Where’s My Corsage?

It feels to me like a prom date. John asked Sarah, I can’t believe it. How could he like her? He doesn’t even know her. How could he pick her, when he could have picked me?

Truly. The more that is revealed about the competency of McCain’s running-mate, the more I know that I would have been a fabulous choice for Vice President. Really, had John and I met, even for oh, fifteen minutes, he would have been swept. Swooned. Sold. I know it. And here’s why.

Mind you, it’s not because I am a female person. Making a case for myself purely on the basis of ovaries and X chromosomes would be insulting to gals across the globe, as everybody knows, even the ones who say they don’t. Girls do that sometimes, something about self-esteem or getting paid as much for the same job or being told to get married when they are seventeen when they probably would rather, well, go to the prom. Wipe drool off your shoulder or compare dyed-to-match pumps with your friends? C’mon.

Anyway, back to me and my candidacy. To begin with, I would have read a speech well, too, especially to a welcoming crowd. It’s easy to read. I was in a few plays, it’s the projection that’s hard for me, which is why I mostly danced. But that is what microphones are for. Most likely, I would have written all of the words in The Big Speech That Would Put Me On The Political Map, but that’s because I’m an Ivy League English major. Uh oh, shhh, don’t tell.

Despite my birth in Manhattan and liberal northeastern upbringing, my life story is pretty compelling. When we moved to the suburbs, Mom taught elementary school for 27 years. Her first day of kindergarten was mine, too. When we were home, she was home. Work, balance and all that. Dad was a surgeon, child of the Depression. He played shortstop. Had immigrant parents. Grandma wrote a column in a local Boston newspaper, about feminism. It was 1940. Papa Louie, Mom’s dad, was a pattern maker, and owned a dress company. Better dresses, they were called, not for every day. Creationism to me means fabrics and shirring and seams. Paint and papier mache.

I grew up with certain expectations, the same ones I now impart to my daughters, who, by the way, are not pregnant. They know, at eleven and just about thirteen, that a body can make babies when it is not married, but that making them before you are married is a bad idea. And they’ve been educated about ways to prevent this bad idea from limiting your future. They think Bristol’s mom should have been aware that she needed help. But that is because of the life they know. When my girls were born, I decided to work from our house. I did not want to hear from a helper person that my fifteen month old walked for the first time. Once, I conducted a telephone interview with a public official, half-naked and on my knees, nursing and writing simultaneously, my infant propped on the bed in front of me. I tried to improve my scheduling after that, but sometimes, you cannot plan.

Everything was easier, of course, when I was married and there was a second income. As a single mother, I face difficult logistical and financial challenges, but I have turned down office jobs and child-watchers to be available to my children, especially now, when pre-teen girls need the security that comes from parental presence and open communication, every time of day. I would have said that in my acceptance speech. I think the crowd would have woo-hooed.

I would have wanted the audience to know, too, that I am an excellent budgeter, which is tough to be with Mr. Bush’s gasoline and food prices. If, for instance, someone gave me money for, say, my girls’ college tuition, or a bridge, maybe, I wouldn’t use it for a spa treatment. And, as much as my ex-husband may be difficult sometimes, I would not try to have him fired. That’s too easy. I beat his attorney in court three times instead, without a lawyer. That was spunky. (Click Here to Read Story) Oh, and I was Founder and President of the Dance Club in high school. The folks would think my executive and entrepreneurial experience was impressive. And now, I write articles for slews of magazines and newspapers and recently, rallied against the building of high-wattage power lines in our neighborhood and helped my kids sell homemade bookmarks to raise money for the abandoned Katrina animals. And what about those books? Love books. And librarians. I do not think that one person should be allowed to decide which books another person can read. I bet John will tell Sarah to get contact lenses because her glasses make her look like a librarian. But maybe they want her to look like a librarian. Librarians get a bad rap.           

Of course, John would have been happy to know, I’ve traveled overseas and across the mainland, and lived in nearly ten U.S. cities. The best part is, my ancestors were Russian, which makes me quite the expert. I’ve had the borscht, with sour cream, yes I have. Borscht, Putin, easy peasy. Lemon squeezy. Finally, I believe that while Americans welcome the notion of God into their lives in all sorts of personal ways, they understand that it is sort of separate from politics in this country. It is hard for Bible-thumpers not to thump, I have learned living in Texas, but it really isn’t a unifying sort of thing. I think most people who don’t thump realize that real live human beings created the disaster in Iraq, and now, are charged with ending it. Best of all, I’m a Democrat, which we know he would have loved to have on the ticket in the first place, just to be able to say he had one on the ticket. Woman, democrat, polar bear. No matter.

It is too bad that I didn’t get to say all of this at the convention. It would have been a kick, not to mention an opportunity to wear stockings and have my hairstyle adjusted. Next time, I will try to introduce myself sooner to the people doing the picking. I will make it happen, yes I will. That is, if I’m not helping my girls get dressed for the prom.








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