In high school, I was a cheerleader, a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club. During summers, I worked at the Dairy Queen.
At the end of my freshman year at a two-year women’s college, the defunct Sullins in Virginia, I won the humanities academic achievement award.
During my junior year at the University of Kentucky, I wasn’t the least bit intimidated when tutoring English to the behemoths on the football team.
As a senior, I worked in a library and held my own with Mr. Melvil Dewey.
Some years later, after going back to school and receiving a master’s degree, I was facilitator of Make Today Count, a support group for people with life-threatening illnesses.
I’m a mother, but must admit to a deficiency in cleverness when naming my children. Not one is a Track, Willow, Bristol, Piper, or Trig, although Sullins College was in Bristol which makes me wonder what I was thinking when I was living in that dormitory. Why did it not occur to me that Bristol would be a stellar name for a child? I guess I wasn’t thinking about offspring in those days, yet, now, I’m kicking myself for foolishly neglecting to conceive of this because I was concentrating, instead, on making the Dean’s List.
Really, I’m slightly embarrassed for my children, especially, the two who are named John, since it is, well, traditional, but there’s some explaining to do here. You see, my husband and I had previous marriages. He had a son named John and so did I. Then, together, we had Hunter, and, despite the name, neither of us, ever, was a member of the NRA. Let me add, here, that I’m a little surprised Sarah didn’t name one of her five Hunter or, perhaps, Safari. We chose Hunter because it’s a family name, not because we hoped to bag a bear or wolf and display its head in our living, dining, or bedroom.
Oh, dear, I digress. I was informing you of my qualifications for leadership when I went tangential. And not just any leadership. So back to the crux. Crux? Crux? What an interesting name for a child. But there I go, wandering from the point about my bona fides. I’m talking real deal here, grabbing-the-oars leadership, as in that one-heartbeat-away assumption of ultimate power in case, and perish the thought, someone, like John already-too-old McChicanery, croaked while serving as POTUS. Actually, perish the thought he’ll win the presidency but it’s a no-brainer that if he does, he’s not going to the gates of hell to nail bin Laden when he’s got Sarah Barracuda Palin who’s salivating to use her own private arsenal on the bogeyman. I wonder in which room she’d place Osama’s head.
But back to the point. I’m simply stating a case for my creds. Cred? Hmm, that, come to think of it, would be an interesting name and so would Potus.
Oops, I forgot to mention, when telling you about the children, that my obstetrician called my labor “precipitous,” meaning that near my due date, I should hover close to the hospital. In other words, I can get the job done pronto, which is another important reason I qualify to be one flatline away from calling 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home.
Oh, yeah, I’ve gone door-to-door, collecting money for diabetes research, and I’ve addressed envelopes provided by the American Heart Association for their drive. Plus, I had a yard sale once, which, with a little stretch of the imagination, makes me a small business owner.
I’m pro-choice, approve of same-sex marriage, was raised in the Baptist Church, but now subscribe to chaos theory. I believe in teaching sex education rather than the failed abstinence only. You can place me on the side of science, stem-cell research, the separation of church and state, the right to assemble, the right to dissent, and peace. I will never ban or burn your books. Plus, and this is very important, I am not a nationalist, nor would I ever bend over for AIPAC.
I can pronounce Iraq, the names of world leaders, like Ahmadinejad, and stare into the eyes of Putin and recognize he’s smart enough to realize the US instigated the Georgia/Russia conflict in an attempt to influence the election. Kinda like the reason the neocons are telling us the surge has worked.
So vet me. Come and get me. Bring it on. I’m ready to be swiftboated. In fact, I’ll go ahead and offer this: Arrested at the US Mission to the UN while attempting to deliver a petition for peace exactly seven months after the death of my nephew in Iraq, I spent a night in the Tombs in lower Manhattan with fellow peaceniks Cindy Sheehan, Medea Benjamin, and Rev. Patricia Ackerman in a filthy cell along with the rest of the general, female prison population. Also, I climbed the steps to the top of the water tower in Nicholasville, Kentucky more than once when I was a teenager and sneaked into the drive-in theater in the trunk of a car a few times.
Let’s see, now. Is there anything else? Yep, I inhaled.
Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com