Mary Kay O'Grady is a former high school English teacher and later owned her own public relations business, The O'Grady Group. She has lived in Oak Park for almost fifteen years. She is currently the chairperson of the Park District's Senior Advisory Committee. She thinks that the world would be a better place if everybody wore name tags, including her family. Thanks Barack and Michelle for all their support.
My parents seldom talked about family history, but my older sisters did. I used to eavesdrop on my sisters telling stories about various relatives. They'd say "That's rich," which I took to mean funny with a dash of buffoonery. Later on it hit me that many of the stories involved crime.
"The horror! The horror!" (Heart of Darkness) is my first thought when I find out my high school class is having another reunion. This year it's 55 years and starts at 5:30. If they keep these up, we'll eventually be having luncheons and then breakfasts. God knows we like to get up early and avoid rush-hour traffic. And we'll need smaller rooms.
I'm not a lifelong Democrat. My parents were Republicans, largely because they were cynical about Chicago politics and steeped in resentment, which the Irish do so well. I began to make my break when I was old enough to vote by writing in Nelson Rockefeller in a Republican primary.
I had an idea for a column on "What's the thing I miss most, and have stopped doing because of my age?" I introduced the topic up over lunch at the 19th Century Club. One the women immediately answered "nightly sex." And we were off.
The week before the election of the new Pope, who appears to be a good man, I blogged about men who wore fancy hats and robes as symbols of power. I intended to put forth a reasoned inquiry into outdated customs, but, as is my wont, I was more than a bit snarky.
We're in an avalanche of media coverage of men who wear dresses and beanies. The cardinals of the Catholic church have hiked up their robes and headed for Rome to elect a new Pope, who will have earned the right to wear the trendy and embarrassing red Prada loafer. Actually, the Cardinals are meeting at the Vatican, called the Holy See, where nobody does. I have no objection to men wearing dresses and fancy hats, except for the corollaries.
I saw something lovely on the L platform last week. A man had a baby tucked inside the top of his overcoat with just the top of the baby's head sticking out. Every so often the baby would raise its head and then plop it back on his chest - making a little game, enjoying being secure, I thought. The man was staring straight ahead, lost in thought. He carried a briefcase and I guessed that he had taken the baby to work that day. Fatherhood in the modern family, not dreamed of when I was having children.