Tuesday, February 19, 2008

First lady, old news

Before me I see a headline thus: "Don't Call Her First Lady", this time (and it's not a new headline) about Michelle Obama.
Curious, this.
I'm compelled by the Superbowl that is the Democratic nomination in the US and thus am watching with interest all of that goes on between Obama and Clinton the feminine. Maybe ping pong is the better sports analogy. Either way, I am offended by stories like this.
What are they about? Well, we are to understand, or so it seems, that Obama is some great guy because his wife is strong and gave up a $200K (USD) a year job to support his dream. So-called America's dream. This is supposed to be new news, and she a great, smart, capable woman -- who, in supporting him, shows him all the more worthy.
Jeez Louise.
Hillary Clinton was exactly such a woman but now SHE, the woman, the smart woman behind the man, has found the mettle to run for president (or would if she could). To give accolades to Mrs. Obama, now, as a sign of HIS worthiness, is frankly kind of insulting.
But the parallels cannot be discounted. Obama sounds like every charming, smart, funny guy who ever leaned across the bar to say whatever it is a charmer will say. His platform is change but he is old school -- he is, ironically, Bill Clinton back then, a well-spoken, charismatic, inspiring man supported by the brains of the family.
If we want REAL new, let's vote for Hillary. Or Michelle for that matter, when she has the courage.
If I could I would put my money on the truly new horse, with the old horse's name.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The dirt

So, I fired my cleaning lady after discovering she gossips about me to her other clients who are, no coincidence, my friends. Terrible thing this, a cleaning lady really does have all the dirt on you -- she knows how many wine bottles, she can tell if you're on meds, she knows your grittiest secrets.

Since no new cleaning lady can be found as yet I've been doing the dirty myself for the first time since I starting earning a proper living. What a thing this is.

Perhaps it is because I am my mother's daughter, my mother being one of those Virgos who believes the kitchen should be ever-ready for surgery (this is a sign that I swear to god proves that there's something to astrology, have yet to meet a Virgo who didn't live to clean) I am finding that cleaning my own house is hugely cathartic in ways that surprise me.

Transforming the grit into bright shiny surfaces, taking care of MYSELF, feels whole and wholesome -- my home now looks respectable, grown-up, kind of sophisticated. I look cared for, and how interesting that the care giver is me.

There is also something humbling about getting in touch with your own filth. There's no escape from the elements that make each of us human. Wealthy people, whose care requires a village, lose touch of the basics -- I think it's a good thing to once in a while have to deal with your own scum. Keeps you honest.

And there is something beautifully metaphorical about cleaning up one's own messes. Quite a powerful thing, this.