August 25, 2014

Flashback '08: The Audacity Althousity of Hope.

The Althousity of Hope

Originally blogged on May 11, 2008, under the heading "The Althousity of Hope." I went back into the archive to find that after reading the comments on the second post of this morning, "Are educated, intelligent adults allowed to complain that they didn't get what Obama's smiling 2008 campaign persona made them feel they could get?" Commenter Kelly said:
Seems like it was only yesterday I saw all the cool kids walking around with a copy of Dreams From My Father tucked under their arm. Everything they needed to know about The One was right in there, or so they thought. The book was as shallow as its author.
And I thought, no the book the cool kids were walking around with was "The Audacity of Hope." See? It's right there on the table.
The comments at the May '08 post fascinate me. People say I look lonely — lonely on Mother's Day! — and I have to point out that obviously, I'm not alone, since somebody else is taking the picture, and my book is under my hand, which means the Obama book is the other person's book. But commenters persist, observing that you don't have to be alone to be lonely, and it's figured out that under my hand — my fisheyed hand, which is mocked as a baseball mitt, a man-hand, an alien hand, and a Lisa Simpson hand — is the book "Singled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After." And Meade — the man I hadn't met but married a year later — said: "Like motherhood, marriage is way overrated."

I revealed why I had the book "Singled Out": I was preparing to do a Bloggingheads episode with the author Bella DePaulo. Here's a July '08 post about that Bloggingheads. In the comments, Meade quotes something I say in the episode: (referring to my then-unshared health insurance and pension benefits) "I've often thought I should just charitably marry someone... I'd just marry them to be nice..." He says:
Gee, I'm single now, happily single, and thought I'd just remain that way.

But considering all the benefits, I guess I'd really be a fool not to take a close look if Althouse were to, just out of niceness, propose to pity-marry me.

What could I offer in return? Let's see - I could prune those redbuds, take out the garbage, trap squirrels.
I don't respond, and the next morning, Meade persists:
I could fetch her newspaper, scrape snow and ice off her car, shovel the front walk. Draw her bath. Pick her up at the airport. Rinse and dry her wine glasses. Form a circle-of -safety to protect her from Hillary Clinton-type madwomen who randomly come up to innocent people on urban sidewalks and punch them in the back. I make excellent salads, grill superb steaks and vegetables. Play a piano sonata. Pick up dry cleaning. Wait patiently while she shops for shoes.
Again, I ignore it, and hours later, but directly underneath that, I write:
I have very valuable benefits that I'm not using because I'm unmarried. Maybe I should go for a cash transaction.
And Meade says:
Okay. Forget the services. I have cash - very very valuable cash.

So what are the benefits and just how much valuable cash do you suppose they're worth?
I say nothing, but — as Ignorance is Bliss says 2 comments down but a year later — "You know the weird thing is that in 1 year she actually will marry him." And a year after that, there's a comment from my son John:
Wow, Meade, way to come up with a plan and follow through!
The narrative arc is long, in life and in blog posts, like this one which I will end with the revelation that the cool kid with "The Audacity of Hope" who took the non-selfie on Mother's Day '08 was my son John.


Birkel said...

I wish I were allowed to self-define as a "cool kid" but reality long ago mugged me.

Birkel said...

You should have been reading Thomas Sowell's "The Vision of the Annointed" available at through your very own portal.

Opportunity wasted.

madAsHell said...

You seem to be trying to hide the book under your left hand. Do you recall what you were hiding?

It is also my observation that we have fewer pictures of our hostess, and I think we have Meade to blame.

DKWalser said...

Had Althouse not said what she did about sharing your healthcare and pension benefits, would she and Meade ever married? It's scary to think about how dramatically our lives can be changed (for better or worse) by such seemingly inconsequential things.

garage mahal said...

From Obama to Walker. The thrill is gone.

Meade said...

He really is pretty cool, that John.

lgv said...

Just goes to show you what happens when you take photos of people with a fisheye lens. One thing leads to another, next thing you know, people get married.

There are tricks on positioning a fisheye lens people shot. Put a person in one spot and they look thinner, another spot, fat-headed. Put people you don't like on the mid-height right or left edge facing in. :)

bleh said...

Is that Tazza in Brooklyn Heights?

richard mcenroe said...

I notice Obama is facing away from you in the picture. Plainly even then he was rejecting your support...

Richard Dolan said...

Looking at that 2008 post, there were comments from some of the old favorites who don't show up so much any more -- Palladian, Trooper Y, Mortimer B come to mind. All three were at the Brooklyn meet-up, too.

Nice walk down memory lane. But the political judgment that caused you to fall for all that Hopey-Changey stuff in 2008 still leaves something to be desired.

Mark O said...

The cool kids were reading "The Greening of America."

Ignorance is Bliss said...

So Meade, tell us: How much cash did she ask for, and were her valuable benefits worth it?

Meade said...

How much?


Paul said...

So that's how a beta schlub woos a post-wall feminist.

Quite pathetic all the way around, but a good lesson for a father to point to and instruct his son whatever happens do not wind up to be that man.

Ann Althouse said...

"You seem to be trying to hide the book under your left hand. Do you recall what you were hiding?"

So… confession that you didn't read the post.

Ann Althouse said...

"Had Althouse not said what she did about sharing your healthcare and pension benefits, would she and Meade ever married?"

That actually wasn't the aspect of the Bloggingheads that impressed Meade. It was my happiness and satisfaction with being single, as compared to what I thought were the risks and problems with having a spouse.

glenn said...

Anybody who voted for Barry even once just thought they were a cool kid. More like a dumb kid.

madAsHell said...

So… confession that you didn't read the post.

Not entirely true.

It was a long paragraph with big words, and the first couple of sentences didn't grab my interest.

I did read the part about Meade's flirting. I still don't understand how you can determine someone's character on-line.

Sure, the individual may write well, and have original thoughts, but I find myself very dependent on body language. How does the individual behave?

Ann Althouse said...

"I did read the part about Meade's flirting. I still don't understand how you can determine someone's character on-line."

You can't, but you can decide whether you want to write email, and from the email, with a photograph, you might be able to get to the point where you can be willing to meet the person in the flesh, in a public place. Then more email, another in-person visit, encounters with him along with other people, including someone with checkable attributes of trustworthiness who has known him all his life, more real-life time together, a days-long trip that included my sons and their father, my ex-husband….

At some point, you've got to trust someone.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is that Tazza in Brooklyn Heights?"

That sounds like the name of the place. It's been more than 6 years since I was there.

FullMoon said...

O.K. I'm gonna try Meades' approach because sending dick pics to random ladies is getting me nowhere.

Meade said...

Ha ha... wise decision.

And if you have leftover dick pics you need to get rid of, I suggest sending them to commenter Paul @ 12:40 PM. I have a feeling he needs them.

Cosmic Conservative said...

If 2008 had been more about wisdom and rationality than fad fantasies and "being cool" this world would be a much safer place and my retirement would be in a much better state than it is because people wanted to "be cool".

Thanks again Ann.

Rusty said...

" I make excellent salads, grill superb steaks and vegetables. "

I was gonna ask if she could cook, but you answered my question.

Michael K said...

Garage ? garage ? Where are you ?

My lefty daughter gave me "Audacity of Hope," which I was not interested in but had she given me "Dreams from my Father," I would have read it. I think it says a lot about his pathology.

exhelodrvr1 said...

A must read on this topic:

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gerry said...

Here's a direct link to exhelodrver1's article (he beat me to it!)

David said...

Rule 1.

You won't get what you don't seek.

Well played, Meade.