Sunday, November 08, 2015

Wherever she is, she understands and forgives you

This old (2007?) photo is making its way around social media. Melania Trump is seven months pregnant, wearing a gold bikini and high heels, posing on the steps of husband Donald's jet. We can certainly wonder what this photo means about Trump and his attitude toward women, but that's not what this post is about.

Not that long ago, there was an uproar about Michelle Obama showing bare arms in her official White House portrait. In comparison, bare arms seem pretty tame, don't they?

I've learned that no First Lady gets good press in real time. It started when Martha Washington was slagged for the formality of her official dinners ("What? Does she think she's royal or something?") and hasn't let up since.

For example, the First Lady whom Melania Trump is said to aspire to be like, JBKO, was haunted by these two photos when she entered America's consciousness. The first is a shot of her at 16, trying to look like "a vamp" between sets on the tennis court. During the 1960 campaign, when this 1945 snapshot surfaced, there was an uproar over a teenager smoking. And her lifestyle! A young girl flaunting heavy lipstick, jewelry and a cigarette holder as she romps around Newport tennis courts? How decadent! There was a war on, after all!

This second one is of First Lady Jackie Kennedy vacationing -- without her husband (!) -- in Italy. Anyone with even a shallow understanding of the Kennedy marriage can imagine why she may wish to get away from the White House soon after her husband enjoyed being the subject of Marilyn Monroe's rendition of "Happy Birthday." However, back in 1962, whispers about the President's infidelities were limited to the Georgetown/New York/Hollywood elites. Ironically it was Jackie who was slammed for abandoning her husband and toddler son to go off to Italy on her own (though "on her own" meant accompanied her 5-year-old daughter, her sister and brother-in-law, and a pair of Secret Service agents).

Photos like this one, showing her in a bathing suit, were splashed across front pages all over the world, and Americans were scandalized. Is this how a young wife and mother should behave? 

After her husband's assassination, public sympathy swung overwhelmingly in Jackie's favor. But once she married Aristotle Onassis, the charges that she was spendthrift and decadent resurfaced. While no one blamed her for the nude sunbathing paparazzo shots that Larry Flynt published in Hustler, no one much felt sorry for her, either.

Now, decades after her death, JBKO is the First Lady today's candidates wives look to.* I think this would amuse her. Now that the pendulum has swung back, she's considered an icon of elegance and decorum again. I suspect she would say she was pretty much the same Jacqueline all along and it was the public's perception that changed.

*No word on who Bill Clinton's First Spouse role model is.

Sunday Stealing

The Big, Bad Meme

Is there anyone else in the room with you at this moment? What are they doing? Nope. It's just little ol' me.

Do you show your teeth when you smile, or do you prefer smiling with your lips closed? When I'm posing for a photo, I'm careful to control my upper lip when I smile. Otherwise I can look a little gummy.

Would you rather be told the truth, even if it isn’t what you want to hear? Depends on who's doing the telling, and if what they're saying is an absolute truth. If it's an opinion about something superficial -- like a coworker doesn't like my cologne -- keep it to yourself.

What is something that you plan to buy, as soon as you’ve saved up the money for it? New tile for my bathroom walls! Gawd, I hate it in there!

Do you play Sudoku? No

Have you ever had a migraine? Not recently, and I'm grateful for that. Migraines are murder.

What was the last book you read for pleasure? The Chocolate Cat Caper. It's just as lightweight as the name implies. But I've been reading biographies lately that have gotten me involved emotionally. It's a nice change of pace to read something inconsequential.

What was the last item of clothing you purchased for yourself?  Just today I bought myself a green Izod pullover for $2.50 at Goodwill. I went over there to drop off a bag of clothes and wandered around a moment, checking the pricing to make sure the fair market value I declare to Uncle Sam is close to true. And wouldn't you know? I fell in love with a cable knit sweater on the rack. Yea for me!

Your first serious relationship, do you still talk to him/her? No. His mom died earlier this year. I sent flowers, because his mother had stayed close to mine and I think my mom would have wanted me to. I didn't hear anything back and that's just fine. I was a little worried I would, and then what would I say to him?

Who is the last person you texted? A former coworker who wanted to share some industry gossip.
How close is your family? My niece and nephew like me, and I have a cousin (mom's side) and an aunt (dad's side) in Florida that I correspond with. But my sisters and I are not at all simpatico.

Is there anything too serious to be joked about? Yes. I do not joke about another person's faith or race or infirmity. I'm one of those insufferably PC people some complain about.

Do you like to understand and have good knowledge of things? Yes. Why on earth would anyone answer "no" to this?

What is worse? Back pain or shoulder pain? Back pain. It's impossible to get comfortable when your back hurts.

Have you ever almost fallen off of something high off the ground? Of course.

What’s one fruit you love in drinks? This afternoon I had a peach bellini, so I'll say peach.

What is something simple that you’re afraid of? Air travel.
Has this weekend been good? The weather's been good -- sunny and 55º. The company was good -- lunch with my niece and her boyfriend. But I feel crappy because a nascent cold is sapping my strength.

 How much time do you take to get ready in the morning? It takes me forever to get ready in the morning because I keep getting distracted. I'm very much an "Oh, look! A squirrel!" kinda gal when I'm preparing to go out.
 Last movie you watched in theaters and with whom? The Seventh Victim is a 1943 horror film that was screened by my classic movie group to celebrate Halloween.

And all I want to do is sleep

I have so much to do! My home is a mess, and I had rededicated myself to finally doing something about that before November 19 -- which is the day a contractor may be wandering around, moving furniture, as he remedies the problem with my heat.*

But I have no energy. I'm battling the beginning of a cold. So far no cough, and the congestion that isn't so bad. But it's a battle to stay awake!

As I post this, I'm watching Ken Burns' Civil War, which could be an inspiration as I continue Liza's saga for my Nanowrimo, but I'm struggling to remain upright on the sofa ... and here it's barely 5:30.

Oh well, it's not like I did nothing this weekend. Saturday I did laundry and put my summer clothes away. And today I took a bag of clothes to Goodwill and bought a new set of sheets at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Best of all, I had lunch with my niece. My 23 year old niece! I can't get over how time has flown, and that she's done with college. She was just in for the weekend and wanted me to meet her new fella, Michael. A sanctimonious pain in the ass if ever there was one. Though, I suspect, the woman I am today would have felt the same way about a 23 year old Gal. And, it's important to note, she seems quite happy with and proud of him. I just hope there's no wedding in the near future. She went from a few months in the dorm to sharing an apartment with her boyfriend Jason directly to sharing an apartment with Michael. I worry that she's not spreading her wings and flying solo. But then, that's me wanting what I wanted/want for myself, and this is her life we're talking about.

*Which is way too much heat. I can't regulate it.