Sunday, September 03, 2006

Slumber-Party Foreign Policy

Girls between the ages of eleven and fourteen have slumber parties from time to time, and I personally find it embarrassing to remember the ones I attended. I’m thinking in particular of all the time my friends and I spent talking about boys we liked in school and, more importantly, convincing ourselves they liked us, too. Our conversations always went something like this:

“When Jimmy walked by my locker today he said ‘Hi, Jennifer’ instead of just ‘hi.’ Hi, Jennifer. Definite emphasis on my name.”

“Oh. My. God! He wouldn’t do that if he didn’t like you. And guess what! Danny asked to borrow a pencil from me in math class today, and you know that look he gets sometimes? When his eyebrow goes up a little? Well, he totally had that look when he asked me.”

Before you roll your eyes too much, let me point out that I stopped this around age twelve when I had the sudden stunning insight: I can convince myself, here, that he likes me, but that won’t change whether or not he actually does.

When you analyze a situation hoping for a certain outcome, it’s easy to view reality in a self-serving way. Which brings me to the stunning report that our president says the Pentagon is wrong in its assessment of Iraq: we’re nowhere close to a civil war over there.
"Our commanders and diplomats on the ground believe that Iraq has not descended into a civil war," Bush said. "They report that only a small number of Iraqis are engaged in sectarian violence, while the overwhelming majority want peace and a normal life in a unified country."
I’m sure they do. And I wanted Jimmy to ask me to the dance, too. But he never did. By age twelve I’d figured out the difference between persuading myself and altering reality. I wish our president would.


Anonymous Jeff P said...

So, would the phrase "hey, babe, wanna fuck?" be construed as evidence that I like you?

6:53 AM  
Anonymous Alex said...

First, when I was 13 we guys had all night parties where we played video games, played D&D, watched action movies, and ate copious amounts of Doritos.

Second, OMG, I think Jalal Talabani looked at us yesterday in that summit! He, like, TOTALLY is into our peace plan! Talabani Heart Bush 4EVER!!!

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jimmy totally dug you. He told me so.

Oh, and the middle East is just trying to get our attention with all this bombing stuff. They actually have huge crushes on us. They are soooo immature.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Jadagul said...

Anonymous, I know you're joking, but PJ O'Rourke advanced that theory in Give War a Chance and I think he has something there. "We're a beautiful 20-year-old woman and they're a thirteen-year-old boy madly in love with us. They just want our attention. If they don't have a chance to love us, a chance to pester us will do."

11:54 PM  

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