Friday, June 22, 2018

What was she thinking?

A few days ago, Bill and I were in the car on the way to visit Herrenberg's cool new observation tower.  We were listening to my eclectic collection of tunes on my iPod.  An old song by Christine Lavin came on called "What Was I Thinking?".  Originally recorded during Lavin's prime back in the 1980s, the song is absolutely hysterical.  Bill and I were cracking up as she kept setting up funny verses about unfortunate situations that inevitably lead to the question, "What was I thinking?".  The song is funny because it's very relatable.  I think all of us have asked ourselves that question more than a few times.


There are many versions of this song and they are all funny.


A version she did in 2013, when Mitt Romney was the least of our Republican troubles.

I discovered Christine Lavin during the summer of 1993, when I worked at a Presbyterian church camp.  One of the staffers, a guy who was very smart and liked cerebral stuff, had brought one of her tapes (remember, it was 1993).  The song he played was called "Sensitive New Age Guys".  I thought it was hilarious, so I eventually sought out Lavin's music when I had more money.

Christine Lavin is pretty active on social media and she is clearly not a Trump fan.  She's written several songs about our current Cheeto in chief and posted them online.  I couldn't help but think of Christine and her funny classic hit when I read about Melania Trump's latest fashion choice.  Last night, as Bill and I were finishing dinner, I saw a news article about Mrs. Trump's $40 jacket.  On the back, it says "I really don't care, do U?".

I posted about it on Facebook and went to bed.  When I woke up, I saw the post had many comments from aghast friends of mine.  I also noticed that other versions of the article I had posted had sprung up by all of the major news outlets.  Incredibly, Mrs. Trump's publicist, Stephanie Grisham said,

"I’d hope you guys would want to cover her visit with children today. It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message. After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn’t going to choose to focus on her wardrobe."

As I read that statement, I couldn't help but remember other times Mrs. Trump's wardrobe choices have sparked conversation.  Actually, if you think about it, it's what she's been doing for most of her adult life.  She's a former model, after all.  Models make waves by being seen, but not necessarily "heard"... at least not in the literal sense.

Remember back in 2016, when Donald Trump was still just a presidential candidate?  In the fall of that year, a recording of Mr. Trump's comments about "grabbing women by the pussy" was made public.  And what did Mrs. Trump wear to the presidential debate on October 9, 2016?  She wore a bright fuchsia "pussy bow" blouse.  Heads turned, and the press took notice.

In an article for Vanity Fair, journalist Lauren Le Vine wrote,

"Melania Trump probably thought she was picking a vibrant outfit for the debate. Unfortunately she failed to see the irony in wearing a style of shirt with “pussy” in the name. The Internet was quick to point it out, though."

Now... lots of people have pointed out how "intelligent" Mrs. Trump is.  I really don't know how intelligent she is because she doesn't really say much and a lot of her verbal statements and "campaigns" have been, at best, bizarre, and at worst, ripped off from a previous first lady.  However, she was a model, so I'm sure she knows what a "pussy bow" blouse is.  I have a hunch that she picked that blouse on purpose.  It was her own way of making a statement...  a rather ambiguous one, of course.  But that's kind of what models do.  They wear things that get people talking.

In September 2017, Mrs. Trump once again set tongues to wagging when she decided to wear a pair of black Manolo Blahnik stiletto heels on the way to a post hurricane disaster scene in Texas.  Plenty of people, myself included, felt that her decision to wear the ridiculous shoes was a slap in the face to people who were suffering in the wake of a natural disaster.  And plenty of people claimed they were just shoes and we should be grateful Mrs. Trump was doing her job as "FLOTUS".  Incidentally, she wore a "FLOTUS" baseball cap on that trip, too.  When Mrs. Trump got off the plane, she was wearing brand new, sparkling white tennis shoes.  They were a slightly less offensive choice than the heels, but they still kind of made a statement.  This is a woman who doesn't have to wear shoes that have been worked in.  This is a woman who wouldn't choose to wear obviously worn shoes as a show of solidarity.  This is a woman who doesn't really give a shit... or so it seems.

So now, Mrs. Trump is in the news again with her $40 "I really don't care, do U?" jacket.  I just spoke to my mom last night.  She lives in Virginia and said that lately, it's been averaging about 90-95 degrees there.  Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, which is where Mrs. Trump boarded her aircraft to Texas, is not far from Virginia.  I question why Mrs. Trump really needed the jacket in the first place, unless she really does want to make a statement to the American people and everyone else in the world.

"What was she thinking?" The New York Times asks.  I think she was thinking.  I think this was a calculated choice and she relies on her status as a naturalized American to get away with it.  People assume she doesn't understand our culture and that's why she makes these "fashion missteps".  I say her choices are "crazy like a fox."  

Mrs. Trump probably does this on purpose.  She makes very specific wardrobe choices to send a message to everyone watching her.  I can't know what her life is like and why she chose to marry Donald Trump.  It's clear to me that Trump is a narcissist.  My husband was married to a narcissist for almost ten years.  They really aren't fun to be around, at least not after the "honeymoon" phase.  I have always gotten the impression that Melania Trump doesn't enjoy being FLOTUS.  She probably doesn't enjoy being Donald Trump's wife, either.  In fact, if you watch her body language when she's standing near him, it's pretty clear that she can't stand him.  Unless, of course, her body language lies.  


Watch carefully as she turns her smile upside down...


Watch her dance with Donald...  Not a very comfy scene...


Melania slaps Trump's hand away in Israel...


And here she is in that jacket, on her way to Texas to visit detention centers for immigrants.

All the while, Melania is camera ready.  She doesn't actually say anything, but the clear message of disdain is still there.  Some time ago, I posted a lengthy rant about "passive aggressive behavior".  Actually, I've probably posted a few rants about passive aggression because people often accuse others of it without actually knowing what it means.  

I think Melania Trump is a brilliant study in passive aggression.  She smiles for the cameras and grudgingly shows up in Texas to do her job as FLOTUS. But if you pay attention to her subtle and not so subtle non-verbal messages, from which a significant portion of communication derives, you'll see that she's actually saying plenty.  The main thing I get is that, like so many of the rest of us, she is miserable about her husband's presidential "service" and would just as soon go back to her life as a private citizen in New York City.  

I also get the sense that Mrs. Trump would like to go back to being single, but since her husband is currently one of the most powerful men on the planet, she's stuck... just as stuck as the rest of the world is with her turd husband as president.  Barron Trump still has a few years to go before he's a legal adult.  So she continues to grudgingly do her FLOTUS duties with a smile pasted on her face as she wears fashions that make her statements for her.  I get the feeling that she prays every night that Mr. Trump will leave office sooner rather than later.  If she does pray for that, she's not alone.  I pray for it, too.  

When Melania thinks of her wedding day to Donald Trump, she probably also wonders... "What was I thinking?"  No amount of money is worth the kind of misery that exists in a marriage to a narcissist.  

I don't know if Mrs. Trump's publicist, Stephanie Grisham, really believes that this was "just a jacket".  I would hope she's not actually that dumb.  But then, given the quality of people on Trump's staff, I can't be sure that she's not.  I think Mrs. Trump was voicing her opinion loud and clear when she chose to wear that jacket.  Watch any episode of America's Next Top Model and you'll hear Tyra Banks talk about how successful models put thought into what they wear... or don't wear.  I think Melania Trump is smart enough to know that what she was wearing wasn't "just a jacket".  

"What was she thinking?"  I think she was thinking that this is all bullshit; but just like most of the rest of us, she's powerless to stop it.  And she's probably very depressed about that... like so many of the rest of us are.  

Edited to add:  Some people are speculating that Mrs. Trump wore the jacket simply so people would talk about that rather than what's going on at the border.  It's possible that's the case.  However, I don't think Trump and his minions are smart enough to come up with that scenario.  I'm in the camp who thinks Mrs. Trump chooses her clothes and the messages they convey.  But I could be wrong.  Time will tell.

8 comments:

  1. My thought about Melania's Trump jacket was along the lines of why it didn't occur to one of her assistants or to someone in the party who traveled with her that the jacket's message might be held against her in some way. Between her language barrier, how stressed out she probably is, the unknown variable in all of this, which is just how smart or un-smart she happens to be (I don't know the answer), and a lot of other factors, she may occasionally miss a few things. People are on a payroll to assist her. On the other hand, it's conceivable that someone DID advise her concerning the wording on the jacket and that she blew the person off. If that's the case. she's more dull than I would have guessed.

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    1. Nah. I think this was a calculated move. She may even be trying to sabotage her husband. She clearly can’t stand either him or being FLOTUS. I think she’d like to be fired. ;)

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    2. Your Mom is correct the weather in VA currently feels like the gates of hell have opened up and can not close. When I saw FLOTUS I thought why is she wearing a jacket, it's 100 degrees outside? Also she is traveling to Texas. It was calculated. I think you are 100% correct in your assessment that many of her actions are passive aggressive. She is miserable and the whole world can see it. When she was just another New York socialite she could enjoy the wealth and only had a few obligatory engagements with her dickhead husband. Now she has actual duties and must be seen as supportative. I actually feel sorry for her, butvtgen I remember she choose to marry him and it was no secret that Trump was, is and will always be an ass. You know what drives me crazy when the ardent Trump supporter says how proud they are to have a first Lady with class. How much they hated Michelle and what an embarrassment she was to this country. I just want to scream, "Are you fucking kidding me?" Michelle is intelligent, kind, well spoken, educated and accomplished woman. You can see Melania's wooha by viewing a past issue of Playboy. Yeah real classy.....

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    3. Also consider that Mrs. Trump is from a formerly communist nation, where people were punished for being outspoken. She may have acquired her passive aggression skills from an early age... I bet her family members taught her, since they lived under that regime longer than she ever did.

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    4. I hope she was trying to sabotage Cheeto. That would be a more redemptive motive in my opinion. It's still tasteless, though.

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    5. It was tasteless. I think Melania is miserable, though. Although she is married to Trump, I have no reason to believe that she, herself, is as foul as he is. She did make a choice to marry him and does have the choice to divorce, but I have the feeling it's not as simple for her as people assume. She obviously adores her son and I think he's the reason she sticks around.

      I will bet that if Trump survives his time in Washington, Melania will be eventually shitcanning him. They are clearly not a happy couple.

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  2. It's true that she grew up in a Communist country. Her parents were actual Party functionaries, and received the benefits thereof. Meanwhile, President Obama was held to be a Socialist for the fact that the father, he met for only a few minutes when Barack was 10, wrote a paper in grad school about socialism. WTF?

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