Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I inadvertently put off my New Year celebration until now. I even had a huge quantity of champagne last night, and stayed up past midnight…something I didn’t do at the actual start of 2009. Wasn’t interested.

It occurred to me only this morning, when I jumped out of bed all energetic (and strangely enough, no hangover), fired up and ready to go, if you will--Ack. I had hoped never to encounter that phrase that again. (I mean the “if you will” part—forever in my mind associated with Cheney. Why the hell did he keep saying that? Like we had any choice?)

NOW I’m ready to jump into my diet/exercise/whatever other resolutions I can come up with at this late date. Being a better person, etc.

For years and years now I’ve been yearning for somebody to ask Americans to take some responsibility…something Bush obviously felt we were either incapable of or that it would be a terrible imposition (projecting, maybe?). And it finally happened! Hooray!!! I felt like I had almost written Obama’s inaugural address my own self. Or at least the outline. He is so right—there’s nothing like a good challenge to get the blood flowing.

I couldn’t tear myself away from the television until the Obamas had danced their last dance. I was thinking during the parade that they must have been so exhausted—though they stood there for hours smiling and cheering. I somehow felt that if they had to endure the entire rest of the day, running the gauntlet of the inaugural balls, I would just see it through with them (albeit from the comfort of my couch).

I’ve been cynical about the comparison of the new White House to Camelot—Barack Obama is no Jack Kennedy, and I mean that perhaps in a good way. I believe that Obama has a lot more going for him—for one thing he’s a lot healthier, both mentally and physically. Well, okay, Kennedy was funnier. It began to dawn on me though, that I was experiencing something like déjà vu, or nostalgia, in spite of myself.

I realized as I bounced down the street this morning on my way to work that part of the glow I was feeling was healing, not the healing I was expecting from the emotional and spiritual wounds of the last eight years, but something else as well.

I was fifteen when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and it was a trauma that haunted me for years and years. I always believed that that same trauma drove everyone who lived through it a little mad, drove the craziness of the rest of the sixties.

With succeeding inaugurations, there were always odious comparisons in my head, always the feeling that the energy, élan and aura of the Kennedy years would never be recaptured. That the world would never look at our leader again with that same mixture of awe and respect. Until now.

That wound--still gaping all these years, though I didn’t realize it—has finally closed.

God and the Secret Service keep them safe.


POD said...

Melissa, That was/is a beautifully written post. We were discussing JFK last night and comparing. Wondering what might happen if...there are still so many crazies! But I believe it's healthier (for what that's worth) to just plan on Obama making it through. I have to quit worrying that someone might shoot him (if that is what you are implying). I mean, we just got through 8 years of deliberate hell and no one shot anyone. The closest to getting shot was a thrown shoe, right? Obama will kick ass or die trying (natural death only). No one will ever throw their shoe at him.
BTW, the real reason Cheney was sitting in the wheel chair was to hide his reptilian tale.

Melissa said...

Actually, I have all kinds of faith in the people protecting him. They certainly did a good job yesterday!

It was just an afterthought--that they'd better darn well keep him safe!!! I don't think I could stand it.

It would be interesting to gather up some of the pictures of Cheney hanging out in various guises--remember when he was at some big fancy memorial in Europe and he was wearing hunting clothes or something??

POD said...

this one?

sore thumb!

POD said...

you'll like this!

Melissa said...

LOL indeed! I saw The Daily Show and Colbert last night! They were both AWESOME (haven't found a new word to replace "awesome" yet...)

And the picture of Cheney in the snow outfit is PRICELESS!

Crabby McSlacker said...

I'm so thrilled at feeling part of this country again, after being alienated for so long!

I'm counting on the fact that most of the people who mean Obama harm are nutballs who aren't very well organized. If even idiot Bush could make it through 8 years with most of the entire world wanting to kill him, I'm guessing the secret service folks are pretty darn competent.

Melissa said...

Crabby, my sentiments exactly! That's why I haven't been too worried!

POD said...

Idiot bush? OMG! We are probably being watched by those crooks as we type.

MizFit said...

ok fantastic post and you echoed so many of my thoughts as well...and I had the sentimental music flowing in my head and then LAUGHED OUT LOUD at PODs comment about Cheney.

comedy gold.

Sbanfnyc said...

Nice blog. I understand the last note about the fear of loosing a good President.

I am more inclined to be focused on the transition I experience from the WTF response to news from the unmeasurably long 8 years of Bush/Cheny.

Now I hear anything Obama and think "not a bad idea".

What a change. Those two thoughts generate emotions in me. One is more unpleasant than teh other.

I,m so glad to be returning to pleasant.

The Kennedy years were pleasant till the end for the most part.