When Gwenn and I started dating, we didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. Mainly because she was coming out of a longterm relationship, and it would have been kind of awkward to make a big deal out of it.
Being the innovative young start-up couple that we were, we chose to celebrate President’s Day instead. I got her a card with a picture of Abraham Lincoln on it, and we kept up the gag for a couple of years. When Bush was elected, we were too bummed to continue the celebration.
In my book, I tell the story of being invited to the White House to meet with the AIDS Czar on World AIDS Day 1997. Al Gore popped in on his way to deliver meals to bed-ridden positoids, a red ribbon pin haphazardly tacked onto his shirt. He made the rounds, shaking the hands of the teenage (and me, I was 22 and the only positoid) HIV advocates, and when he asked if anyone had anything to say, I thanked him for his dedication to the cause.
Then he was gone. I remember thinking, no joke, “Wow, I got a picture taken with the next president of the United States!” Of course, he went on to win the popular vote in 2000, the equivalent of finishing second in a two-man ass kicking contest.
Which brings me to 2008. Hillary Clinton is running. Not cool. Barack Obama is running. Pretty cool. John Edwards is running. Again. Not sure if Al will lace up the boots and enter that ass-kicking contest, but I for one will pitch and buy him a new set of laces if he decides to. It’s not because I had a fleeting moment with him as an impressionable young buck sporting a terrible haircut. It’s because I think he’s the best man for the job.
Either way, I hope things pan out alright no matter who becomes the next president. Because I, for one, hope to rekindle the romance of President’s Day in 2009.