by Anniel 4/16/14
“Mommy, I’m boring” — three-year-old • For the past eleven years Chicago has become almost a second home to me and several members of our family. Our youngest daughter suffers from a rare neurological disorder and her needs, we feel, can only be met by a wonderful neurosurgeon there.
After Obama won his ﬁrst election, I knew I would be facing two problems when I had to go to Chicago. One was the inevitable Sarah Palin ugliness and bashing. And the other was my distaste for Obama and what to say to my many friends in his “hometown.” One trip came just a few weeks after the election and I made a decision I could best defend Sarah Palin by saying that not only was she not stupid, but that I resented my friend Sarah being lied about. I would just mumble, “Ummmm” about Obama.
We went to pick up our rental car just out of O’Hare and I sat down to wait while my husband took care of business. A gentleman I assumed worked for the rental agency came over to me and said, “I hear you’re from Alaska. Do you know Sarah Palin?” “Yes, and she’s lovely,” I said. He broke into a big grin and told me he thought she was so beautiful and he hoped she would run for president someday. No need for any defensiveness in that. Then he asked, “What do you think of Obama?” Before I could even get the “Ummm” out, he looked furtively around and said, quietly, “Some of us here have his number. He’s not as smart as you hear, but his real problem is he’s lazy and he gets bored very easily. You watch, he’ll last only a few weeks, maybe a month, and he’ll hate being president and start looking around for excitement. He’ll also be following the ways of crooked Chicago politics.” He then recounted to me the stories of how Obama won elections and his shady land deals. The stories that would later come out were never any surprise to me. We were in the midst of all this intrigue when my husband came to get me. The gentleman shook our hands, raised his ﬁnger to me and said, “You watch. What I told you is true.”
Apparently Valerie Jarrett has said that Obama has been bored his whole life. I suppose she thought that was a compliment because he’s so smart that nothing and no one is as smart as he is. Such a belief is at least part of his problem.
I remember laughing when my friend’s three year old said she was “boring.” When my own children came along I tried to teach them that only “boring” people get “bored” and that really “smart” people don’t. Not one of them now ever tells me they’re bored. Evidently the President was not taught, or at least never learned that lesson. To me he has always been a boring bore.
I did use my defense of Sarah Palin several times and had to practice saying “Ummm” a lot about Obama.
My husband, Bear, had ongoing land use negotiations with the city of Wasilla, Alaska, where he had once lived, and felt that the mayor was never up front on what he said and seldom honored verbal commitments. Bear was often frustrated so after his ﬁrst meeting with Sarah Palin he was relieved to ﬁnd she was a person of honor and always kept her word.
I don’t always agree with some of the things Sarah did as Governor of Alaska, but overall I do like and trust her as a person. When I made the decision to defend her while in Chicago, I had no idea where that would take me.
We stayed at a Ronald McDonald House when our daughter was undergoing treatments for her illness and I chose not to participate in political discussions while we were guests there. I felt that politics should have no place in a house meant as a retreat for people whose children were ill, but there were others who indulged in loud and often insulting political discussions. You know the kind, all white people are racist, etc.
When we got to the house following the elections we were hit right away with sneering references to Sarah. I calmly said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t appreciate my friend being lied about, and she is really a very smart and lovely person.” One of the worst offenders jumped up like a scalded cat and ran from the room. I could hear her almost screaming about how awful Sarah was and how could I possibly be friends with her? The woman was a House volunteer who spoke to me only grudgingly thereafter.
A few days after our arrival, a good friend invited me and my daughter to attend a local Women’s Club meeting. I am not that kind of “joiner” but the speaker sounded interesting so we decided to go. On our early arrival we were introduced to a few women and sat down. One of the women came to sit beside me and told me she had been the ﬁrst person in Hyde Park to hold a Tea and Fundraiser for Barack Obama and we were so lucky he had won the election, blah, blah. Me, “Ummm.” Suddenly she took my hand and said, “I’ve never met anyone from Alaska before.” “Well,” I said, “Here I am.” The usual questions followed, “How long have you lived there?” “Fifty years.” “Is it really dark six months a year?” “No.” “Do you eat seals?” “Some people do.”
Then she switched gears, “Maybe I shouldn’t ask this but, well I just want to know if the rumors are true and maybe you can tell me.” She sat there looking at me expectantly as if I were a mind reader. Finally I had to ask, “What exactly are the rumors?” Looking slightly embarrassed she said, “They say that Alaska is horribly polluted and that’s why Sarah Palin is so stupid.” By that time she was positively salivating for my answer. I was so stunned at the effrontery of such a question I could hardly think, so all I could come up with was, “I’m sorry about such a rumor because Alaska is one of the most pristine places on earth, and my friend Sarah Palin is very intelligent.”
The woman gave me a sad, pitying smile as the meeting was gaveled to order, and went to sit by friends while I thought of all the answers I should have given. How about, “You really think Alaska is more polluted than Chicago?” Or, “Gee, I just told you I’ve lived there for ﬁfty years, shall I drool on you in my abject stupidity?”
One of my sons met this woman later and she told him she has been a long-time Socialist. Big surprise there.
She also has a PhD in psychology, but I won’t hold that against her. • (1984 views)