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Ignorance. That’s…Hot?

There are three things I’ve quickly learned about keeping a blog:

  1. It must be current.
  2. Entries must be brief or approach genius in content and structure.*
  3. It must be current.

Numbers one, two, and three pose a challenge for someone with my daily time constraints — someone who also harbors a competing, deep-seated, and egomaniacal desire show others the world as I see it in a truthful, reasonably intelligent, and thoughtful manner.  Though as long as I hit just one of those in each entry (truthful, intelligent, or thoughtful) I can give myself the ‘atta girl I need to keep going. And oh, how I loves me the ‘atta girl.

The point here (you were starting to doubt?) is that I was working on a new post that frankly was not nearly as interesting to me as a topic I unearthed in today’s NYT.  And since today’s the day (see point #1), I’m quickly, clumsily, switching gears and themes. This post, in the literal sense, has absolutely nothing to do with play or with dogs.

“Unearthed” is perhaps taking too much credit; Maureen Dowd’s latest Op-Ed is on the front page AND currently the most popular emailed and viewed article.  As a general rule, I have mixed responses to Dowd’s theses, but I give her writing two thumbs up for intellect and sass.** And this, readers, is why today’s OpEd today, “Making Ignorance Chic”  trumps my original editorial plan.

Today Dowd contrasts the era of Marilyn Monroe — striving, against all odds as a perceived sex object, to attain a level of intellectualism — with that of today’s (truly absurd) Sarah Palin, “another famous beauty with glowing skin and a powerful current…[who] has made ignorance fashionable.  The comparison, just starting with those respective women’s public roles,  is a stretch, I gotta say. But Dowd’s point strikes a chord nonetheless. Public beauties of the past like Monroe experienced great shame and humiliation when considered dumb. But somehow, Sarah Palin and her ilk, are successfully painting “exceptionalism as suspect.” 

Well that’s, like, totally gross right? What does it mean for our culture when the majority doesn’t actually WANT someone smarter and better educated than… well… the rest of us, in the lead? Don’t we want to look up? Have we stopped aspiring to something better than what we can affect in our own back yards?  To be fair, I think a lot of us do. (We’re out here, Ms. Dowd! Raising daughters, blogging our little ideas, and wishing we could be smarter about all of it!)  I find it disheartening even that so much attention is paid to today’s flailing politicians, who cannot present themselves and their ideas is a manner befitting the positions of great responsibility that  they seek.

The article is worth a read, I say, (as do thousands of other people emailing NYT articles around tonight). 

And a final note to Ms. Dowd, with all due respect: Seriously? Palin’s a “famous beauty?” Let’s never forget what our mothers told us over and over again: pretty is as pretty does. 

* Total word count for this piece: 520. Seems long.

** I also really like her hair. (And thank Christ for that, what with Ann Coulter running from one Fox studio to the next with all those nasty split ends whipping every which way.)

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the home visit

Linda showed up at our house at 7:30-ish. That was our agreement over email, complete with the “ish.”  “Ish” is my way of warning that I have two children under six, work full-time, and am no stranger to adult attention deficit.  If you’re late, or early, I will understand. Time management is an oxymoron in my world.  Add “ish” and at least I’m self-aware.

Linda pulled her Camry right to our front gate and waved out the window.  I imagined the scene as she saw it — lovely daughters, just slightly dishevled, eating popiscles on the front porch swing and giggling. White porch dappled with light from the setting, summer sun.  Dear husband (DH) watering the new azalea bushes. My lipgloss? Fresh. Light.  I may have heard music.

“Hi there,” I called through  my most fabulous smile. 

Then, “you gonna shower now?” I whisper-hissed to my husband through said, sparkling smile. 

Linda is a volunteer for American Brittany Rescue. She conducts home visits with families interested in adopting, and oh, I was interested. At that moment there were only two forces driving my behavior.  The first — less force really, than prim old-lady voice inside my head —  was my maternal grandmother chirping, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  (Seriously, the man ran five miles and smelled like a hunk of cheese.  Expecting that he think ahead and be showered was not exactly an expectation on par with those of aStepford Wife.)

The second force, truly a force, was the deep hollowness I have felt for the last three months. We euthenized our Brittany, Samson, on March 5, 2010. He’d been suffering from cancer.

DH sighed his you-realize-you’re-being-ridiculous sigh and acquiesed to my shower request.  I responded with a slap to his behind. I’m-no-stranger-to-ridiculous. 

My two-year-old pressed her melting, half-eaten rocket pop into my palm.  “Can I watch a show? Pleeeeese?” 

And Linda — this ABR angel with perfectly separated Maybeline lashes who had the power to fill the chasm in my heart — crossed the threshold to our home.

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