So I’m standing in the living room of our first President, and the whole time I’m thinking, huh, I would arrange the furniture differently.
The Husband and I made the trek with our two sons to tour George Washington’s home at Mt. Vernon. At Christmas time, they put on a special evening candlelight tour complete with actors in period garb, which we thought would be spectacular.
It was. If only I wasn’t daydreaming the whole time about where to buy that dental molding they used in the study. And, is the secretary desk original (and if not, where can I buy one just like it)? or, who chose that obnoxious shade of turquoise for the dining room? better yet: I love those high ceilings, I want those.
All the time, I’m vaguely aware of someone talking (a guide?), saying Important Historical Things, things like “1797” and “Potomac River” and “Valley Forge” and “blah blah blah history something-or-other” while I am mentally blocking him out thinking “yes, I would like to live on a river……I would use a different kind of patio chair though…..”.
Is it rude to simply nod along and pretend you’re listening? I ask this because so much of my day-to-day life depends on that: Nod-nod-nod:
“I said that is a Carmel Macchiato and you ordered an extra-hot latte: it’s not yours,”
“Your husband already picked up the dry cleaning, I don’t have that ticket number,”
“M’am, I said you owe $43 in late fees to Crazy Town Library and we do accept credit cards. Hellooooo?”
I walk around Mt. Vernon in awe. I am in awe of the architecture, but mostly I am in awe that the kitchen is set apart from the main house. No. Kitchen. In. The. House. In case you don’t know what that means, I will spell it out for you: no Haagen Daz at midnight (I mean, really, is life even worth living at that point?).
We walk out of the grand house. I turn to my two sons and see their smiling faces. I can practically witness The History creeping into their impressionable brains. We are just outside the mansion now and I turn to Tall to verify that he has absorbed the full scope of exactly where we are and what it means (the home of our first President, the founder of Democracy and the Free World). He turns to me, and in my Greatest Moment, a moment when I truly truly know that he is indeed my son, he says,
“Mom? Where's the gift shop?”
(“Mt. Otherworldly Vernon”)