Monday, January 23, 2006

Sometimes They Surprise Me: P.V

There's two parts to this post.

a.) Last night, DD#1 and I are watching Crossing Jordan. During the commercial break, the ad for the 11:00 p.m. news came on and featured an old politician "coming out of retirement." I couldn't immediately determine who it was, exactly, but then they showed a clip where the OP said, "...there is just so much corruption and deceit in the current Administration..."

"Aha," says I, "he must be a Democrat!"

DD#1 just shrugged.

"He's going to have to fight off Hillary if he wants to be President," I added.

DD#1 snorted. "Hillary will never be President," she said decisively.

I looked over at her, quite surprised. "You're not going to vote for her?"

"I don't think any woman will become President. I don't think they can do the job."

Now, DD#1 is 19. She has come of age in a post-feminist, women-can-do anything world. I worked full-time until she was four and went back to work full-time when she was 13. She has an aunt with a Ph.D. in engineering. She has another aunt who is running her own business. She has been encouraged to explore math and science as well as literature and theater. DD#1 doesn't see anything wrong with gay marriage or abortion. She thinks I am a reactionary.

She does not believe that Hillary Clinton--that any woman--can be President of the United States. Not that they can't be elected, but they cannot do the job.

"You have to be mean," she explained. "I don't think women can be mean enough."

Margaret Thatcher is not on her radar, nor is Ronald Reagan--she's too young to remember them. Queen Elizabeth II is merely a figurehead; Queen Elizabeth I is ancient history.

Somehow, after all the empowering speeches she has heard, after coming from a family with a tradition of strong females, she doesn't think women are suited for the Presidency.

I wonder how many of her friends feel the same way? I wonder if NOW knows?

b.) DS#2 was home today because of a school holiday. Everyone else was at school or at work. He IM'ed me at lunch time.

"I know why only children are so lonely."

He had complete command of the computer, the Internet, and the television. He had no one to talk to, no one to fight with, no one to boss him around. He was lonely, for maybe the first time in his life. The house was too quiet. The dog and the older cat like to sleep; the kitten is either crazy or sleeping herself.

DS#2 often complains that the Kid Next Door comes over whenever he's at his father's house and stays for hours. "He wants me to go everywhere with him, Mom!" DS#2 complained. "Sometimes I just want to hang out at home."

I would give my standard Empathy Speech. "He's surrounded by adults all the time. He doesn't have any siblings. You have to understand where he's coming from." Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Now DS#2 has had a taste of what it must be like. And as much as his siblings get on his nerves, there is always someone to watch TV or a movie or play a game with. Having to share isn't quite so bad as the alternative.