Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's a Dog's Life

For some odd reason, American Thanksgiving seems like an appropriate time for an embarrassing confession: we bought our house, and the five acres on which it sits, for the dogs.
Don't get me wrong. We like the place, and the privacy. There's nothing quite like heading out back to hang laundry on a hot July afternoon, wearing a dirty old t-shirt and your fat pants and belting out the entire score of Grease, secure in the certainty that no one will ever know.
But the driving force behind purchasing such a property, with its hours and hours of lawn-cutting, pipes that freeze every winter, and garden that needs constant attention all summer long, was having a place where our dogs could run free.
After 3 years of moving from military base to military base, and living in married quarters with nothing more than an unfenced postage stamp for a backyard, Rusty and Jerome were getting a little on the portly side. Letting them off-leash was a bit of an iffy enterprise because they were never what you'd call well-behaved around other people or animals. So when we drove up the driveway for the first time and saw the side field, the enormous yard and the complete lack of visible neighbours, we knew we'd found the perfect doghouse.
It sounds ridiculous, I know, and before owning animals, I'd have rolled my eyes at such a prospect. But despite the fact that they sneak food from the kids' plates, they embarrass us everywhere we go with their naughtiness, and we have to toss them out back or into the garage anytime we have guests over because of the barking and jumping, to me they're worth every penny we owe on the place and every hassle that comes with it.
While I never took the dogs in with the idea that I'd need them for protection, they provide just that. With the Captain gone as much as he is, having two large, noisy dogs pretty much guarantees that no one could break in here while we're sleeping. By the time the axe-murderer got one leg through the window, there'd be a snarling Rottweiler waiting for him on the other side. Having Rusty and Jerome wandering around the place allows me to sleep peacefully at night.
But it's more than just that, even. We rescued our dogs. Jerome was a tiny puppy when he was found in a sewer grate. The runt of the litter, he was unable to keep up with his mother and littermates when they ran for it after being discovered by some hikers, and he was scooped up and taken in by a rescue foundation. That same foundation helped us to add Rusty to our little family a year later. Her story was more heartbreaking. She was rescued from a local SPCA shelter after being picked up as a starving 6 month-old stray and was never claimed. At some point in those first 6 months of her life, some monster shot her in the face with a pellet gun. The plastic pellet remains lodged in her head to this day. And I guess when you look at the luxuries they enjoy--the enormous yard, free run of the house, daily tooth brushing and grooming (yes, it's true), expensive shots, checkups and parasite prevention treatments every spring without fail, and treats galore--you might get the idea that they won the canine jackpot. And in a sense, you might be right.
But in reality, they rescued us. We were a childless couple running on a pointless treadmill before they came along. We were too exhausted to get any exercise, and too focussed on our jobs, our place and our money worries to realize there was so much more out there. And then one day this little black Border Collie moved in, dropped his hair everywhere, peed on the carpet, barked like a maniac and ran and ran and ran, never getting tired, until we finally had to drag him, and ourselves, home. We never realized there was that much love in the world, let alone inside us. Our dogs prepared us for the chaos, the mess and the exhaustion of having kids. They taught us that it's better not to live a perfect, hermetically-sealed existence, to stop and smell the roses (or someone else's crotch, if that's more your thing), and that life always looks a little better after a good, long nap.
Rusty and Jerome are now both seven years old. I know they won't be with us forever, but what they've taught us will. And for that, I am thankful.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pardon Me While I Collapse From Exhaustion

I have reached my breaking point.
This happens every time the Captain goes away. For the first few days, I'm dealing with a child with separation anxiety and trying to make things consistent. Then, for the bulk of the separation, I'm in my groove, getting things done, falling into comfortable routines, occasionally dropping Rosemary's Baby with a sitter so I can have a day to buy groceries and get a head start on the Christmas shopping. And then the last 3 weeks is upon me and my body realizes I'm in the home stretch and gives me permission to give in to the exhaustion. This is where the proverbial you-know-what hits the fan.
When my brain catches up and realizes my body is screaming "ENOUGH!!", it wants to help me out. And I love it for that. Unfortunately, in these situations (and many others), my brain is like a friend who means well with her indulge-yourself advice, but just ends up getting me into trouble, and lots of it. When I want to sit on the kitchen floor and blubber for an hour about how I just want the Captain to come home and take me on a date to Boston Pizza, instead of reminding me I'm mere DAYS away from sitting on the couch with him watching Dexter and eating cheesy popcorn, my brain says "You know what? I think you deserve a new wardrobe!" And that's no good.
And you know what I learned this evening? I'm not the only one.
Many, many moons ago, when the Captain and I were first married, he was working 60 hours a week at a local newspaper, making sweatshop wages, and I was in school full-time and working at a horrible little coffee shop in a mall until all hours and making next to nothing as well. We had rent to pay, tuition to scrape together and the dream that someday we'd be able to afford our very own acreage in the middle of nowhere. Some nights, he'd come pick me up and we'd hem and haw about whether we should go through the Wendy's Drive-Thru. We knew we shouldn't be spending the $8 (or eating greasy fries at 11PM), but when you're that tired and that demoralized, it's hard to be sensible. So we'd get our burgers and go back to our cruddy 70's throwback of an apartment (vinyl-cushioned walls and a pull-out shuffleboard, anyone?!), watch Letterman and wonder if it'd ever get better. And this is just like that.
The Captain told me tonight he was trying to keep his eating-out to once a week, but it wasn't hard to read between the lines. After nearly 2 months of heating himself up an instant Hamburger Helper in his depressing room every time he got hungry, his resistance was wearing thin. He misses us and he's exhausted too, and in the back of his mind, there's a voice telling him to give in and indulge in the only thing he has at his disposal to make it all better: delicious restaurant eats.
So, how to make it through the final few weeks without blowing the budget and creating even more stress when the Captain does finally waltz back in and dump his stuff everywhere? Sadly, it seems the only answer is boring old willpower.
But I have lots to do before the Captain returns. A house to clean, dogs to bathe, kids to keep alive. And if I can focus hard enough on this, I SHOULD be able to avoid the shopping spree that will undoubtedly work against me in the divorce proceedings. And then perhaps our military family reunion will be easy and pleasant.
That is, unless he's eating a porterhouse right now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hi. I'm Knitwit, and I'm a Purse-a-holic.

I've already admitted to having a shoe obsession, so you must've known this was coming. No one is obsessed with shoes and NOT also obsessed with purses. They're sister obsessions.
I was attempting to get Rosemary's Baby and Firstborn bundled up for our monthly pilgrimage to the town dump this morning, and couldn't figure out why the closet door was having such trouble sliding along its track. When I looked down, the reason became abundantly clear. The enormous Rubbermaid tub which houses my handbag stash was overflowing to the point that one had slid off the pile and was stopping the door from closing properly. After carefully placing the bag back onto the purse hill (remember Homer and the garbage pile?), quickly closing the door before everything fell out again, and loading the kids into the car, I got to thinking. Could it be time to get rid of a few of my purses?
Like shoes, purses do not require you to lose 5 lbs in order to use them. They can be switched quickly and easily to complement your current outfit. And a bag with numerous zippers and pockets can fool you into believing that you've finally found the one thing that will help you to organize your life. This last one is key for me. I live in chaos, and when I walk past those shops at the mall that specialize in purses, wallets and luggage, I don't see a store bursting with stuff that'll add more clutter to my already cluttered existence. I see the possibility of my life finally becoming ordered and methodical. It's a pipe dream, and an ironic one at that. Adding more stuff to my life will never make it simple, and for this reason, it's time to get rid of what I don't use and start using what I've already got.
I do go through the jumble from time to time and find an old one I'd like to switch back to, but for the most part, it's a tub of bags that, if I'm brutally honest, will probably never see the light of day again. A lot of them are products of my craftiness--something I've crocheted or whipped up on the sewing machine. If I had to pick only one type of project to complete for the rest of my life, indeed it would be the purse. It's quick, the possibilities are infinite, and it's useful. Others are super cheapies I've nabbed at places like Giant Tiger or Value Village for under ten bucks. The third category would be souvenirs. I've learned the hard way that china mugs with the name of a place on them not only travel badly, but elicit snobby protests from the Captain on their tackiness, so I've found that a cute purse is a fun and functional way to remember a trip or visit with friends and family, sometimes for months or years after the vacation.
So, how does one go about culling such a pile? The homemade stuff I'm reluctant to donate because of the work involved, although, considering a good number of these are from a time before children, they're far too small (and in some cases, youthful) for me to ever use again. The cheapies are a good bet, but some of them I really could use again, and I hate giving up something that was such a good bargain. And the souvenirs, well, they're souvenirs!
I think I'm starting to see why I have such a preponderance of clutter in general around here.
But something must be done. I'm going to have to be ruthless. And when I do get my handbag stash down to a reasonable size (which is at least not overflowing out of the current oversized container), I need to have a plan to not be right back here in a year. Like shoes, handbags seem to have an ongoing powerful pull on me even five minutes after I've just acquired a brand new one.
So, the purses I deem useless will be bagged-up for donation and I will avoid at all costs buying any more. I will appreciate the pile I have left, make good use of the pockets and zippers and compartments I forgot all about, and I will not yearn for the adorable plaid handbag with leather handles I saw in Lou Lou magazine last month. Really.
Oh, this is going to be hard...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Defining Success

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, there lived a little boy. Because this was a time before ADD was invented, most people just thought this little boy was wildly hyperactive, willfully naughty, and predisposed to being the complete centre of attention at all times. One day, the little boy was home sick from school with his twin sister and got bored. So he pulled out the paintbox and went to work on himself in green watercolour. And by "himself" I mean a certain body part. I won't tell you which one because I don't need to. I'm pleased to confirm that the body part you're thinking of is the correct one.
The little boy is now 31, and some sort of rocket scientist. Actually, he's an engineer, but he's in pretty high demand and has just recently started working for a little company you may have heard of. It's called NASA. Sigh...
As the oldest of 7 children, there was a very brief period in my life where I was a family success story. I was the first to graduate from anywhere, the first to embark on a respectable career, and the first to get married and travel across the country in search of my fortune. I always knew that couldn't last. Sister #1, just a year younger than me, was always destined for greatness. So when she graduated with a degree in Math and Anthropology (huh?!), went south for a Master's degree in something even more confusing, then landed herself on a positively impressive career path as an Actuary, it was really no surprise.
But when the pesky little monster who enraged me every day of my childhood, always knowing exactly which buttons to press, getting worms from not washing his hands before dinner, and carrying around a stuffed Smurf until he was about 12 is entrusted with a project that will eventually enable people to travel into space, I have to wonder, how exactly did I manage to become the family ne'er-do-well?!
I have a second brother. He was actually the first of my siblings to work over at the Kennedy Space Center a couple of summers ago. He is now immersed in post-graduate studies in chemistry. Shudder. My other sisters have all reached their own personal levels of success as well. Sister #2 (the little boy's twin) does the all-important work of answering 911 calls between raising 2 (soon to be 3) wonderful kids, and sisters #3 & 4 are both just heading out into the world, embarking on marriage and everything that comes with that, and they have the whole world still to conquer.
But I guess success is a mindset. You can look to the world to tell you you're worthy (and probably never get a satisfactory answer) or you can look within. And whether you're saving the world, sending astronauts safely into space, sending kids safely off to school, or growing a few things in your garden, if you're passionate about what you're doing and feel you're making the world a better place, you probably are.
When I look at myself, I really can't complain. And in the big scheme of things, I guess that's what success is all about.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Crappy Driving Conditions are My Friend

The alarm went off this morning at 0600, and I forced myself out of bed because today we had a plan. We were going to do the 45-minute early-morning drive into our nearest Booming Metropolis to run a few errands then stop in on a playgroup made up primarily of army wives. But plans changed.
When I looked out the window, I noticed the early commuters puttering by on the highway at an alarmingly low speed. So I got online and checked out the highway conditions. If there was a condition called "atrocious", it could certainly have been used this morning. From here to Booming Metropolis, and on all the roads surrounding, there was ice everywhere, accompanied by a healthy measure of packed and blowing snow. We weren't going anywhere. And to be perfectly honest, it was the best thing that could've happened.
A couple of hours later, we've been fed and we're all still in our pajamas. I'm about to go make myself a third cup of coffee and, although Sirius appears to have made a few changes that include having gotten rid of Movin' Easy (and if you have no idea what I'm talking about, have a look at this, and try to keep up with me here!), there's still plenty to keep me amused on the radio. It's the perfect morning.
You can call me lazy, you can call me anti-social, but I like to think of myself as a homebody. There's little I like better than hanging out at home, cooking, crafting or reading a magazine with a cup of tea in hand, and being snowed in is a great excuse to do all of those things. It's not glamourous, but then, neither am I. Perhaps later on, I'll even reach parent-of-the-year status by taking the kids outside to build a snowman. My ulterior motive, of course, will be the hot chocolate that follows. I like the marshmallows.
Now, I really do need to get myself to Booming Metropolis soon. There are Christmas card photos waiting to be picked up, and stocking stuffers to be bought, and friends to visit. I may try heading in tomorrow if road conditions improve. But maybe for just this weekend, the sand trucks will get behind and the ice and snow will stick around, giving me a perfect excuse to turn up the heat and do a little baking instead.
One can always live in hope.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Let's Get Crafty!

After a couple of months of research into what people blog about, I've found myself considering starting another blog. I love the idea of keeping a blog about one specific topic, like crafting or cooking. But the problem for me is that I don't think I could keep that going on any sort of regular basis. Sometimes I want to talk about my latest knitting project, or post a photo of a few cards I've recently made, but I don't think I want to pigeonhole myself by setting up a blog where that's all I can talk about. Luckily, this little endeavour of mine has turned out to be pretty versatile in its ability to let me ramble on about whatever I please whenever I please. So why shouldn't I talk about the stuff I love to do once in a while?
This Christmas, all the gifts going home will be homemade. I've been doing this for a few years now and I find it's pretty successful in general. My siblings and I had a 7-way email conversation recently that got a little heated, and it was all about the excess of Christmas and how we could try to keep it under control for the sake of not spoiling our kids, and for the sake of our sanity at a really busy time of year. I find the homemade option is the best way to do this. For me. Some people would shriek in horror at the idea, and I respect that. But for me, crafting and cooking is just so much fun. It beats fighting my way through Wal Mart looking for socks and chocolates for the hard-to-buy-for men in my life anyway. This way, I beat the rush.
The thing I'm most amused with this season is the knitting project I completed for my nephew. This photo has already done the email rounds, but I want to post it anyway. It's hard to find good knitting projects for little boys, so I made this one up myself. My nephew loves all things Army, so I attempted to make him a tank. The treads proved so difficult to make look right, I had to give up and call this a LAV. The many army types I know would probably laugh and point out all the technical inaccuracies, but I'm a girl, and I'm happy with it.
So now, I just have 3 gifts to make for little girls, along with the homemade food baskets the adult family members have come to expect from me. From today, I have just over 2 weeks to get everything out in the mail, and I've barely started. And once that's done, it's onto shopping for the Captain and my boys. I foresee a lot of teeth-gritting over the next month.
So much for beating the rush.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day

On the last day of September, I awoke from a dream I'm still reluctant to describe. I have no idea where it came from, but I think I know what it meant.
The Captain and I were in a Nazi concentration camp. People were being shot. We were afraid to do anything, for fear of being shot too. But this wasn't the bad part, believe it or not. In the midst of the chaos, I felt something tug at the back of my shirt. I turned around to see Firstborn looking up at me, and my terror magnified by about a million percent. I pulled him close to me and wrapped myself around him, trying to protect him from the imminent danger. And then I woke up.
After the horror wore off, and the relief set in, I tried to forget that dream, but of course I couldn't. I always believe that my dreams mean something, even when they're insignificant. And I knew right away what the message was.
It's not all about me.
The Captain goes away a lot. Most of the time it's a course or an exercise. But we have something looming which I like to call "Next Year". He'll be away for much of the first half of the year on exercises meant to prepare him for the second half, which will be, of course, deployment. Like all military spouses in this position, I feel a sense of dread over this. The job is dangerous, and by letting him go, I risk the personal devastation of losing him and ending up raising 2 kids by myself. But I know, deep down, that it has to be done. The vivid memory of that dream reinforces this.
That terror I felt was actually felt by real human beings in real life during a real war. The good people of the world fought and either died, or spent the rest of their lives living with their memories of that conflict, to end it. People fought and died to preserve our way of life before that war, and they have fought for democracy in many conflicts since. The least we can do is continue to protect the freedom they've earned for us, and honour their sacrifice.
Please remember them today.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's All About the Moola

This morning I was thrilled to attend Firstborn's very first Kindergarten performance. With it being a Remembrance Day service, and knowing the disruptive mischief Rosemary's Baby would get up to, I booked him in for a couple of hours with a local babysitter I use from time to time. She's another stay-at-home mom just like me, and she takes kids in during the day to help make ends meet a bit. Rosemary's Baby loves it there and I never have to worry that he's doing anything dangerous because I know in my heart that he's in great hands. But I have one major issue with the Sitter, and here it is: she charges 3 bucks an hour.
If you work out what that'd cost for an average workday plus travel time, here in Western Manitoba, the sum is comparable to what you'd pay for one child in a daycare centre. In short, it's perfectly average for where we live.
Here's what bothers me. If I need my car, computer or refrigerator fixed, my labour cost alone is anywhere from $30 to $75 an hour. I may grumble about paying that kind of cost, but I pay it anyway and accept that that's what things cost these days. At least my car mechanic is making a living wage.
Do you see what I'm getting at here? I pay more for an oil change than I do for a day of safety, security and emotional health for my own child. I may claim he is the spawn of Satan, yell at him for doing stuff I won't even remember tomorrow, and whine that I have no "me time" anymore, but when it comes down to it, when I look at the big picture that is my existence on this planet, my children are the most precious things in my life. Since having them, I've been able to let go of stupid little things like owning nice stuff, taking fancy vacations (okay, okay, I never did that anyway, but one can dream) and having the all-important career that exhausted and frustrated me every single day anyway. Life isn't all about me anymore. I don't fear my own death like I used to. I fear theirs like nothing I ever experienced before. Life is just bigger now.
Why, then, am I resigned to the idea that it's normal to underpay the people who are put in charge of the most important things in my life? All I hear on and on from my working friends is the horrendous cost of childcare, and I agree that if you have to (or want to) go back to work, the cost is heavy, and often not worth the trouble. I frankly don't know how people manage it. But this is where the government should be stepping in. Other countries have national childcare programs that recognize the need for quality educational experiences before the age of 5, and every study done on this tells us the cost to the taxpayer is worth it in the long run. But the nearsighted leadership in this country is unlikely to ever see further than the next four years, so the point is moot. Let's move on.
Recently, a column in my local small-town newspaper suggested that teachers should be designated an "essential service" so they couldn't inconvenience parents and students by going on strike. Having done the job myself a few years back, my hackles were raised. I whipped off an email taking the offending columnist to task. I then deleted the email without sending it because I didn't want to become known as the town crank. But that's not the point. What got my back up was the suggestion that it's okay to manipulate an essential services designation to limit the very basic right of public educators to take job action against a system that routinely short changes both them and the students they strive to teach. No one dies when a teacher doesn't go to work. They're important, they're necessary, and they're very often unforgettable. But they're not essential in the technical sense of the word. And they take enough crap year-round not to be begrudged a decent wage and reasonable working conditions. Enough said.
After leaving Rosemary's Baby for about 90 minutes, I handed the Sitter a $10 bill and refused to take any change. It was still less than she'd get working at McDonald's. In my perfect world, people who take care of our kids would be compensated based on the importance of the job they do. Good educators and child care providers shouldn't come cheap, and we shouldn't be electing people who expect them to.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Milk Carton Baby

Rosemary's Baby has started playing hide-and-seek. While this is usually occasion for a few motherly ooh's and aah's of adoration, another little milestone for my rug rat, I have other ideas running through my head right now. I'm just plain alarmed.
Last fall, my little munchkin, then under 2 years old, pulled out all the stops. I have a friend, who is a great cook, a fun mom and a divorcee. I'll call her the Karaoke Queen, because she's that too. In September, the Karaoke Queen decided to move in with the Boyfriend, and because friends like to help each other out (and gab while the men do all the heavy lifting), I buckled the kids into our rusty old tin-can of a truck and headed over to her place to help haul a few loads for her. We put the kids in her living room with some toys and some kid-friendly cable programming, closed the french door so they were contained, and went to work. After 5 minutes of lugging a large entertainment centre up the basement stairs, we found Firstborn standing at the top, french door open, front door also open, and Rosemary's Baby nowhere to be found.
Naturally, panic ensued. The Karaoke Queen's soon-to-be-vacant house backed onto a river, so our maternal minds automatically summoned up the image of a floating baby. Thank god the Boyfriend was a little more logical. A father himself, he knew a small child who likes to wander would want to go as far as he could as fast as he could, and followed the first big, open space he could see. While the Karaoke Queen ran up and down the river crying and I ran from house to house on the street, frantically looking for him in random yards, pulling my hair out the whole way, the Boyfriend took the gravel road up to the main street and found my little horror happily chatting away to a bewildered passer-by who couldn't imagine what mother would let such a small child wander the streets alone.
In the course of under 5 minutes, Rosemary's Baby had made it the equivalent of about 3 city blocks on a gravel road in his socks. And he was as pleased as punch with himself. I'll never forget the relief as I saw my child come into view, in the arms of my friend's cool-headed Boyfriend, grinning from ear to ear at his most recent thrilling adventure. I kissed him about 40 times before the urge to throttle him kicked in. But if there's one thing Rosemary's Baby has given me a lot of practice at, it's keeping my homicidal urges in check.
On a quick side note, someone was looking out for me in more ways than one that day, as I had used up some fruit that very morning making a sangria recipe I'd seen the night before on a repeat of 30-Minute Meals, and left it in the fridge for that evening. If there was one night I needed an entire jug of sangria, that was it.
I wish I could say that this was the only time Rosemary's Baby has caused me a moment or two of hysteria. After that incident, I was careful to lock doors and check in on him frequently, but the nature of the toddler is that he is always learning new and exciting skills. And this past spring he outdid himself.
One pleasant afternoon in May, I was working away in the kitchen while the kids played in their playroom in the basement. At some point, my instinct to check that all was well kicked in and I headed downstairs to find, once again, Firstborn exactly where I'd left him, but Rosemary's Baby most definitely gone. At first, I thought he'd headed off to another part of the house and I wasn't too bothered, but when I came up the stairs and had a passing glance in the direction of the front door, something unusual caught my eye. The door was unlocked. And at this point, I knew I had trouble. I swung the door open to see my worst possible nightmare played out in front of my eyes. Rosemary's Baby had figured out how to turn the lock on the door, run a couple hundred feet up the driveway and was standing by the side of the highway, watching the transport trucks blow by at 100 km/hr. I screamed his name, kicked off my sandals and performed an olympic sprint (seriously, I think I broke the world record) up the gravel in my bare feet. I hobbled for days afterwards.
When Rosemary's Baby heard me shriek his name and saw me coming, he was, oddly, not inclined to run to me for a hug. Instead, he gave me a demonic grin and started running down the gravel shoulder of the highway, looking back every few seconds to see if I was gaining on him, and laughing his wicked little head off the whole way. Even after I'd caught him, and was carrying him back up the driveway, giving him hell, he was visibly overjoyed at the fun he'd had. Actually, as I recall, the dogs enjoyed joining me on my run, and Firstborn stood in the doorway, jumping and clapping the whole time. So, I guess a good time was had by all. The 10 years subtracted from my life that day would probably have just been spent in an old folks home, eating tapioca and complaining about kids these days anyway.
And in case you're wondering, we now have alarms and deadbolts on all doors leading out of the house.
But this brings me to Rosemary's Baby's new amusement. He's discovered that hiding behind chairs and in closets while I run around yelling his name is a fun game. Usually it would be, but of course when he suddenly disappears like this, my brain habitually travels to the terrible scares he's given me, and I see his picture ending up on a milk carton.
Does anyone know where I could get one of those electronic tracking devices you clamp around the ankles of convicted criminals under house arrest? Now there's a toddler safety product that'd fly off the shelves.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

You Barack My World, Mr. President

Let me begin by mentioning that I generally don't talk politics too heavily, and certainly not in a public forum like this. And being Canadian, I'm even less likely to be heard discussing things like an American presidential election. But I do have family in the States who voted for the future of their nation yesterday, and I think we can agree that what goes on over there does end up affecting all of us the world over. So, with apologies to those who don't give a damn, I give you my comments on the events of last night.
Let's be honest, I could talk about the economy, the war in Iraq, or the environment. I could talk about what a historic victory this is for liberals and African Americans alike. I could talk about the changes that are to come, that it's a new day for America, and that the future looks so much brighter than it did a few days ago. But it's been done. Everyone's talking about that. As always, what I have to say is far, far more superficial.
Damn, if Barack Obama isn't the best looking man ever to be elected to any office in the history of this planet!
I've been saying for years that the average voter in any nation is just dumb enough to elect the best-looking guy for the job (except in Canada where, with the notable exceptions of Jean Charest and Bob Rae, all our politicians look like they belong in a wax museum) but I don't think that's what happened here. Because Barack Obama ain't just handsome, he's smart, an advocate for the underdog, and just incredibly interesting, as well as being the obvious best thing for America right now. And, while all "perfect" men actually have that one flaw, even his vice is kind of sexy. The man was a smoker. This, of course, is not to imply that a life-threatening addiction is hot. It just kind of suggests there's an inner rebel there somewhere. It's sexier than if his fatal flaw was, say, collecting Porcelain Dolls of the Colonial Era.
Now, it may be that I'm missing the Captain, or that my TV doesn't pick up Prison Break and I'm suffering from Wentworth Miller withdrawal. Maybe it's hormones. But I don't think I'm alone in thinking this man is the political heartthrob we've all been waiting for (dare we dream of shirtless sunbathing shots from Camp David? Time will tell). So, for those of you who have reason to celebrate this historic event, for reasons serious and otherwise, I wish you a happy, eye-candy-filled next 4 years.
The evening news suddenly got a lot more interesting, ladies.