2. What were your reactions when you found out you were pregnant?
For those of you who are new to tagging, link the Tagger (that would be Moi) to your Meme and then the links/names of the people you are tagging! Copy and paste and add you own answers. Have fun!
By MAUREEN DOWD
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
BARACK OBAMA knocks on the front door of a 300-year-old New Hampshire farmhouse while his Secret Service detail waits in the driveway. The door opens and OBAMA is standing face to face with former President JED BARTLET.
BARTLET You seem startled.
OBAMA I didn’t expect you to answer the door yourself.
BARTLET I didn’t expect you to be getting beat by John McCain and a Lancôme rep who thinks “The Flintstones” was based on a true story, so let’s call it even.
OBAMA Yes, sir.
BARTLET Come on in.
BARTLET leads OBAMA into his study.
BARTLET That was a hell of a convention.
OBAMA Thank you, I was proud of it.
BARTLET I meant the Republicans. The Us versus Them-a-thon. As a Democrat I was surprised to learn that I don’t like small towns, God, people with jobs or America. I’ve been a little out of touch but is there a mandate that the vice president be skilled at field dressing a moose —
OBAMA Look —
BARTLET — and selling Air Force Two on eBay?
OBAMA Joke all you want, Mr. President, but it worked.
BARTLET Imagine my surprise. What can I do for you, kid?
OBAMA I’m interested in your advice.
BARTLET I can’t give it to you.
OBAMA Why not?
BARTLET I’m supporting McCain.
BARTLET He’s promised to eradicate evil and that was always on my “to do” list.
OBAMA O.K. —
BARTLET And he’s surrounded himself, I think, with the best possible team to get us out of an economic crisis. Why, Sarah Palin just said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had “gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers.” Can you spot the error in that statement?
OBAMA Yes, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren’t funded by taxpayers.
BARTLET Well, at least they are now. Kind of reminds you of the time Bush said that Social Security wasn’t a government program. He was only off by a little — Social Security is the largest government program.
OBAMA I appreciate your sense of humor, sir, but I really could use your advice.
BARTLET Well, it seems to me your problem is a lot like the problem I had twice.
OBAMA Which was?
BARTLET A huge number of Americans thought I thought I was superior to them.
BARTLET I was.
OBAMA I mean, how did you overcome that?
BARTLET I won’t lie to you, being fictional was a big advantage.
OBAMA What do you mean?
BARTLET I’m a fictional president. You’re dreaming right now, Senator.
OBAMA I’m asleep?
BARTLET Yes, and you’re losing a ton of white women.
OBAMA Yes, sir.
BARTLET I mean tons.
OBAMA I understand.
BARTLET I didn’t even think there were that many white women.
OBAMA I see the numbers, sir. What do they want from me?
BARTLET I’ve been married to a white woman for 40 years and I still don’t know what she wants from me.
OBAMA How did you do it?
BARTLET Well, I say I’m sorry a lot.
OBAMA I don’t mean your marriage, sir. I mean how did you get America on your side?
BARTLET There again, I didn’t have to be president of America, I just had to be president of the people who watched “The West Wing.”
OBAMA That would make it easier.
BARTLET You’d do very well on NBC. Thursday nights in the old “ER” time slot with “30 Rock” as your lead-in, you’d get seven, seven-five in the demo with a 20, 22 share — you’d be selling $450,000 minutes.
OBAMA What the hell does that mean?
BARTLET TV talk. I thought you’d be interested.
OBAMA I’m not. They pivoted off the argument that I was inexperienced to the criticism that I’m — wait for it — the Messiah, who, by the way, was a community organizer. When I speak I try to lead with inspiration and aptitude. How is that a liability?
BARTLET Because the idea of American exceptionalism doesn’t extend to Americans being exceptional. If you excelled academically and are able to casually use 690 SAT words then you might as well have the press shoot video of you giving the finger to the Statue of Liberty while the Dixie Chicks sing the University of the Taliban fight song. The people who want English to be the official language of the United States are uncomfortable with their leaders being fluent in it.
OBAMA You’re saying race doesn’t have anything to do with it?
BARTLET I wouldn’t go that far. Brains made me look arrogant but they make you look uppity. Plus, if you had a black daughter —
OBAMA I have two.
BARTLET — who was 17 and pregnant and unmarried and the father was a teenager hoping to launch a rap career with “Thug Life” inked across his chest, you’d come in fifth behind Bob Barr, Ralph Nader and a ficus.
OBAMA You’re not cheering me up.
BARTLET Is that what you came here for?
OBAMA No, but it wouldn’t kill you.
BARTLET Have you tried doing a two-hour special or a really good Christmas show?
OBAMA Sir —
BARTLET Hang on. Home run. Right here. Is there any chance you could get Michelle pregnant before the fall sweeps?
OBAMA The problem is we can’t appear angry. Bush called us the angry left. Did you see anyone in Denver who was angry?
BARTLET Well … let me think. …We went to war against the wrong country, Osama bin Laden just celebrated his seventh anniversary of not being caught either dead or alive, my family’s less safe than it was eight years ago, we’ve lost trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, thousands of lives and we lost an entire city due to bad weather. So, you know … I’m a little angry.
OBAMA What would you do?
BARTLET GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence. While you’re at it, I want the word “patriot” back. McCain can say that the transcendent issue of our time is the spread of Islamic fanaticism or he can choose a running mate who doesn’t know the Bush doctrine from the Monroe Doctrine, but he can’t do both at the same time and call it patriotic. They have to lie — the truth isn’t their friend right now. Get angry. Mock them mercilessly; they’ve earned it. McCain decried agents of intolerance, then chose a running mate who had to ask if she was allowed to ban books from a public library. It’s not bad enough she thinks the planet Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago complete with a man, a woman and a talking snake, she wants schools to teach the rest of our kids to deny geology, anthropology, archaeology and common sense too? It’s not bad enough she’s forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood, she wants the rest of us to guide our daughters in that direction too? It’s not enough that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose, it should be the law of the land that she has to carry and deliver her rapist’s baby too? I don’t know whether or not Governor Palin has the tenacity of a pit bull, but I know for sure she’s got the qualifications of one. And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!
OBAMA Good to get that off your chest?
BARTLET Am I keeping you from something?
OBAMA Well, it’s not as if I didn’t know all of that and it took you like 20 minutes to say.
BARTLET I know, I have a problem, but admitting it is the first step.
OBAMA What’s the second step?
BARTLET I don’t care.
OBAMA So what about hope? Chuck it for outrage and put-downs?
This brilliant piece can be found at The New York Times Website
Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte, 380 Calories per cup! Now you can imagine just how shocked and betrayed I felt. Ok, so I never get whip, but that’s all of about 20 calories. So not only have you deceived me but you have been trying to make me fat! And I had been telling everyone just how wonderful you are too! Oh I feel so terribly that I have misled so many of my friends and my readers… Oh my readers when I exulted your virtues yesterday. I hang my head in shame and I apologize.
My friend Lynne told me, just yesterday, that she asks for a half a shot. I can not do that. I’m an all or nothin’ kind of a gal. So my friend I think it’s best we take a little break. I will still think of you. Fondly. I am sure I will still crave you. You will still remain one of my all time favorites. I hope you are not too upset. I’m pretty upset, if you must know the truth.
So perhaps we should see each other just once a month… Oh, I am sure once a week wouldn’t kill me! I’ll see you in a few my Lova! Mwah!
(I dedicate this to you Mrs. Chapin!)
It’s 8:52 and most school-aged children are asleep or at least in bed. Alexander is watching Blue’s Clue’s and the other two are upstairs. Any patience that I never had to begin with is shot. These days of single parenting are long and exhausting. Daddy came home on Saturday and was gone again on Sunday morning. Weekends are tough without him. The kids get at each other and start bickering. And then it never stops. I was fortunate to have been able to send Rebecca off to a friend’s house yesterday for most of the day. Unfortunately due to the rain Christopher’s soccer game was rescheduled for 4pm. It proved to be a long and tiring day. We went to the soccer game and all Rebecca did was whine and complain about how hot it was, how tired she was and how bored she was. She was a pleasure to sit with. Alexander entertained himself in the playground with all the younger siblings in yonder distance. We got home just after 6:00 and it was the usual crazy evening mad dash for showers, baths, getting clothes set for school, dinner, blah blah blah. Finally it was 8:30 and they were banished to their bedrooms. But no one was staying put. And then Christopher ripped the cover to his favorite magazine, my Pottery Barn Kids catalog. He is obsessed. It has Star Wars Bedding on the cover. He is obsessed with everything Star Wars. This is what he wants for Christmas. My kid wants sheets for Christmas! At 10:00 he came back down asking for a stapler! Request was immediately denied and he was shooed off to his bedroom. I followed suit right after… after locking, re-locking, and re-locking yet once more all the doors. I fell asleep listening to the local news, wearing my glasses.
This morning Alexander came in even before the sun thought about waking. It was tough. Brutal to be honest. But this is how our day starts. And has for 3 years now. I just suck it up… and complain! I got my coffee and his milk and I was rather grateful that he let me watch my morning television. Morning Joe is my program of choice when it is still dark out. Eventually he got restless and I put on Blue’s Clues on On Demand… Again! I wanted to shower. I needed to shower but I was just too comfortable in my bed. I could shower at the end of the day. So I did what I have been doing too much of these past few years, I shaved my legs in the sink and poured an entire bottle of baby powder on my hair to sop up all the oil. A white Lacoste shirt, some cute JCrew (outlet!) pants in a pretty blue and white pattern and I looked halfway decent!
The dishwasher needed emptying, the other kids needed rising and breakfast. I looked around my fridge, some almost too old strawberries could be cut up… What would I serve with them? And then I got the brilliantest idea! I made the kids breakfast kabobs alternating strawberries, banana chunks and banana bread. They looked delicious and the kids looked happy to see them. They actually looked happy to see fruit!
Eventually we got everyone out of the house in the nick of time. Then Alexander and I headed off toward the playground at the beach. Not before stopping at Starbucks for a Cup of Heaven. Seriously the best thing I have ever had. If you have never had a Pumpkin Spice Iced Latte then run out to your local Starbucks and get one! (I usually get a regular Pumpkin Spice Latte but it was just too hot out today. Girls, I am going to make some of you blush when I describe this drink as an Orgasm in a Cup! Seriously… It is that good!
So, temporarily happy am I, we set off to the beach and the sandcastle playground — called so because it’s large wooden structures resemble a sandcastle with all sorts of hidden paths to climb and follow that lead to different turrets and steps and slides. It really is quite awesome. Of course as soon as we get there I start to choke and tear up. I haven’t been in such a long time — so long in fact that Alexander did not recognize the place. As he ran around trying to decide what to play on first my mind’s internal video camera turned on. Playing in front of my eyes were pictures of Rebecca and Christopher at the same age. I saw every laughter and squeal of delight. How is it that time passes us so quickly. I was momentarily saddened by this. When everything was still so exciting and new to them. When everything was so magical. And then I see my little blond boy emitting those same squeals and sounds of laughter and I am brought back to the moment and I want to freeze it. I want it to be like this forever. And while the age difference between Alexander and the other two (4 and 6 years) has proven to be very challenging these past years, I am so grateful — eternally so — to have a chance to experience the thrills and sheer delight of childhood at its best all over again. I had my coffee and I had my New York Times. I could have relaxed and enjoyed them both, stopping for moments here and there to watch and applaud my 3 year old but I didn’t. I got off my ever expanding butt (no thanks to Pumpkin Spiced Lattes) and ran and jumped and climbed and went down all the slides with him. We were frozen in time, in that wonderful moment, for two and a half hours. And then I just had to get out of there. I had had enough. I was exhausted!
Alexander fell asleep on the ride home and I managed to sit and enjoy a sandwich and a Diet Coke that I later chased down with a peanut butter cookie with pieces of Reese’s Peanut Butter cup. (Gee, could that be why my scale is “broken?”) I had a nice hour and a half to myself before I was summonsed to read to Alexander and then play the Birthday Party Game. We were about to play a third time when I decided to look at the clock. Holy Smokes! We were late for pickup!
So off we went (rushed) to get Christopher to bring him home, change him into his soccer stuff and give him a snack and bring him to Other Christopher’s house and then go watch Becca play her soccer at school and then take her to skating and rush rush rush. As we sit on the Merritt Parkway stuck in traffic we decide we won’t get there and back in time. (It would take half the time to lace her up!) Rebecca is disappointed but she understands.
We have a half hour at home to relax. I check my email and make sandwiches for their dinner. Then off to get the Two Christophers and bring the other home and then get back to our house. By this time it is a little after 7 and Christopher needs to be fed and agrees to, Thank God, leftover pasta and they all three need to shower and the older two have homework. I have two pounds of cubed steak that I have to cook This Instant because the meat expires This Instant. Ugh. I decide to brown it and toss the cooked meat in to the crock pot with salsa, tomato sauce, garlic, onion, and black beans. We’ll have it for dinner tomorrow. It’ll be one less thing I will have to do then. I am tired. Exhausted. Grimy. Dirty.
Rebecca is struggling with her math. She is in the advanced section. (This she clearly did not get from Moi.) In 4th grade she has to round to the nearest tenth thousand, hundredth thousand or million. In Fourth Grade! I can barely handle this… Heck we all know I ain’t smarter than a Fifth Grader. Daddy calls, and he is able to help a little over the phone. But she is overwhelmed and tired and she misses him dearly. He decides he will come home to kiss the kids goodnight. I love this idea and I hate it at once. It’s late and the kids need to sleep. And now Rebecca has to get up early. I am not putting Alexander to bed because I would like him to see Daddy too. But there is nothing more than I want than my bed and a shower. I want him to stop by. But I don’t. I don’t want to have them up for one minute longer.
It is now 9:54 and Daddy has come and gone. Two out of three are sleeping. I want to finish this before I forget what I was going to say, which I have already done at least 47 times already. I have brought my wine and my laptop up to bed. I have on one of Daddy’s Tshirts. I still need to shower. It’s getting late and I wonder if I should do it now or in the morning. I have to get Rebecca up again at 6:00 and a new day will dawn.
Come check it out! The link is over to the left of the page in my blog roll.
I’ll have a new post at some point today!