President Obama being too tired to entertain British P.M. Gordon Brown was a hot topic around the blogosphere last week, but because I had something in common with Mr. Obama, I didn’t post about it. You see, I was too tired.
My children are 7, 5, 3 and 8 months and, being a deranged lunatic who should know better, I homeschool them. The ones who are old enough for school, anyway. The other one just takes the house apart bit by bit while I teach math and phonics. They all joined in the taking apart this week because I was busy sitting on the phone with Dell tech support and trying to get caught up on a backlog of bank statements in preparation for being patriotic and sending in some of our wealth to be redistributed. But I digress. Probably because I’m tired.
President Obama’s job is much harder than mine, of course. If I don’t teach Elizabeth how to subtract with borrowing today, the Daily Mail isn’t going to excoriate me for it. If I don’t get the laundry out of the dryer and folded, the worst that will happen is that it will get wrinkled. The British Foreign Office will not be involved, and nobody will know but me and my family. If I don’t get Microsoft Money running properly….wait, that’s a bad example. There will be consequences on that one. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama need my money, after all. There are banks and insurance companies and car companies to be bailed out, overextended homeowners to be kept in homes they can’t afford, and embryos to be dismembered in the name of apolitical science. But again, I digress. Probably because I’m tired.
I really do understand that the President is tired. I understand that the job is harder and more taxing (okay, pun intended) than he thought it was going to be. I understand that he needs that work-out every day to keep him in tip-top shape for tackling what ails the country. I get it. I really do.
What I don’t get is this: does the man not understand the concept of delegating? I mean, aren’t there protocol apparatchiks over at State whose job it is to know what’s an appropriate gift for a head of state and where you’re supposed to meet a head of state and how much fawning and sucking up is necessary? Who dropped the ball on this one? The President, or Madam Secretary? Was this a case of PUMA vengeance? I’m asking because I really don’t know. After all, I’m not the President or the Secretary of State or even a protocol apparatchik.
I’m thinking it might be a generational thing. Barack and Michelle Obama are the same age as my husband and I. And our generation is notorious for not giving a damn about the niceties of protocol. We’re lousy at thank you notes and the like, and we don’t always know the right things to say and the right gifts to give. I’ve made a conscious effort to learn these things, but I think most of my contemporaries think it’s just stupid and pointless: So what if he gave the guy a bunch of DVDs? The polar ice caps are melting and these people are talking about inappropriate gifts?
Don’t worry, Mr. President. Shoot some hoop and have a nap. The British Empire’s in the dustbin of history, and if you want to treat the P.M. as though he were the president of Burkina Faso, it’s all good. What are they going to do, not invite us to tea?