Top three: Please and thank you

In which my obsession with the 2008 presidential election continues, with one attempt to distract myself with personal satisfaction…

1. Maureen Dowd: “I wandered through the Wal-Mart, which seemed almost as large as Wasilla, a town that is a soulless strip mall without sidewalks set beside a soulful mountain and lake…”

2. Kathryn Joyce: “This twisting of feminist history and rhetoric to protect a champion of anti-feminist causes, traditionalism and sex-kitten objectification, is particularly unnerving for exactly the reasons that Palin’s biggest supporters claim it is: for its elevation of antifeminist ‘real women’ as icons of rebellion against a supposedly powerful and elite feminist status quo (however depressing it is to begin untangling that premise).”

3. Politeness: My wife had a meeting last night and I took my four-year-old son out to dinner at a restaurant. I was so proud of how well he behaved. He said please and thank you and ordered his food in full sentences, and was so thoroughly charming to the staff that they gave him a tour of the kitchen, where he got to see his spring rolls made. At one point he even said to the waiter, “Excuse me, but what’s the name of this sauce? I love it.” I spend nine out of every ten days filled with anxiety about my parenting and how my son is developing in the world; it’s nice to realize once in a while that he is turning out just fine.

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