FLOTUS gives the public a Surely-to-God-She-Didn't moment
None of us are perfect, and we all have moments where our actions aren't anything to write home about.There are days we all lose it, times we all say things we regret uttering. I imagine for those under constant scrutiny by the press the effort to keep public appearance nice must be difficult. But when all is said and done one's typical mode of actions is a better testament of personality than any off-moment event, even if the off-moment action makes for headlines or scandal.
An example of this rule of thumb could be if we were to see a revered and/or well-known figure say or do something completely contrary to our expectations. Imagine, if you will, that you were at the grocery store, pushing your cart along, so absorbed in finding the items that you have coupons for that you're totally oblivious to everything around you. Just as you finally spot the Mott's Applesauce on aisle 7 and begin to push your cart forward it you casually glance up - just in time to see another cart careening wildly around the aisle. Before you can even think BAMM!! it collides into your own cart.
Your cart is banged so hard the eggs that had been in the kiddie seat are knocked out and crash straight onto the floor. As your jaw falls open you hear the other shopper utter an expletive of surprise and dismay. Looking up you see that this is no ordinary shopper, this is the Dalai Lama! And he's uttered no ordinary expletive, but one you've not heard since 7th grade when the gym coach got into that brawl with the librarian over a parking space. On hearing the stream of profanity come out of the Dalai Lama's mouth you are so shocked you can't speak, even as you notice (much to your disgruntlement) that ok, his eggs, milk and yogurt didn't get knocked out of his cart. Of course, the Dalai Lama's eggs still look a little worse for wear and the shattered pin of milk is making for several waterfalls through the criss-cross plastic bars at the bottom of his cart. His yogurt cartons are in good shape, however, only you suddenly realize that the Dalai Lama has selected that brand of yogurt.. the one with the promo labeling that reads sinfully tempting and better than sex but tastes worse than the broccoli pudding your mother-in-law served three Christmases back and which you'll never fully get the taste removed from memory.
After forcing this ironic info from thought, you recapture your breath, searching your brain for something to say when you see now that the Dalai Lama has turned a shade of white far paler than the milk. He looks sickened as he surveys the fresh grocery disaster he's created. He apologizes, so emotionally, so pathetically full of pure, deep-felt regret that it pains you. The agonized look on his face alone brings tears to your own eyes. In fact you feel so badly for him you almost forget to tell him that the brand of yogurt he chose also gives the runs. But as you yank tissues from your purse and pat him on the back you remember and pass along to him this pertinent piece of consumer know-all. Because if there is anything worse than seeing the Dalai Lama break down like a little girl is knowingly sending him home with cartons of stuff that will have him on the toilet for two days. And then he asks if you will forgive him. This stuns the next tear right in your eye. His apology is so touchingly, undeniably heartfelt. Of course you forgive his off moment. More than this, after the mop boy comes along and cleans up you help the poor man select another brand of yogurt -one more in line with his abstemious vows- and even put two cases of it into his wheeled craft of death.
The two of you leave the grocery store friends and you have more respect for the Dalai Lama than ever before. Why? Because just as you did with the spree of oblivious shopping enthusiasm, the Dalai Lama had a human moment. A human moment that he was demonstratively not proud of. He didn't try to either sugar coat it or even excuse it away. He owned up and he apologized.
My point here is this everyone -even someone as decent and likable as the Dalai Lama- makes mistakes. Nice people, even on the best of days may find themselves responsible for a runaway cart incidents. They deserve forgiveness. Little slips of decorum really shouldn't be used to judge a person. If we are in the position we just must judge, or are at least asked to assess someone's typical personality, judgment should come from assessment of typical demonstrated actions. Which leads me to the person in the video coming.
First Lady Michelle Obama. Now I often find myself in total disagreement with this woman's opinions. I don't care for her politics, either; heck, I don't even like her choice in vacation wear. But this notwithstanding, I would be in error to judge her in any way contrary to the typically demonstrated actions guideline.
With this said, in the following video she is shown watching a Memorial service that was recently held in NY on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. She is speaking to her equally famous husband (I'm pretty sure he's equally famous) and her voice cannot be heard by the viewer. But according to many who have viewed this footage she is making a very disrespectful comment about the American flag. She also makes a roll of the eyes that, well, may look a little out of place considering the event. While I have my own opinion as to what she was saying, I will leave it to the viewer to decide what words her lips are actually articulating.
Yes, interesting. But we should not be quick to judge here because 1. We can't hear what she's saying, 2. even lip-readers are known to lie, right? 3. She probably had something in her eye and like most people when she rolled her eyes her mouth just naturally clamped into a smirk, and 4..most importantly, what evidence from the past do we have to think for a moment this First Lady is nothing but the epitome of mature behavior, politeness and social grace? Is there any history of behavior that utterly makes questionable the WH's explanation of what she was saying, right? What proof is there from her past actions to realistically suggest she's a really sour or bitter person at heart?
Nothing I can think of. So I say surely to god she didn't. And now I've got other things to worry about, like cutting out these food coupons and finding bumper pads to put on the shopping cart once I get to the grocery store. You all have a great day!
©2011 by Beth Perry
More by this Author
A commentary and look at the growing misuse of pepper spray.
Eggs on holiday: why I support the Liberal Ladies Who Lunch and their planned Access Denied strike
A migraine sufferer's recommended list of over-the-counter migraine relief medications