Posts Tagged 'expectations'

Premature emasculation

Sweetie and I just returned from eight days in Florida.  Lots of pale old guys with bermudas, dark socks and white tennies.  Lots of women with too short shorts, too much makeup, and too little sex.  But what the hell, it’s better than hanging around New York and Chicago where the temperature only serves to preserve the flesh.

After an exhaustive analysis of Florida snowbird habits, most folks wake up, eat, read the paper, eat, nap, eat, get ready to eat and then eat.  Even saw Jackie Mason in a Greek restaurant.  Good thing I was eating or I would’ve missed him.

Sandy and Nancy have been inviting us to Boca for years.  Living in California apparently didn’t provide enough incentive to us til now.  Glad we went.  Good people, great hosts.  Also visited Vic and Kathy across the state in Naples.  Wonderful seeing them again after much too long.  Went on a harbor cruise and saw multi-million dollar shacks where nobody lives, even in the winter.  Finally spotted a woman sunbathing in front of her castle…or maybe it was the help.

Got a chance to catch up with the cousins who own Florida condos that serve as escape pods from wintery Chicago.  They’re so cute and loving.  The older I get the more I enjoy spending time with them.  Maybe it’s because there’s so little of it left.  Used to be that we’d say “got a full schedule…see you next trip.”  No more.

Other than the absence of mountains, Florida has much in common with California.  Lots of talk about Obama, lots of unemployment, foreclosures, and unsold high-rise condos.  The air was filled with some uncertainty about our new president.  The sheen seemed to be wearing.  The rising of a new moon clouded by frustration.

The ubiquitous TV highlighted the negatives of the stimulus bill, the on-again, off-again cabinet appointments, Tim Geithner’s less than Emmy winning performance, and John McCain’s leadership of a pack of hyenas that smell fresh blood.  The honeymooon was suffering from unfulfilled expectations and premature emasculation.

After all, it’s been almost a month since Obama, Michelle and the kids moved in.  Surely the White House debris of the last eight years would have been swept away by now.  The functioning of the bureaucracy tuned to a fever pitch.  The banks shoveling money to needy borrowers by the carload.  Wall Street’s DOW rocketing back to 12,000 on the strength of increased peanut butter sales.  Democrats and Republicans marching arm in arm just like Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy did in the 1936 movie San Francisco.

Alas, it was not to be.  Instead, the purveyors of depression and doom continue their pronouncement of failure, to be followed by years of misery, debt and tainted peanut butter.   David Brooks  devoted a full column to his version of It’s a Wonderful Life…with evil Lionel Barrymore ending up in control of Bedford Falls.

The Republicans, with the exception of three stout-hearted women and men, decided to bail on the stimulus bill.  In brief, they figured no one would give them credit if it turned into the second coming and no one would blame them if it caused the black plague.  So, why not say no and just hang around the commissary?   During the debate, the Republican leader, Representative John Boehner of Ohio, angrily dropped the 1,073-page bill text to the floor with a thump, as he accused Democrats of failing to read the legislation.  A habit they must have learned from him during his eight years of obedient heeling to the wishes of his now departed leader.

I don’t claim to be a financial genius (my depleted portfolio bearing stark witness to this fact).  But $787 billion poured into the economy through a combination of tax cuts, and spending that the rest of us seem loathe to do, is likely to have some discernable impact.  This, in contrast to sitting on our hands moaning “woe is me”, is a reasonable plan put into action in less time than it takes me to respond to Sweetie’s exhortation to take out the garbage.

And while we are on the subject of accomplishments.  Obama’s early-administration deeds also include signing bills to expand children’s health insurance and employment non-discrimination, and issuing executive orders that roll back Bush administration policies on detention of suspected terrorists, labor policies and fuel efficiency.

But am I happy?  Not really.  I still want to see Clark and Spencer marching arm-in-arm.   The DOW at 15,000.  The Israelis and Arabs trading Valentine cards.  North Korea leading a gay pride parade.  And the Iranians attending Shabbat services at my synagogue.

So, my dear friends, be not of faint heart.  There’s always tomorrow.  And a cure for premature emasculation.



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