God, am I stressed out. I hate my job. My boss is an idiot and completely ineffectual. How did he get this job? And why did I consent to play his globe-trotting lackey? It’s always been true that Democrats make the best Republican presidents. My husband, that arrogant, shiftless philanderer, proved that long ago. At least I travel enough now that I don’t have to see that one more than a couple times a month, if that. This administration has done little but pander and shill for Wall Street and the insurance companies while extending tax cuts for overpaid corporate drones like my daughter and her husband. Did the American people really think I was going to come back, menopausal, bleach-blond and teary-eyed, begging for their approval again? I’m hanging up my pantsuits, America. Find yourselves another long-suffering national scapegoat.
When I was young, I was truly idealistic. I wanted to help migrant workers and battered mothers and poor black people and neglected children. In the end, I’ve done little but cater to the powerful, flatter the vanity of Hollywood posers, provide cover for Wal-Mart and help start the Iraq war. I don’t know why I ever quit the Wellesley Young Republicans. My father would have been so much happier.
Life is just one humiliation after another. This decade you’re the target of a vast right-wing conspiracy embodied in the pudgy mug of some floozy intern, the next you’re the target of a vast left-wing conspiracy embodied in the slick visage of an Australian computer twerp. If the foreign minister of Iran won’t talk to me, do you blame me or my boss? If the Iranians hurdle unimpeded toward nuclear capability, do you blame me or my boss? Of course, you blame the bitch. Life was better before the Internet, when if you had secret files you could keep them all in one stack in your office and then abscond with them someplace private in case you thought you might get subpoenaed.
Things could have been different. After law school, I could have just moved back to Chicago and married someone less ambitious, less priapic. Instead of embodying all the traumas and contradictions of American feminism, instead of turning into the North Pole on the compass of American misogyny, instead of playing the dartboard for the nation’s gender commentariat, instead of martyring myself in every round of the culture wars until I became the political zombie-woman I am today, I could have done something normal, modest and wholesome. I should have settled. I should have baked cookies.