Saturday, October 4, 2008


Once in a while, I'll see someone who appears familiar to me but really, I don't know that person. If they resemble someone famous, I'll form an immediate opinion about the unknown person based on how I feel about the celebrity. I know a lot of people who do this and when it's hard to overcome someone's first impression of a person, this can be so unfair. When I was younger, thirty pounds thinner, less wrinkled and saggy, I had a short blond haircut and I looked at first glance like a certain celebrity. Some of my friends took to calling me by this woman's name. Complete strangers would look at me and say, "gee, you look familiar." Were they also thinking of the famous coochie shot in that movie this star made? Did they form an immediate opinion of me based on some starlet's crotch? Did they wonder to themselves if I was wearing panties? Did they wonder if I was a deadly killer? Probably. Thankfully, they'd usually keep those thoughts to themselves. My best friend Fanette is a dead ringer for Julia Louis-Dreyfus. When her long, dark and curly hair is pulled back-she looks just like Elaine from Seinfeld. Everyone loves Elaine so that isn't such a bad celebrity look alike. She doesn't have to overcome the crotch thing when it comes to first impressions.

One of my worst experiences in celebrity sitings took place in November 2004, right after the unfortunate re-election of Bush-Cheney. This was when my mother in law Patty was diagnosed with cancer. She had several areas of her body that showed tumor including bone, liver, brain and lung. Since the tumor in her chest seemed to be the easiest to get at to diagnose the source of her cancer, she was scheduled for a wedge resection of her lung. I sat with her in the pre-op area where she'd been given a mild sedative. Right across the aisle was a dead ringer for Dick Cheney who was waiting to go in for open heart surgery. The patient was surrounded by his very anxious family and he seemed loved-not a bad thing for a Cheney look alike. I turned my back to them, more in an effort to ignore their own family drama than avoiding looking at Dick. Patty couldn't ignore it though and she was facing right towards this group.

My mother in law didn't like George Bush but completely despised Dick Cheney. To her, Cheney was evil incarnate. Combine the effects of the brain tumor, fear for her life, impending surgery and sedating drugs and well, Patty let loose with her feelings for the patient across the aisle whom she was convinced, was the devil himself. She was whispering, but to me, it sounded as though she were shouting. She said some pretty awful stuff about Dick. She wondered why anyone would be sad if he died. Why were all those people standing around his bed? He wouldn't be missed if he died in the operating room. Clearly, this vision of the devil was real to her. I pulled the curtains and prayed that family didn't hear her. This was not something that this kind and loving woman I knew would ever say out loud; she'd have been mortified if she'd been aware of what transpired. It wasn't her talking, it was the cancer in her brain and the drugs. If they heard what she said, I hope this family understood.

This was such a stressful time for our family. I've put so many feelings and memories about this period away. Others I remember clearly. For instance, I completely recall what I was knitting while sitting in that O.R. waiting room. I remember having to quickly run out to Michael's because I'd misplaced a knitting needle. I remember everything vividly, including the bad coffee, the looks of worry on all the families waiting and the look on Pat's surgeon's face when he came out for the discussion. He was so compassionate and only one of two doctors to speak honestly about her prognosis; the other was my friend, an opthamologist who'd ordered her first head CT. I remember too, what I wrote in the book in the chapel. But the pre-op drama? I had completely buried the Dick Cheney debacle in some deep recess of my brain. The VP debate brought it to the surface.

I have the same feelings about our current VP as Patty had though I keep them pretty much to myself. This man has done more damage to our country and our democracy than any other politician past or present. I firmly believe this destruction may be like an incurable cancer rotting away at the core of things. I hope not. Now we are faced with a VP candidate who seems to think Cheney has done no wrong. When asked during the debate to name the best and worst things Cheney has done in the past 8 years, Sarah Palin said, "Worst thing, I guess, that woulda been the duck hunting accident, where, you know, that was, that was an accident. And that was made into a caricature of him, and that was kind of unfortunate." Really? That's the worst thing she can come up with? Cheney has done way worse than that and the first thing that comes to my mind is not the quail hunting incident. It's the lies about Iraq, his ties to Haliburton, his torture policies and his stand on the rights to privacy that every "Joe Sixpack" deserves. There is more, but that's a start. Can Sarah Palin be that thoughtless? It's possible. I'd feel so much better about that camp if someone would just remove this woman from the picture and slip her doppelgänger, Tina Fey, into her spot.

For the VP candidate, God forbid should you be elected, here is an excellent tutorial on what the constitution states are your duties as a Vice President of the United States.


Anonymous said...

That was great, I'm passing that on to many people. Could not agree with you more. Well said, very well said.

Brenda said...

No fair Rudee. You didn't say who the starlet was that you are supposed to look like, and I am not starlet knowledgeable enough to figure it out for myself. But I will guess and say Sharon Stone.
But if that was a bad guess, I am sorry.

Rudee said...

Thank you Cheryl. And yes Brenda, it was SS. I never saw it but my friends did. It was the same short blond hair that made people connect those dots. It sure wasn't well, other things. Some day, I'll post a picture of my hair style from way back then.

The Crusty Crone said...

I was hoping you might have shared which "starlet" you resemble, cause I didn't have a clue.

Palin's ignorance scares me a little. When she said she didn't stop to even wonder if she could do the job.... didn't even give it a second thought... now that scares the sh*t outta me. She doesn't have a clue. I heard someone being asked about their opinion on the vp debates and he said she came across as a smart-mouth thirteen year old. I had to agree.

Anonymous said...

did you all watch the same debate that I did?

Anonymous said...

Here is something from
"It began with a friendly handshake and a folksy question from Palin, "Can I call you Joe?"

That was fine with Joe. But it didn't take long for the two vice presidential candidates to get into some sharp exchanges about tax policy, bipartisanship and the Iraq war.

We examined many of their claims and found that:

• Biden was wrong that John McCain's tax plan provides "virtually nothing to the middle class." We rated that one Barely True.

• Palin wrongly characterized Barack Obama's health plan when she said it would be "government-run." Another Barely True.

• Biden was pretty much on the mark when he quoted McCain saying he was "surprised there was a subprime mortgage problem." We rated that one Mostly True.

• Palin was right that Obama has voted with the Democrats 96 percent of the time. True.

• Biden distorted McCain's comments about whether he would meet with the prime minister of Spain. Biden got a Barely True for that one.

• Palin was right that Biden "said that Barack Obama was not ready to be commander in chief." He said it in a Democratic debate in August 2007. We ruled this True."

Rudee said...

Yes. Anon. Can't.Stand.Her. I watched the same debate as you. Her Joe Sixpack persona falls way too short of impressing me. What was with that winking bullshit? Watch-she's as dumb as your current president and doesn't know a thing about our constitution.

But hey, let's not fight. As for whom to vote for, the die was already cast well before you watched this-you want more of the same because it's been a good 8 years for you (really?). Not so for me. Much of my life has changed and not for the better. Your party just doesn't talk to me and I'm rather surprised it talks to you. Well, it's a good thing I know your wife's vote cancels out yours. Whew! Love ya Fudge!

Let's put politics aside and break bread next week. Arabic?

Anonymous said...

My only point is that each and every one of them lie. They lie for your vote...They and they never once have put the american public in the fore front.... This two year bs to elect a President has to stop. I firmly believe that if your going to run for the Presidency then you should step down from your current position or at least take a leave of absence and have someone appointed to take your spot. Five senators were away from their jobs for over 80-90% of the time. Did they really have your or my best interest at heart. Now if you miss 80% of your work what would happen to you!

Rudee said...

Dear Anon, My point is that we cannot afford 4 more years of the same. Yes, McCain/Palin are a different group of people but my fear is that the the party with executive power will be the same-executing many of the same failed policies with the same exact people. Can we afford that? Can you? I agree this election process has been going on too long but the stakes are so very high.

Anonymous said...

This wall Street bail out is a sham. How can we bail out these banks....These are the same banks that give a teenager with a part time 4-8 hours a week job a $10,000credit limit. Whenever the card is maxed up the limit. Whatever happened to fiscal responsibilities. Yet congress passed this bill and the President signed it;
One last thing......Your afraid of what Sarah Palen could bring as your President...What about Nancy Pelosi She is number three in command; what kind of ego trip is she on!!!

Wilde Thyme Knits said...

What can I say Rudee. You know that I agree. As an immigrant I am totally gobsmacked that the American public could even consider voting for more of the same, even if it comes packaged in trendy glasses and with an hourglass figure. I thought Joe Sixpack had more brains.

Betty Flocken said...

That story would be funny if not under such serious circumstances. I like Tina Fey better too!

Anonymous said...

Well, did you hear the news, Knitting Knurse.

The Secretary of the National Debt, (Treasury), Henry G. Paulsen, has just appointed Neel Kashkari, 35, and deputy secretary of the debt, to the post of administering the bailout program. Just so happens that this Ghandi look alike was employed by Paulsen at Goldman Sachs. Oh, Paulsen was the leader of Goldman Sachs for about three years and left with over $100,000,000.00.

I swear that Bush rivals Herbert Hoover as the finest leader of our time!

Sandy said...

Excellent post Rudee. I feel the same way!!

And very interesting yet sad, reading about your MIL. Cancer mom was ravaged by this....