Happy President’s Day, or, as I like to call it, “Catch Up on Oscar Nominated Movies Day.” In my previous post I promised detailed holiday coverage, but I only left the apartment once today and that was to get a humus platter. I can tell you we had very little water pressure this morning and that my neighbors in Williamsburg are talking about Britney’s pageboy wig, not George Washington’s:
President’s Day, in my opinion, works against the President’s favor. Calling attention to a man and an administration that would best benefit from, say, “Don’t Read the Paper Day” strikes me as odd. It’s like waking up with an enormous lip blister, turning on the news, discovering it’s “National Cold Sore Prevention Day,” and going through with a presentation. It’s bad timing. The last thing this President needs is an American public with contemplative free time on a day devoted to him. It’s a recipe for rally: holiday halted trains and mail, vacation from mind numbing Excel spreadsheets, and long movie lines.
Well, that’s settled.
Does anybody still celebrate President’s Day? I’m reminded of Elaine Stritch in Sondheim’s Company asking in a drunken rasp: Does anybody…still wear…a hat? It’s confusing. Actually, Washington’s Birthday is still the official name for today. When Congress passed the 1968 Monday Holiday Act and moved the celebration to accomodate Lincoln’s Birthday (the holiday is now always after Lincoln’s birthday and before Washington’s), it popularized the broader yet inaccurate term President’s Day. So am I supposed to stick to the Congressionally mandated name and only honor Washington? Or Washington and Lincoln? Or all Presidents? Can’t I just go and see Pan’s Labyrinth?
I have no problem paying homage to George Washington, although if I’m truly honest with myself, it’s because I see him as Barry Bostwick. For a few months in seventh grade, I hibernated after school in my basement playing Duck Hunt and obsessively rewatching the eight hour George Washington mini-series. I didn’t much care for Bostwick’s farewell scene to the troops at Valley Forge but I liked the parts where a young Washington let a well-educated Jaclyn Smith take off his tri-cornered hat.
I am proud to live in an country that affords me some degree of self-determination. We are a nation of spunk and fortitude. Despite my cynicism, I can occasionally make out Gatsby’s green light through the smog–after all, why else would I drop money on blog business cards? We see something we want, we go after it. We grab the razor from the hands of the hairdresser. We teach our cats autonomy.
As victims of Presidential incompetency, we don’t kowtow, we fight back by purchasing “Number of Days Left in Office” keychains and downloading the Dixie Chicks.
In August 2004, on the eve of the Republican convention, I marched in the Anti-Bush rally. This was before we had the spirit sucked out of us, before we watched the map turn red. I remember two things about that afternoon. I remember inching up Manhattan in solidarity, harnessing a hope that would carry us not only from West Fourth to Times Square, but all the way to war’s end. I also remember marching alongside a boy I had met the night before, gotten drunk with, gone home with and, unfortunately, woken up with. We had absolutely nothing in common except, well, Absolut. And the dream of an ousted Bush. That morning, we agreed both were enough. We sipped coffee on a stoop. We amassed with our fellow protesters, held hands, and made our slow hungover way uptown crying “Four More Months!” This was my version of the 60’s. We kissed in view of a Bush marrionette. At Penn Station we hugged and promised to vote. I never saw him again.
I think about stuff like that on President’s Day, not this. I don’t believe in chronological order so much as emotional.
On a lighter note, isn’t James Polk better looking than anyone might have guessed?
And on a lighter but also heavier note, isn’t it funny that William Taft got stuck in the White House bathtub?
I don’t know what’s funnier: that he got stuck, or that he was taking a bath.
Thanks to all of you who devoted a portion of your President’s Day to reading and promoting my blog. Please keep passing me along! The upcoming weeks should be exciting here in Trybecca, what with the introduction of a more interactive interface. OK. That’s misleading. What I mean is, you all get to vote on stuff and win prizes. President’s Day, if anything, should remind you of your coggy role in the electoral machine.
This week, enter the Rue-did-she-wash-her-McClanahands? contest. That’s right. Next Sunday night, according to the Gutenberg! guest list, Blanche from Golden Girls will be paying a visit to Concessions.
Remember: I never accost celebrities for pictures and autographs. I time how long they stayed on the toilet and tell you whether or not they tipped me at Concessions.
To enter this week’s contest, simply email me (click on Talk to Me in the upper right hand corner) your full name, email address, and answers to the following questions:
1)How long will Rue McClanahan stay in the bathroom? (Note: not going is also an acceptable answer.)
2)What, if anything, will Rue McClanahan purchase at Concessions? Please indicate one or more of the following:
Diet Coke * Coke * Poland Springs * Ginger Ale * Red Wine * White Wine * Heineken * Budweiser * Coors Light * Twizzlers * Snickers * Skittles * Kitt-Katt * Combos (cracker shell with cheddar cheese) * Plain M&Ms * Peanut M&Ms * Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (Note: the sign reads Resses)* Mentos
3)Will Rue McClanahan tip me? If so, how much?
The winner will receive two free tickets to Gutenberg!The Musical!, a Concessions gift basket, his/her picture on Trybecca, and a poetry book of my choosing.
Keep checking in this week for details on my upcoming performance of “My Heart Will Go On” in the sparkle pantsuit as a featured panelist at the Pieces Oscar party.