Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hail to the Chief

My mom and I went to the George Bush museum in College Station this weekend on what my mom would call a "lark" - she loves going on a lark. We're big fans of Presidential museums because we like how you get a bunch of history and a glimpse into the lives of our former presidents as you look at all the pictures and memorabilia and read all the placards. So, since my mom hadn't been to the Bush museum yet, we hit the road for a spontaneous road trip and headed west to good ol' Aggieland.

I'd like to say that I spent the most time reading interesting tidbits about Bush's political journey or the issues that he stood for while in Congress and the Oval Office. But I must fess up to being a little shallow - I like to look at the pictures of him and his family before he became President. Or pictures of him and Barbara on their wedding day. It's so neat to see them as ordinary citizens, leading their ordinary lives. And, in this museum, you kind of get two for the price of one because you see lots of pictures of George W. as a child in the Bush family's early days in Texas. There were pictures of him as a toddler, as a child, as a teenager. Pictures of him on his mother's hip, in the yard playing, just smiling with his siblings - just general shots of him living his life. I love that.

It's cool to look at those pictures and think about how he was just a normal toddler, smiling for the picture without any clue that he was destined to become President or that this picture would one day be hanging in a museum. I've never had any desire to be President but, as I stood there, I just couldn't help but imagine myself in his shoes. That's the cool thing about America - anyone can become President. Any one of us could have pictures hanging in a Presidential museum one day. It could be you. It could be me.

That's when my armpits started sweating.

Don't get me wrong - I think it would be so cool to be President and, let's face it, the idea of people coming from miles around to learn about me and read about me and see pictures of me is RIGHT up my alley. But a PRESIDENTIAL museum needs to be dignified. It needs to have an air of distinction. Of greatness. Of prestige. And the pictures and memorabilia contained therein should live up to that standard.

My Presidential museum would be filled with pictures that would bring embarrassment upon the office of President.

Liiiiiiiiiike the hundreds upon hundreds of shots of my various mullets over the years. Take, for example, this classic shot of my permed mullet from 4th grade, complete with nestled heart-shaped clip:

Or this one, showing the domestic side of my mullet:

Or, God forbid, this one, showing my mullet in what appears to be a post-hacksaw encounter:

I daresay mine would be the first mullet to grace the walls of a Presidential museum. And I don't think I'm okay with that.

No - maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe the American public would be okay with the mullet. I mean, it was the 80s - I can't be responsible for popular hairstyles through the decades, right? My fellow Americans would surely not lose respect for me just because of my hair, right? And then it hits me . . .

Oh, Lord. The bedhead pictures. WHY did I take the bedhead pictures??

I'm standing in the Bush museum, surrounded by pictures of the fall of the Berlin wall and all I can think about is that my Presidential museum would have a bedhead section instead of a Berlin Wall section. And that's horrifying.

But not as horrifying as the thought of a section containing pictures of me wearing leotards:

The American people don't deserve that.

Or pictures of me in various dance poses:

I don't care if my body WAS by Boni, those pictures have no place in a Presidential museum.

But you know what pictures are the worst to think about? More than the mullets or even the leotards? The WORST thing that would be in my Presidential museum would be the many, many pictures that I've taken over the years that would make Americans question whether I had an I.Q. sufficient for the Highest Office in our country:

How do you lead people after they've seen you with a banana peel or a basket on your head? How can they have confidence in you when they've seen you trying to eat a telephone or sticking out your tongue? Or seen up your nose? How can they take you seriously when they know you used a tattered binky until you were in grade school? It just can't be done.

So I have a new-found respect for the many Presidents who have led our country and, in the process, have opened up their lives and picture albums for all to see. I tip my basket-hat to them and say "Hail to the Chief!"

Better you than me.


Anonymous said...

You certainly didn't seem to be enjoying my embroidery class, but you still look great in a hat - any hat, even a basket one. And you appear to have begun your love of the ever-present telephone at a very early age! Some day you are going to have to have that surgically removed! BTW that was a butterfly in you hair and I can't imagine how I let you wear that off-the-shoulder number when you were so young. The banana on your head seemed to take the edge off it though:)! Thanks for one laugh after another!

Anonymous said...

It was 100% a heart clip!!! That whole thing was HILARIOUS!! I was dying with the mullets and leotards! absolutely LOVED it!!

Jill said...

How did you manage to go back in time and get Ben into those lederhosen and into a picture with little girl Catherine?