When you rule a family, rule the roost, you need to do what's best for your family. And you need to exercise your authority in such a way that the family will prosper and be happy. Grandma Slump has always been a benevolent matriarch, often times getting her way with us and we didn't even know what happened!
You might not be hungry, but Grandma puts a plate of pancakes out there and says in her gentle, pleading voice, "You need to eat." Not like Grandpa, who we barely mention, who was a man of few words and great strictness, who simply said, "Eat!" Grandma might have been a trained psychologist for all I know, spending years before she had sex (and thereby children) working in university or government laboratories, doing top-secret experiments and studies on lab rats. Come to think of it, she got me a guinea pig on my first birthday, and he already looked fairly old.
She had the touch, the knack, to put her foot down, yet always in a way that made you want to hop-to, kowtow, and submit. I never really liked apricots and prunes, speaking of food, but Grandma Slump always had a way of making them seem edible. And she was sweet, after you cried a while, then choked them down, saying with her tender cooing voice, "There, there," and, of course, "Now come give Grandma sugar."
Pardon me my memories. I'm going way back on some of this stuff. I guess she really had it going in those days. Now Grandpa's gone, the lab's cleaned out, no more sex, to speak of. In fact, I'm glancing over at the couch now, and with her slumped posture, the blank stare, and the occasional swiping of the air, you'd hardly think she had much vigor left. Ah, these are her golden years.
Of course none of that is to say she doesn't have her days. I tried to wrestle a spoon away from her the other day, and she about broke my wrist. Then a quick release, the fingers going suddenly limp, and it was forgotten. And she can be bossy -- and not always in her sweet way, although usually the sweetness still makes a quick return.
I read some of the news to her today -- and I'm thinking maybe it's giving her ideas. All that business about her being the matriarch -- she's still got it in there somewhere!
The thing I'm speaking of is this adviser to John McCain, Michael Goldfarb. He's just been named the Deputy Communications Director of the McCain campaign. But last April, he shared in a conference call with former Senator George Mitchell, in which Mitchell advocated a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq.
Goldfarb wrote later that he thinks the President possesses "near dictatorial power." Here's his statement: "Congress is a coequal branch of government...the framers did not want to have one branch in charge of the government. True enough, but they sought an energetic executive with near dictatorial power in pursuing foreign policy and war. So no, the Constitution does not put Congress on an equal footing with the executive in matters of national security." (my bold).
Hasn't this country suffered enough under George W. Bush? Do we really want another president who has an inflated sense of his powers, to the extreme point of being a dictator over us? That's what Bush said, too, that he wouldn't mind a dictatorship if he were the dictator! And he went on to act like that was no joke. The unitary executive. If the president does it it's constitutional. It's not torture if he does it.
John McCain is simply a man we cannot trust to lead America. He must be defeated. The best thing to happen would be for no one in the entire country to vote for John McCain. Then when he gets only one vote (his own), and demands a recount, it will be very easy to do. We'll recount the votes five or six times just for good measure. You got one, buddy!
As for Grandma Slump, I'm going to have to watch what I read to her. She likes McCain so much. Like I said one other day, she respects her elders. And if McCain does it or says it, she just might try it herself. She is our matriarch and she's aware that that means something. But at the last family reunion we decided that there needs to be close limits to matriarchal power, such as she always gets the first piece of a cake and she breaks the champagne bottle on any ships the family might purchase.
But if John McCain gets a big head, and starts pulling down the thick purple drapes, and wraps them around himself, then grabs a gold lampshade and puts it on his head, wielding a broomstick as a scepter, the next thing I know, Grandma will need to try it.