SOMETIMES, IN THE LAST REMAINING DAYS OF SUMMER, when the grass is still green and the sky seems big and endless, I find it more than necessary to crawl out of the dark moist cave that is my room. So the other day, I did, even though I didn’t remain outside, I eventually went to the gym to get some much-needed exercise.
A great thing about the gym is that when you go, you can watch TV to take your mind off the liquid cupcakes rolling down your forehead. I had known Obama was about to make a speech on the 8th, so when I saw him standing before Congress on MSNBC, I slowed my pace on the tread-mill to less than a trot to watch.
I currently live on a military base, so there are a wide variety of (species) people who frequent the base’s facilities. One such type, is the Army Wife. If you don’t see them first, wearing their husband’s worn out PT shirt or “PROUD ARMY WIFE” hoodie, you can definitely hear the gossip from a mile away. Two of these women took a couple tread-mills nearest to mine (I had basically stopped movement all together by that point) and were gumming away about how “Amy’s mad at Cindy’s dog because it kept barking last night, and Amy’s mad at Alissa’s dog cause it shat on her lawn,” and how their abusive husbands* are coming back from Afghanistan in two weeks and then they start singing the lyrics to “I’m So Excited” and blah blah blah. I couldn’t bear it. I suspect they realized this because I was solely focused on the Obama speech and didn’t even bother to turn my head, despite the way the one with the Purple Hair kept glancing at me.
Of course they noticed me: mute, and sweaty, standing two feet away on an immobile exercise machine watching a presidential address. I was enjoying the speech and the reactions the President was getting from his audience. Some stood and clapped, some smirked, some grimaced, others raised suspicious eyebrows. I usually enjoy the things he has to say – regardless of whether they get done or not he is very charismatic. The two women changed their conversation to the President and watched little bits in between the personal opinions they shared.
“This is supposed to be a huge speech,” Purple Hair says. “But I don’t like him.”
“Neither do I.” Their conversation was a bore and distracted me from the slow-moving sub-titles. But then I heard something interesting.
“Did you hear that this speech was originally scheduled during the Republican debate?”
“Apparently, he scheduled his speech during the Republican debate, so the Republicans asked him to reschedule. And Obama said, ‘OK!’ so now everybody is saying that he’s a weak president because he rescheduled…” trailing into incoherency, she then added, “the media blew the rescheduling way out of proportion. I still don’t like him though.”
Touché Army wife, touché. You know something I don’t. What else do you know?
“Oh and Obama is the coolest leader in the world, based on a world poll.”
“Well, duh! He has a Facebook page!” – nevermind.
This isn’t to say Republicans or Democrats are to blame for Obama’s decision or redecision. This is another ridiculous example of news networks covering irrelevant stories. If this had been an attempt to sabotage coverage of the Republican debate it would have been more firmly defended, not brushed to the side.
Regardless, the speech went well, in my non-expert opinion, and I left the two women to their tread-mills to be free of my heavy judgements.
*Not all Army soldiers are abusive to their wives, I’m just exaggerating. And a lot of Army wives are decent women as well.