I know I said I'd post thoughts on the US presidential race here, but I've spent a lot of my political energy and creativity commenting at the wonderful Shakesville site. I will get round to it before election day, I promise.
And now for something completely different...
Last Thursday, I went out with a good friend of mine and was aghast to discover he had been just like some of the Oxford pole-up-your-backside males (the Catholic version attends the Oratory; the Anglican version attends Pusey House) - striped jacket, straw boater and all.
To top it all off, he's the oldest child and was a school prefect. You can picture it, can't you?
He's so relaxed and wickedly funny now, it's hard to believe. When he told me, my jaw hit the pub table, nearly landing in my sausages and mash.
"NO. YOU. ARE. JOKING."
He laughed at my reaction. "No, the hat, the jacket and everything. God."
"OH. MY. GOD. YOU. WERE. SUCH. A. PRICK," I said.
Now his shoulders were shaking with laughter. "Ja," he replied. "Ja, I really was."
This led to a conversation that made me pause, tilt my head, and ask a tough question - the answer to which was risky, because it could have meant censure.
A question which a number of other friends would have fudged, pled the Fifth, or maybe even lied. I can't tell you how I would have answered it.
He told me the truth.
There are moments when I sit back and am just amazed at how wonderful my friends are and how blessed I am to have them - e.g., Ruth's warmth, openness and huge personality last night (but that's another blog post) - and Thursday night was one of those. I was moved by his integrity, ability to laugh at himself and his care for others.
Pat yourself on the back, doll - you're no longer that straw boater, pinstripe wearing twit of a teenager - you've grown into a man your parents should be proud of.
Like every last one of my friends, you absolutely rock.