Wyndi: Sitting next to the President
The Monday after her meal with President Obama, Wyndi was still reeling.
"My feet haven't even hit the ground yet," she said. "It was unbelievable. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, just like I anticipated it would be."
"All the advice I'd gotten from family and friends was to live in the moment," she added. "That was the best advice anyone could have given me: just take all of it in so you don't forget it. In some ways it felt like it went really fast, and in other ways it just flowed perfectly."
Wyndi admitted she was nervous heading into the restaurant—especially after a late-breaking announcement:
"There was a team there documenting the experience and helping out. They came up to my room as I was putting on the finishing touches, and just as we were wrapping up, they said, 'Okay, the big news of the day is that you have been placed next to the President.' My heart just stopped. I was so excited and nervous, I thought it was just really cool. It hit me again once we saw the table.
"But once the President walked through the door though, and he introduced himself to each of us and sat down, it was so comfortable and relaxed. That was all due to him—he really puts everyone at ease. It just felt like a candid conversation among friends. At some points I even forgot who I was sitting next to because he was just that personable.
"He was so gracious, the way he kept the conversation going and asked each of us questions, giving us ample time to answer. We all genuinely had just a really good time. Everyone made sure each of us was involved, I guess you could say it was very fair for everybody. And it was fun learning about the backgrounds of the other winners, getting to know each of them: all the areas of the country where they come from, their work history, their families. And the President really wanted to know, too, you could tell."
One of Wyndi's favorite parts of the experience, she said, was learning more about the President's role as a parent.
"I didn't know whether he would want to talk about his children, and none of us wanted to invade their privacy, but once he brought them into the mix, it seemed like we were all just talking about our children the way you would with friends around the dinner table."
Of course there were some differences:
"It was certainly entertaining hearing about his personal stories, and one thing that surprised me was when he told us the one thing he misses most is driving. I was joking with him, and I suggested he could do that with a disguise. He gave me this big smile and said, 'Oh, I've thought of that.' Of course he's not going to do a disguise, but it was so cool of him to share that with us.
"In the end, that's what I'm going to remember: He's just like us. He's a father, he's a husband, and he's a man with responsibilities outside of his job."
No purchase, payment, or contribution necessary to enter or win. Contributing will not improve chances of winning. Void where prohibited. Entries must be received by June 26, 2012. You may enter by contributing to Obama Victory Fund 2012 here or click here to enter without contributing. Three winners will each receive the following prize package: round-trip tickets for winner and a guest from within the fifty U.S. States, DC, or Puerto Rico to a destination to be determined by the Sponsor; hotel accommodations; and dinner with President Obama on a date to be determined by the Sponsor (approximate retail value of all prizes $4,800). Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Promotion open only to U.S. citizens, or lawful permanent U.S. residents who are legal residents of 50 United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and 18 or older (or age of majority under applicable law). Promotion subject to Official Rules and additional restrictions on eligibility. Sponsor: Obama for America, 130 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601.