To me, the aging thing becomes one of both strategy and common sense. It gets harder to get out of bed without a good look at the day ahead, and what’s been learned the day before. A life with daily purpose, as the saying goes.
Yesterday I learned that Ann Romney shops at Costco. She recently bought Mitt some Kirkland (Costco’s brand) shirts, and he likes them. He thinks they are pretty good shirts. I heard him say just that. Then she went on to say that just yesterday he was ironing his own shirt, which sort of made me cringe at that self-serving, nonsensical thought.
I thought I really did not give a @#$% where Ann Romney shops and where she buys Mitt’s shirts. I also thought I did not give a similar @#$% where Barack Obama buys his shirts.
But this morning, while thinking about crucial things of purpose, like where Ann buys Mitt’s shirts, I fell back to sleep and I had a dream from my father, who has been dead for a long time. It was not a story of race and inheritance, like our current president’s. It was about hope and change — and about shirts and laundry.
My father told me in my dream that we need some good old-fashioned starch to bolster the fabric of America. We’ve gotten too loosey goosey, allowing government too much control over the laundry cycle when we wash our shirts. It’s like we are being told what to do all the time and how to do it. “Don’t use bleach, use warm water ... not hot, use the gentle cycle.” But, my father continued, “Laundry, like people, varies load-to-load and week-to-week. If you don’t see my laundry, you can’t really tell me how to wash it for the best results, can you?” (I can’t swear to the actual verbiage; you know how dreams are, but this was the gist of the conversation.)
My father was an old-fashioned sort of guy, quiet and smart, and I loved him to pieces. He was a gentle man. So, I was surprised when he continued on quite forcefully.
He told me four years ago the country got sidetracked by swagger and pizzazz. He told me that a guy who admittedly did a lot of drugs and had a great deal of anger for the United States probably had something else in mind when he talked about “hope and change” for the country than most folks were thinking.
He told me we’d better “damn well” care about where these guys buy their shirts.
If Mitt Romney wears Costco shirts and irons them himself (even though they are supposed to be wrinkle-free, though my dad died long before that invention so he would not have caught that), that means he is frugal. Even though he’s worth a fortune, he’s frugal. And, he continued; if we want to get the country back on track financially, why not hire a guy who knows how to make a fortune while being frugal? He can teach the other 99 percent of us how to do it, and the country how to do it, too. It only makes common sense, he said.
I have to admit, I was overjoyed to see my dad, and as always in the past, he had some interesting thoughts to pass on to me, demanding consideration. Then, as I woke up, I realized we used to have some great conversations while he was ironing his shirts, a habit he picked up while in the army during World War II, though folks that knew him would think this a nonsensical thought.