My cold has finally faded away but that didn't stop me from taking advantage of every social opportunity I could. We should actually start on Wednesday, since I was able to impersonate a French person only to find that several other people at the same event were...American. I'd received an email for the expatriate French community (which MoBob and I are on, just because) for meet and greet with Rachida Dati, who used to be the Minister of Justice under President Sarkozy. She resigned shortly after giving birth - unmarried and refusing to disclose the father's identity. Plus she was the first person of North African descent in Sarko's cabinet. I was curious to see her. Surprisingly this was not an official French Embassy as her visit was part of her work as a member of the European Parliament. She was really small and thin and chic, in a black pantsuit (no blouse) and high heels. And she stood the whole time! I was a little nervous since MB was still at school and I went by myself, and I knew that it wasn't going to be a boisterous cocktail party atmosphere. (I ended up speaking mainly to the Gambian hotel hostess.) I did manage to ask Mme Dati about what she thought of the differences between immigrants in the U.S. and immigrants in France. She responded that it would be difficult to compare because the two countries' histories are so different, but her main point was that integration/assimilation shouldn't be the focus of the debate on immigration and national identity. Hm.
I ended up going to iMusical by myself on Friday since my friend had to cancel because of a migraine. Regardless, I had a good time. The show was at Source in the U St. corridor, down the street from where we'd seen Chopteeth at Black Cat in March. I'd never seen improv before, and I really enjoyed it. The audience wrote prompts on sheets of paper and the show director drew "a pine cone raft on the Nile" which evolved into an hour-long musical involving a pyramid scheme (literally and figuratively). It was hilarious and really impressive. Now I'm motivated to take an improv class and managed to convince mortuus to join me.
On Saturday morning I baby-sat little Hannah while her parents went to the Washington DC temple. We watched Toy Story 2 and The Polar Express, and I changed my inaugural diaper. Yep, I've never changed a diaper before last Saturday.
Then a quick trip home before heading off to church to set up for the evening's Christmas program. Thankfully I found Jenny's Super Simple LDS Christmas Script ("it will satisfy even the most "letter-of-the-law" Bishop") and adapted it with help from the ward music director. A lot of people came, including MB, and I like to think we all had a great time. I turned into Crazed Ward Activities Lady but the job got done.
On Sunday evening I went to "Carols on the Hill" at Capitol Hill Baptist Church, which was a surprisingly similar program - reading, hymn, reading, hymn - and a sermon that centered on sin, since without sin we wouldn't need a Redeemer. I sat next to a gentleman for whom English was clearly not his native language but who made up for it by loudly projecting his singing voice despite being a couple of beats behind. The chorus was great and I liked leafing through the Southern Baptist Convention hymn book to see what songs were the same and which were different from the Catholic and Mormon traditions.
MB was meeting his friends, so I trudged off to the DC Cal Alum Association "un-meeting" at the alum association president's apartment in Crystal City. He was the only person I knew at the party but seemingly everyone knew my name from either Facebook or the book club. Since I arrived toward the end it was nice to hang around in the kitchen with the couple of other stranglers. It's always a little strange to talk with people who live in the 'burbs, who seem to fear (and still be attracted to) the city, and who think that Capitol Hill is barely a no-fire zone.
mortuus and the missionaries were here this evening for dinner. mortuus brought a delicious salad and I fed everyone lentils and rice with parsley and carmelized onions, and we ended with ice cream topped off with warm homemade applesauce (I added cinnamon and raisins) over vanilla ice cream. We also had some leftover apple pie I'd made the other day. I didn't think the crust was too successful but every crumb was gone at the end.
Do you really think so? I trust your judgment over mine, since you're in DC and I'm in backwoods Wisconsin, so you've got a better sense of the political climate. But it seems like a lot of high powered political women are uber-feminist / don't think about their families until they're 40 and it's too late / etc.... I wouldn't think it would be so shocking if they had a baby through IVF or something despite being unmarried, I think the US is kind of over that by now... or aren't we?
(not that I personally support it, I think children should ideally come out of a marriage, but, just saying.)
It was a really big deal in France, and France is probably more tolerant of sex scandals than the U.S.! She was mainly criticized for not saying who the father was (although I think the media has figured this out by now) and by returning to work five days after her cesarean. I think Americans would be a lot harder on someone in that position and on women in politics in general - I remember when Sarah Palin was nominated and people kept asking how she could be a good VP with five kids, one with special needs, another going to Iraq, etc. etc., questions that I doubt would be asked of a male candidate. In the U.S. too I'm sure it would depend on the position. I don't think there's a lot of leverage for the attorney general.