Friday, September 21, 2007

Voting With My Inner Betty Crocker

I have not been able to get very excited about the race for president. Those of you who know me well can appreciate how odd this is. The problem is, no one “jars my pickles” as my 10th grade French teacher, Mr. DeFore, would say.

But yesterday, as I was skipping merrily through my favorite blogs, I saw off to the right side of the screen this wonderful retro circa 1950 coffee cup ad that said, “Wake UP America! VOTE FOR FRED, and smell the coffee!” It was so, well, the only way to put it is, it was so ME!!! It might as well have said, “Wake up DODY!”

I have been convinced for most of my forty…, most of my years on earth, that I am a re-incarnated housewife from the late 1940’s or early 1950’s. I watch old black and white films and feel as if, like the sirens of old, they are calling to me. There is a niggling feeling in the furthest reaches of my brain that tells me I watched these films in the Roxy Theatre back in the good old days of the Depression and World War II.

I still cook from the 1950’s version of the Betty Crocker cookbook. I own an original. I love the quirky pictures of Baked Alaska and Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I serve my family Lemon Sponge Pudding with Soft Custard at Christmas. No one makes soft custard anymore, with the possible exception of Martha Stewart, and if she is making soft custard, it has probably been updated with cilantro.

But I digress. Seeing Fred’s clever ad (which certainly plays off of Ronald Reagan’s Morning in America theme) I felt a faint stirring of interest. I wouldn’t call it commitment but I started to imagine an excel spreadsheet in my head to help me organize the candidates. In my mind, I put a gold star by Fred’s name simply for his logo. Logo’s are important. We are a logo society. We love to label ourselves with quick, clever clues telling who we are. Just check out Facebook if you want an example.

So- Fred’s ad tells me that he understands my inner 50’s housewife. You see, I have to confess, it is my inner 50’s housewife that can’t get excited about some of the other guys and here’s why:

Rudy – It’s not Rudy I have trouble with, IT’S Judith! This is probably very catty (remember, this is my inner 50’s housewife) I have a problem with all people over the age of 40 who remarry in the same wedding attire firsties are hitching up in. I think this should be a rule. Only newbies get a train. But what really sends me clues about Judy is the fact that she wore a crown when she and Rudy were wed. This tells me two things: A. She is tacky. B. She wants to be the queen. And how does one become the queen here in the USA? She marries the president. I think this is pushy. I don’t want Judy to be queen. Plus, I read recently that her purse gets to sit in a seat by itself on airplanes. This is pretentious and weird.

Mitt – I am not sure about Mitt. He looks exactly like a Ken doll. Not the original Ken dolls who quickly became bald because their peach fuzz hair wore off from the sweaty palms of enthusiastic six year olds, but the molded plastic haired Ken dolls of the seventies. He has shifted some of his core believes a little too quickly for my way of thinking. I know that you can change your mind about abortion and such, but a gradual 25 year shift is more believable than a lightening bolt hitting you just as you are filing your papers to run for president while you simultaneously close the door of the governors office in what might arguably be the most liberal state in the union!

John McCain – I think he is getting too old. My inner 50’s housewife thinks he should be fly fishing in Montana. I know that sounds like discrimination, but I need to know with absolute certainty his brain cells aren’t going POOF! at an abnormally high rate. I have always secretly liked him. He is a tough guy who will probably irritatingly straddle the fence on most social issues but he will make sure the meanies don’t get us. I am all for meanie deterrence. The meanies really cause me to worry; and not so much for me, for my descendants. I am sure in 1922 most 65 year old Jewish couples had never dreamt what the meanies would end up doing to them in 1937. This is my primary talking point when I blather on about security. It is the long range stuff that worries me. I want my daughter to have grandchildren.

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Words to Live By

" desiring what is perfectly good, even when we don't quite know what it is and cannot do what we would, we are part of the divine power against evil - widening the skirts of light and making the struggle with darkness narrower."

Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot) Middlemarch

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