This is a love letter, of sorts.
I love watching the State of the Union. Even if my party isn’t in the White House – and my party is…Sidebar: This is entirely new to me. In my lifetime, my party has never really been in the White House. “What?!” you say. Bill Clinton? Hello? But you see, I was 11 when he took office, and my parents were Repulicans at the time. (Now they are…independent, I guess. Well…I think they might be registered Democrats. Truthfully, I’m not sure.) So basically I was just repeating what they said. Which was usually, “Oh I just love Barbara Bush’s reading program.” The point is, last January was the first time I was just absolutely thrilled by the person taking the oath.
But, as I was saying, Even if my party isn’t in the White House, I love the tradition. I love the pomp and circumstance (which is actually fairly low-key compared to other nations). I just truly enjoy watching our government at work. And I say this with no sarcasm or subtext. I also love the purpose of the speech. It’s a check-in. It’s a yearly physical. I read an article entitled “State of the Union not Reset Button,” but in fact, it sort of is. It’s from the source. It’s info not from pundits or analysts or academia. It’s the difference between reading a book about the Mississippi River and going to actually see and experience the Mississippi River. Is it filtered by speechwriters, staff, and party doctrine? Yes. But the mere fact that it comes straight from the top, on camera, spoken to you, makes it accountable.
I’m all about reset buttons. Sometimes you just have to start over again. And who else could guide you through than the Illustrious Dolly Parton?
Actually…her version of “Starting Over Again” is kind of a depressing song about divorce.
Let’s come at this from another angle.
A bit of a Public Service Announcement:
Note to Street Musicians: If you play “Glory of Love” I will well-up and give you money. Even if I have none to give.
Because it’s maybe one of the greatest songs ever. No, not in musical complexity, but in truth.
“You’ve got to give a little, take a little
And let your poor heart break a little.
That’s the story of love
That’s the glory of love
You’ve got to laugh a little
Cry a little
And let the clouds roll by a little
As long as there’s the two of us
We’ve got the world and all its charms
But when the world is through with us
We’ve got each other’s arms.
You’ve got to win a little
Lost a little
And always have the blues a little
That’s the story of
That’s the Glory of Love”
I hate to run ‘er too deep here, but that song isn’t just about Romantic love. It’s about Friend Love. It’s about Family Love. And it’s about Life. The good guys always have it the hardest. Our plans take the longest to succeed. Our triumphs are the biggest struggles. And our fights leave the deepest wounds. We have to blaze paths that are muddy and ugly and covered in thorns. “When you’re looking back, it’s nice clear a path,” says the Indigo Girls, “Every five years or so I look back on my life, and I have a good laugh.” It’s the only way to do it. If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. Or at least be on Prozac.
This blog’s title comes from an episode of Seinfeld called “The Opposite”:
George : It’s not working, Jerry. It’s just not working.
Jerry : What is it that isn’t working?
George : Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable, I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but … I was perceptive. I always know when someone’s uncomfortable at a party. It became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every of life, be it something to wear, something to eat … It’s all been wrong.
( A waitress comes up to G )
Waitress : Tuna on toast, coleslaw, cup of coffee.
George : Yeah. No, no, no, wait a minute, I always have tuna on toast. Nothing’s ever worked out for me with tuna on toast. I want the complete opposite of on toast. Chicken salad, on rye, untoasted … and a cup of tea.
Elaine : Well, there’s no telling what can happen from this.
Jerry : You know chicken salad is not the opposite of tuna, salmon is the opposite of tuna, ‘cos salmon swim against the current, and the tuna swim with it.
George : Good for the tuna.
( A blonde looks at George )
Elaine : Ah, George, you know, that woman just looked at you.
George : So what? What am I supposed to do?
Elaine : Go talk to her.
George : Elaine, bald men, with no jobs, and no money, who live with their parents, don’t approach strange women.
Jerry : Well here’s your chance to try the opposite. Instead of tuna salad and being intimidated by women, chicken salad and going right up to them.
George : Yeah, I should do the opposite, I should.
Jerry : If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.
George : Yes, I will do the opposite. I used to sit here and do nothing, and regret it for the rest of the day, so now I will do the opposite, and I will do
( He goes over to the woman )
George : Excuse me, I couldn’t help but notice that you were looking in my direction.
Victoria : Oh, yes I was, you just ordered the same exact lunch as me.
( G takes a deep breath )
George : My name is George. I’m unemployed and I live with my parents.
Victoria : I’m Victoria. Hi.
I’m all quotes and song lyrics up in this, but it’s only because others have said it before me and said it better. So here’s to reset buttons in the Video Game of Life. And if all else fails, you can always blow in the bottom of the cartridge. Sure, you might have to start back at World 1-1, but this time, you’ll beat Bowser. And that’s straight from the mouth of The Princess.