The Morning After

The morning after Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech, I was having my post-exercise, semi-meditative sit beside the health club pool when this little girl toddled by. Wow! I thought. You can be president. Then I looked at the wading pool. There was little black girl and this little brown girl and this little white girl. Wow! I thought. You can all be president.

It was an amazing feeling.

(Did you know that New Zealand was the first country to give women the right to vote, in 1893? They could not vote in France until 1944, Italy until 1946, Switzerland until 1971 (national elections only), and not until 1991 in local elections.)


The next morning I was at the cafĂ© when Liz introduced me to her 9-year-old granddaughter, the charming — and, it turned out, tri-lingual — Lydia. “Congratulations,” I said, “on being able to become president.”

“Lydia lives in Vienna,” Liz said.

“Well, then,” I said, “you can’t become president after all.”

Then to recover any ground I had lost, I whipped out my iPhone and found Groucho Marx performing “Lydia the Tattooed Lady” on YouTube.

“I bet you never heard ‘Lydia’ rhymed with ‘encyclopedia’ before,” I said.

I’ll have to check with Liz to see what sort of impression I made.