Friday, August 10, 2007

One if by land, two if by sea, bird in the bush, blinders on, etc

"It's probably good practice not to date where you sleep."

Christine said this to me the last time I saw her. When I told her that I'd gone out with John Neighbor and that he'd asked me out again.

I am terrible at adages. I always screw them up. I once said that someone was "kicking himself in the foot." And so it took me a while to figure out how "don't date where you sleep" was a slight modification of a familiar phrase.

She said, "Lisa. You already have an ex-boyfriend across the street. Do you really want to risk having to leave your building with blinders on?"

The answer, this week anyway, seems to be yes.

I went out with John Neighbor again last night. And had a great time. We went to Equinox, which I liked but wasn't blown away. I mean, I loved our server, the wine, and the feel of the place. The food was nicely presented but not amazing.

It's restaurant week, and the reservation we had was late - 9:30. Which is great for feeling all sophisticated and European, but not so great for waking up and going to work the next morning. Since we were eating late we met up for drinks with some of his friends beforehand. One of them is a secret service agent. Like, actually one of the guys who stands on top of the White House with a gun.

We were chatting, and I asked him if he was pro-W. He said, and this makes sense, that they work for the office, not the particular person. They protect whoever is in office. That's that. And so, because I was just itching to know, I asked if I could ask him something inappropriate. Because, really when do I ever ask anything appropriate?

I asked if he has ever had any momentary teeny weeny itsy bitsy glimmer of an instant where he thought, hey, that guy who has our country on a fast-track to hell, he's right there. And I have a gun.

The answer was no, absolutely not. With no hesitation. Which is, of course, comforting in a stability of the nation kind of way. The question caught him off guard, though. Personally, I was kind of shocked nobody else had ever asked.

And then he said that the Republicans treat their secret service people a lot better than the Democrats. He said Hillary was so rude to them, swore at them, treated them terribly. And if she's back in the White House, they anticipate more of the same. The current administration, on the other hand, is polite, and treats them with respect.

I hated hearing that.

Like, have you ever gone out for dinner with someone you think is cool, and then they treat the wait staff terribly? No matter how lovely they are to you, you know that underneath it all, they're an asshat, and you will never go out with them again. Because either politeness and respect for people is your default, or it's an act. I really believe that.


  1. I'd take a bitch to my face over sneering fake down their nose flattery any day of the week.

    I guarantee you the family shrub has nothing but contempt for those they deem beneath them.

  2. gacracker - I agree with you - I am certain they see much of the world as beneath them. But there is absolutely no reason not to be polite to people.

  3. "A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person." I think Dave Barry said that. It's no shocker to me that Hillary is a menace.

    But I agree with gacracker. I know people who know the Bushes: they are not nice people. They're nice to SS agents because they need someone to protect them from the all the Americans they've driven to poverty, whom they've unwittingly armed to the teeth.

  4. Jordaan - In complete agreement. I am sure they are horrible.

    HIN - My point was definitely not hey, look how great the Bushes are! I'd just gotten done asking the guy if he ever had the urge to take W out, seeing as he's constantly armed around him.

  5. I once chatted with a secret service guy in an airport (we were both stranded) who also claimed that Hillary Clinton was among the worst they had worked for. She tried to use them as servants and routinely screamed at them laced with profanity. This fellow maintained that "You fucking idiot!" was pretty standard. Sorry, but whatever your politics, I don't think I want someone who treats her fellow human beings like that protecting my interests and welfare.

  6. HIN - Ouch ouch ouch!

    Anon - Those are the kind of things this guy said too. It's awful. Why would you do that to people?

  7. I don't get why being polite is so difficult for people, especially those in public positions that should know better.

    I would imagine it takes a hell of a lot more energy to go apeshit crazy on someone than to ask for something nicely, but I guess that's just me.

  8. ASSHAT! I love that expression. I'm ticked to learn that Hilary was such a C*%$. Makes me enraged to be a democrat... Just gotta say I hope she doesn't win, if only for your secret agent man friend's sake.

  9. Unfortunately it happens with liberals quite a bit- the old "I'm helping the world SO much I don't need to be nice to people" Environmentalist dudes I've dates are a good example.
    Hillary defends her Iraq votes too much for me to get behind her with any enthusiasm.
    The Republicans would have to bring Lincoln back to life and convince him to run as a Republican before I'd vote against her in the general.

  10. Two things the protected should always remember about their protective detail:

    1. these people will, without hesitation, jump between an approaching bullet and you.

    2. they, not you, have guns.

    If it were me, I would be holding the door for them, not the other way around. Besides, I'm with moosie: takes way too much effort to be pissed off all the time. Please and thank you take very little effort. Sure it's politeness out of laziness, but it sill looks the same...

  11. I doubt there are very many Secret Service agents who can really make any credible comparison between Democratic White Houses and Republican White Houses... They can make a comparison between a Clinton White House and a Bush or Reagan White House.

    Of course there are the details that follow around Presidential candidates... but those are smaller and somewhat of a different beast. And then there is the detail that follows Hillary around right now as an ex-First Lady.


  12. Lisa - I agree with you about the basics of being polite. I've always subscribed to the adage that we are judged by how we treat those who are beneath us.

    The idea of someone being beneath us is basically an unAmerican idea since we're supposed to be a classless society where people move from one non-existent class to another simply by being smart and working hard.

    But the truth is, there are social and economic hierarchies and anyone who treats people who work for a living, particularly work for a living serving them, should understand that part of the responsibility of holding that higher rung on the ladder is to be decent to those down below.

    If for no other reason, because one might find themselves tumbling down one day and it might be nice if someone wanted to catch you.

    Whew! Sorry for the length!

  13. moosie - I agree with you entirely. Much more energy.

    SL - I know - I hate hearing things like that. I don't know why it surprised me, but it did.

    marywho - Argh! The save the world people should be kinder and gentler to those around them, rather than feeling like a good person for whatever their job is. And I am with you on Lincoln vs. Hillary in the general.

    WiB - Absolutely. You'd think that they'd be more careful with the people who are willing to take a bullet for them.

    VVK - You're always so logical! And I hadn't even thought of those who follow Hillary around as the ex-first lady...

    DCup - I agree. And no need to apologize for the length of your thoughts!

  14. It's hard enough to find decent people to date. To go and apply all these silly "don't date where you sleep" rules will just make you narrow the field even more. I say date him and enjoy it! If it doesn't work out, he'll just be constantly reminded of what a fabulous girl he missed out on! :)

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