Quick Monday Status Report

1. I’ve been doing a lot of napping. It doesn’t seem to have an impact on when I go to sleep for the night, how long I stay up during the night or when I wake up in the morning. I think I’m depressed over that orange paint on the bench.

2. Sami came home from an excursion to his doctor today bearing a half -pint of  of a glossy exterior paint called “Cherry”. It’s exactly the color of my tea kettle which I should have given him in the first place to color-match at Home Depot. I haven’t tried it yet because when I was listlessly applying a second coat of that orange color (okay – “Red Geranium” so you can just imagine) I just dropped the brushes onto the tarp without cleaning them and then swanned away for a nap.

3. Welcome back, Mad Men! Spoiler: we open at the end of 1967. You know what comes next? 1968! A dead Kennedy, some urban rioting (hello, Newark NJ!), the Democratic National Convention in Chicago! I see lots of opportunity to work LBJ into this. Maybe even Lady Bird. Wise up, Matt Weiner – you missed the boat by failing to mention Luci’s wedding. Don’t screw this up.

4. Speaking of Lady Bird, Our Presidents has been featuring some brief excerpts from A White House Diary along with an appropriate photo. Do you think they read my blog? Because Lady Bird mentions him so much, I bought J.B. West’s Upstairs at the White House: My Life With the First Ladies. The long-time White House usher served under Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower , Kennedy and Johnson. and started every morning off with an audience with the First Lady of the time. He is dishy in a Reader’s Digest anecdotally respectful way, but it’s easy to read between the lines. I am trying to go in page order by starting with the least interesting (to me) of these ladies – Eleanor R – but I admit I looked ahead. (Spoiler: Mamie was a sexpot and a bitch!)

You know who else was a bitch? Luci Baines Johnson! Too delicious.  I hope I can at least scan Eleanor’s pages before surrendering to memorizing every word about Lady Bird. Reading A White House Diary, the ever gracious Lady Bird relates some casual events how she was in complete admiration of 20-year-old Lynda’s superior college-educated mind or how Luci would not quit begging for a new Apple Queen Festival dress even though she already had a brand new one, Mr. West puts it this way:

The most striking comment made about Lady Bird in West’s book is a statement she makes herself:

“Anything that’s done here, or needs to be done, remember this: my husband comes first, the girls [her daughters] second, and I will be satisfied with what’s left.” 

We get a sense from the story West tells that Lyndon was a difficult man to live with –and like him, the Johnson daughters were demanding and expected their requests to be answered. West explains that LBJ was domineering at times, “I felt, almost abusive to her, shouting at his wife as he shouted at everybody else. Mrs. Johnson’s daughters also seemed to dominate her, at least in the beginning.”

Oh, Lady Bird. The heart does break.



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