Friday, February 12, 2021

February Blog Challenge -- Day 12


Visit Kwizgiver for the prompts


12) Who makes you feel envious? What do they have/what are they doing that makes you feel that way? What do you think that means?

JBKO is my all-time heroine. She's my ideal. Everything she did, she did well. She was fluent in French, Spanish and Italian. She painted. She knew French and American history cold. As First Lady, she restored the White House, oversaw the original Rose Garden, gave Air Force One its iconic look, and brought the Mona Lisa to the United States for the first time ... among many other accomplishments.

She always looked good. Even when crossing the street in traffic.

She attracted the most interesting, accomplished men. Not just the two she married, but also Mike Nichols and Pete Hamill. 

She faced tragedy with guts and grace. She was fired upon in an open car and had to wipe her husband's brains and blood from her face. Five years later, her favorite brother-in-law was also murdered. She went through five difficult pregnancies in ten years, yet only brought two babies home from the hospital. Her father died of alcoholism, her mother suffered from Alzheimer's, her youngest sister died at 40 from cancer and she buried them all. 

She and her family faced an insane amount of public scrutiny and criticism. (Her husband and son have even been co-opted by QAnon! Part of what the lady herself would undoubtedly call "the river of sludge.")

Yet she kept going. She kept recreating herself. She exemplified Robert Frost's quote: The best way out is always through.

Her children loved her and did her proud. She saved Grand Central Station. She became a successful book editor. 

Isn't this enough? 

I can see in her everything I value. Courage, beauty, strength and originality. I also see in her how and where I fall short. That's why I should remember that she chain-smoked, bit her nails and shopped compulsively.

By the way, I'm in good company. You know who else was intimidated by Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis? Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco. One of the most beautiful women to ever appear on screen, an Oscar winner who became a real-life princess, and she was jealous of Jackie, too. It galled her that no matter what she did, no matter what she accomplished, Jackie got more attention and better press.

I think all this means I have good taste, and that I was imprinted by the media I was exposed to as a little girl. I grew up on Jackie, and I've carried her with me throughout my life.

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