I Hope She'll Remember Us, Come the Revolution
She dictated it to me. It went approximately like this:
George Bush President*:
Please can you stop all the wars. Especially the one in Iraq. Stop all wars everywhere.
Mermaid Girl Booland
* I told her that "President" was the respectful thing to call a President [at least to his face], and that he has a hard important job even if we don't like him.
**She didn't want to sign it "love," which is her customary sign-off in letters to anyone she has the remotest acquaintance with. I suggested "sincerely" as an alternative. I think she especially liked that it means "I really really mean it."
MG has told us many times that she hates George Bush and tries to encourage us to say we hate him too. We usually go all mealymouthed and liberal and demur that we hate a lot of things that he does, but we don't hate him, that hating hurts the hater more than the person they hate, etc. etc. RW thinks that Mermaid Girl likes having someone she feels like it's okay to hate. Many people older than her feel the same about someone or other political, I guess.
She's very worried about the war. We don't talk about it much, but she caught a snippet of an NPR news broadcast and quizzed RW until she had to admit that yes, it is far away but there is a war going on and people are dying in it. Then on the way to swim class the other day, all of a sudden she's all "I'm scared, I'm scared of the war in Iraq, I don't want to go to Iraq!"
I said "Don't go to Iraq!" which was a silly reply ("It hurts when I move like this." "Don't move like that!") but I was distracted by traffic.
"Why is George Bush making that war?" she continued. "I wish I could tell him to stop!" So that's when I suggested the letter.
Afterwards, she pointed out proudly that she had asked him very politely. "I didn't say, you're so stupid, George Bush! I asked nicely." I agreed that she had.
Then she got a very mournful look and said in a voice dripping with sadness and pity, "Poor Barbara! I'm so sad for her."
We were mystified. "Barbara? Who's Barbara?"
"George Bush's mom," she explained, a certain impatient edge cutting the lachrymose tone.
"Ohhh... right. But why are you sad for her?"
She dropped the attitude and her voice became even more earnest and mournful, if that's possible: "Because her little boy is making wars."
It was very, very, very, very hard not to laugh. But as she said it I could also see how sad it was, to contemplate this worst of all possible fates for a mom.
Of course we had to go and ruin the moment by explaining that Barbara Bush is probably all for this war, that her husband made wars too, back when he was President, and that it probably doesn't bother her. But I don't think MG believed us. Obviously, as clueless grownups who refuse to join her in calling the President a diaperhead, all our political opionions are suspect.
Don't trust anyone over thirty, indeed.