Party costumes and Presidents

Little Missy wants to dress up in something scary. She is thinking of something slimy and spooky and covered in cobwebs. “Like I have just crawled out of nowhere and no one knows who I am.” At that rate, you could nearly run for president, pet. I nearly said it, but I didn’t. It was too early in the morning for the ‘why’ questions, and how exactly would I explain the amount of skeletons that have been falling out of the candidates closets long before little Missy gets a chance to strut her spooky stuff on Halloween night. She would only think the party started without her, and anyway, she has a one track mind at the moment…the presidential election would be lost on her. It’s lost on me too, but it seems to have crept under the door, down the chimney and through the hair pin cracks in the walls this past few weeks. Now, the day has arrived for the potential presidents to get all dressed up for success, to play a role that requires a new outfit, a smile and a huge wallop of the tax payer’s dosh.

The last time there was such an election, I was having babies and sleepless nights, so I could be forgiven for not paying much attention. However, I do know, in the last two elections, the Irish people bagged a good one. Ever since she stood up to the Archbishop of Dublin and took communion in a protestant church, I knew the lady was wasted in the Aras. I know the job spec says that the President is meant to take ‘precedence over all other persons in the state,’ but in real life, however, the presidency is largely a symbolic office with few powers and there aren’t any real expectations that our President should exercise any ‘political’ leadership. The main responsibility of the President is to make sure that our Government obeys the constitution. Dressing up and smiling sweetly helps too but I’m sure there is more

to it than that. Mary McAleese has done an amazing job, especially in the first seven years, but it could be argued that millions are wasted on the running of a Presidential Office that places limited power in the President’s hands.

My hands are feeling a bit powerless too…Little Missy is stomping around and totally refusing to allow me to slash an old black dress of mine. She thinks she will not be scary enough. I look up at the light dancing on her strawberry blond curls. She is wearing a smile that would melt steel. Apart from her age, I still think she could be in the running for presidency. She certainly knows her own mind and has the edge over my half baked ideas. With unwavering determination, she manages to persuade me to pull out the chariot and escort her to the scariest shop in town to spend an unnecessary fortune on masks, veils and false nails.

I have no idea who is going to win the presidency but they better have a winning smile like my wee Missy. I can’t let her down. We all like to do our best. Whether we want to look like we have been spat out by a vampire or feel we have been eaten by one…ask any potential president…we still want to look good and play our part well. So, I shall take my beautiful princess for a little late night shopping and a spooky make over even if it is costly business, dressing up the truth.

© Aileen McGee

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