Sunday, May 3, 2009

How I met N-- in D--in 197-- and spawned Obama

My daughter sent me some questions she wants answered pronto, so I better get going before I get swept into my daily addiction, on-line chess and (growingly) facebook--ah, the lure of socializing on-line! The following, please remember, occurs back in the dawn of time--1975 BC (Before Computers).

The Three questions were...."I want to know about your friendship with N-- B--. I want to know about what it was like to have Rachael after Eve. I want to know about when the idea of getting a doctorate struck you!" I will attempt the first one first (for once).

You will notice I have the protected the identity of my dearest and best friend N--B-- in the Victorian way, by replacing most of the letters in my friend's name with a dash. I have had direct access to the ways of Victorians. My Grandmother, who raised me along with my mother (a two woman household) was a Victorian, and of course I have read a good many (that's a Victorian phrase "good many") Victorian novels. The thing about Victorians is that they are very private--they cultivate secrets. They do NOT discuss sex or "our business"--I understood what sex was, but I never did understand what "our business" was, and why my friends would ever ask about it--why would they ask about something which I myself could not even imagine in the slightest? It is a secret within a secret this hush-hush stuff of the Victorians. Computer security systems have nothing on the Victorians. In Victorian novels , for some reason, the authors always protect the people they write about by replacing actual times and places with periods or dashes. Graham Greene, a writer I have just discovered (where has he been all my life?) had a father who must have been born the same year as my grandmother. He is always poking fun at them--and in fact their whole secrecy, privacy thing. In "The Root of All Evil" he writes "The events happened in 189--, as they say in old Russian novel, in the small market town of B--." So it happened that I met N.B in 197-- in the small seaside town of D-- , specifically in the vicinity of H--C--.

Or so we (she and I) remember. We met at Marie's--everyone went there, the little local coffee shop in D--. Marie was from some Balkan country (Che--? Yu--?), and every Christmas she would send her relatives back home lots of presents--there wasn't any war over there yet, the Soviet Union was still together, and Mr. Dexter's 1961 prophetic history lessons at KH on the Balkans ("They are always having wars in the Balkans") hadn't yet materialized (they would in the 90s).

Anyway, all the young people went there (to Marie's in 1975)--and one morning N-- and I began talking and found out immediately that we were just alike! We were 30 and 32 respectively and both felt really old! We both had experienced the Sixties and were really sad about how it had all gone downhill since then! We were both recently divorced, custody-case-fatigued mothers of young children, we both came from old professional families from Maine and New Hampshire with mothers who were arch conservatives, we were both now managing any way we could to support our children who were in the same grade --wait at minute!! What was the name of the teacher?? Hadn't we seen each other before? "That's where I've seen you!!" we yelled happily in unison (at Marie's it was okay to yell)--we had been the only mothers who had responded to our childrens' invitations to parents to come into school and help out with their projects. In fact, our children were already friends! N-- was an artist, I was a writer, we both played violin--and both of us loved, who else....Bob Dylan! It was quite an exciting meeting. We were indeed very, very much alike. We soon were over at each other's houses all the time and shared the same friends (Jimmy Fiddle, whose last name need not be dashed because we called him that--it's his violin I have now while he has mine--he was learning how to fix them, and mine stayed unfixed so he let me keep his; John G--, Steve W--, Bruce P--, David P--, etc etc. etc.). Later, when I moved from D-- to Fr-- Maine, we kept in touch, though sometimes it was several years (and in one case a whole decade) before we'd actually get together again in person. Always it was the same thing--it was as though just minutes had passed whenever we saw each other! We simply took up the conversation where we'd left off and compared events in our lives. Miraculously we always found we had experienced the very same events! And this was the beginning of when we began calling each other "twinny," which continues to this day. It wasn't just that both of us had left feet that turned in (we must be related!) We also noticed a pattern which had begun way back in D--. Our life experiences, always identical, always turned out positively for me--and negatively for her! For example, when I applied for permission in D-- to homeschool my children, the Superintendent beamed and said yes! But when N-- applied--same application and everything--he said no! And computers--naturally we had acquired them at the same time; but she would have a pc and I would have a mac. When mine broke down, mine would get fixed or replaced; when her's broke down, it wouldn't! It just wasn't fair, we concurred--at some point we must join our forces and balance out our karma input-output and correct this flaw in our celestial fate design. We are still working on that. Of course, her children loved me, and mine loved her--we are not surprised.

Any more questions? Glad to answer....(Yes, we were both amazed and perplexed when we discovered it was Ronald Reagan who gave us single mothers the power to go after dead-beat husbands in court in the 80s............hmmmmmmmmmmmm). We have been best friends and twinnies now, N-- and I, for almost forty years. (Yikes!)

Oh! one more thing! You know how all things are related to the Alpha and the Obama? Here's another. Each generation, it is said, produces its own president. Well, when it came time for us, The Sixties generation, to produce a president, we had Clinton and Bush. Noway Hozay!! One was Deceitful, the other totally lacking in the values we gave the world. Now you must know that Obama's mother, if you have read his book, was one of us--she had Obama in '61, the year I graduated from high school, and I had my first child two years later. Like N. and I, Obama's mom raised her child with the all the values N-- and I believed in and STILL DO!!! Obama's mother, N--, and I might all have met at Marie's at H--C-- in D-- in 197-- and realized we were triplets. Our generation believed in teaching our children well, and OBAMA is our generation's gift to the world! Crosby, Stills and Nash said it best:

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good bye.

Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can't know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.

Can you hear and do you care and
Cant you see we must be free to
Teach your children what you believe in.
Make a world that we can live in.

Teach your parents well,
Their children's hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.