There seems to be an obsessive preoccupation on the left over the fact that Bush has never answered the question: “Name three mistakes that you have made.” Mind you, thinking individuals realize there is no way ANY incumbent –of ANY party –seeking reelection, would answer this question. Should Bush just write and film the Kerry/Edwards commercials for them?
Some here have erroneously come to the conclusion that I think myself perfect –and that I can never admit when I am wrong…the same shortcoming they pin on the President. This got me thinking about all the mistakes that I have made throughout my 33 years on this Earth –and what I would change if I could. What would I answer if someone asked me to bare my most significant mistake for all to see and judge? Think about it…it’s a hard task to undertake –and if it was truly a mistake, a painful recollection to dredge up...
...In my teens, I was constantly embarrassed by my family- not by anything they did…by the fact that they were... I am the oldest of five kids (plus any number of foster children, transients and pets that could be found living under our roof at any given time), and we lived off modest means. My father, a firefighter -who was a wall-paper scraper to make ends meet, and my mother- a stay-at-home mom. On a wing and a prayer they managed to send us all to private school –and hence, barely a scrap was left to spare. In my selfish hormonal teenage state I saw this as a cruel disservice –how could they send me to a school where I ‘couldn’t keep up’? If I had gone to a public school in Philly, I would have been one of the ‘rich’ ones…we had a single house with a front AND back yard…but there…forty minutes from my house, nestled in the suburbs of Philadelphia…I was one of the ‘financial aid’ kids… At Christian High USA, I went to school with the daughter of the second name you think of when I say ‘box of chocolates’, the two sons of a 76er, a brother and sister duo that received Porches for their 16th birthdays (911s not 944s), and a kid who was driven to school everyday in a stretch Rolls and never could say just what his father did. This is what I was up against –at 14, 15, 16 and 17. Not once did I say ‘thanks’ for the great education I was receiving, the ardent sacrifice made to give it –or- the shelter I was given nestled on the lush 10 acre campus with the duck pond. I stored resent and self-pity about my own misfortune at being poor in a pool of rich.
I joined sports to find a way to fit in, meet people and not have to go right home after school. I played field hockey, ran the 50 yd. dash, played softball and was a cheerleader. My father came to EVERYTHING (mom never came –she didn’t like anything that involved watching ‘other people’s kids’ --a trait I think I may have acquired). Most parents never came to anything…they were lawyers, doctors, Sixers and Candy Makers and their kid’s sports teams were not priority when there were Porches to buy. But my Dad was there –every game –cheering me on. Did I ever thank him? No, his reward was to be ignored. I was ashamed that he showed up with paint and wallpaper chips clinging to his jeans…in the ramshackle white Mazda, purchased second hand, that had definately seen better days. So I continued to turn my head –as he continued to cheer…seemingly unfazed.
It seems there was always this wall there between us – an unexplained awkwardness. At times it was almost tangible. In my early twenties, I would sit next to him on the couch, a Flyers game the bond between us, daring myself to say ‘I love you’ or “I’m sorry I was such an incredible shit” out loud. “1, 2, 3….say it!” “Now…say it…” I never did. I couldn’t. The words were trapped in my emotionally-bound soul…the soul that I inherited from him.
The summer I turned 16, my father went to
I was horrible, ungrateful and selfish…and this is what I would have to answer if asked for my biggest mistake…