When President Obama came to office he told the nation that a shared sacrifice was key to America’s recovery. He urged Americans toward self-reliance and thrift. In those early days the idea of reviving the “victory garden” concept of WWII became an idea whose time had come… again. So, let’s tell a fairy tale of one upper class Midwestern Mommy, shall wee. With Obama’s example to the nation before her, this mother decided to take the President up on his suggestion and began her own victory garden in her upscale neighborhood.
She was initially excited about her contribution to that shared sacrifice so urgently hailed by the president, even felt duty bound to observe the president’s exhortation. Soon she broke ground with the help of her children. She even brought some local kids over to her house to help so that the spirit of the effort might spread. It was a picture worth seeing and a message earnestly delivered.
The digging and planting was quite successful, actually. She was gratified that some local media arrived at her picture perfect home and indulged some ooos and ahs about how she was involving the city’s youth and inculcating a concern for our nation among them.
As the rains came and nature plied her hand at the little plot, what always happens came to pass. A few weeds grew here and there and had to be removed, tilling had to be done, fertilizer spread, and when the flowering plants resulted in a needed harvest, picking was sure to be necessary.
But, this upper class gardener had long since lost interest in the little project. She waved her hand dismissively and told her house servants to do all the lowly, manual labor because she was far too busy to grovel in the dirt, you see. Who could expect her to get her delicate hands dirty, anyway?
Besides, there wasn’t time. She had vacations planned, shopping to do, she was on a European tour ready to fulfill, nights on Broadway to indulge, and there were the community meetings, and other things like her children that took up so much of her time. Again, she wondered why did she have servants if they weren’t there to do the boring, lowly sort of work that so disinterested her? Why indeed.
So, the orders went out. The busy mommy went about her jet-set life and her cook and other house servants got on their hands and knees and pulled weeds, tilled the soil, spread the fertilizer, picked the crops, and then brought them into the house to serve the dilettante and her brood.
Soon enough, however, the upper class dabbler thought she’d better show her strata that she hadn’t forgotten her little project. After all, it would be unseemly if people suddenly realized that she had not followed through on her promise to be oh-so-concerned about that shared sacrifice business that was all the rage only a few months ago.
So a party was held. Once again the local kids were trundled out as backdrop to show that this upper class Mom was just like everyone else. As the kiddes gathered, the green-thumbed posh smiled and fed the props the crops. The clicking of the cameras and the ooos and ahs of the press filled her ears. And she was gratified once again, happy to know that her hard work, her constant attention to the nurturing and care of her garden was worth it. After all, what are servants for?
And once again Michelle Obama was proud of herself for her efforts. This was, she satisfactorily felt, the first time in her adult life she could be proud of a garden.