SophieLofie and me for the 2nd round. Did you know SophieLofie was born in a moving vehicle on an expressway prior to an ambulance coming AND she has surgery on her birthday AND her mom hiked up a mountain in Russia in a bikini.
Top that? I don’t think so. I didn’t even want to. Braska Bear and I were super excited that SophieLophie went on to the 3rd round and we waited.
Home around 8:30 p.m. with Chasenator doing his homework til 10. My feet’s are hurtin Maude. But it was worth it. It was worth it to meet fellow Midwesterners and know that kindness matters 🙂