I remember it well. As she tucked me into bed that nervous night before the first day of first grade…(eyes go crossed as mist descends)
Mom: (Wrinkling her beautiful unwrinkled forehead with intense wisdom-gathering)
"My darling daughter, remember this: Life is not a popularity contest."
I fell to sleep dreaming of riding the big yellow bus, repeating those words over and over…life is not a popularity contest, life is not a popularity contest, life is not a popularity contest.
But I woke up this morning to news that Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Geez Louise! I knew I should have tried the popular route. After some fierce googling I came up with the advice little Baracky got before he went to first grade. It went something like this:
You gotta be popular!
Better learn the proper ploys
With the girls and boys
Little ways to get adored
Figure out how to promise all
When you’re playing ball
Anything they want to hear.
To be popular
You need to look over seas!
Need to hang with the right cohorts
Like France and Italy
And soon those kind of guys
will give you the Nobel Prize
‘Cause you’re so popular!
So thanks a lot Mom, if I hadn’t listened to you and had concentrated instead on being popular, I could have cured cancer and warts by the time I was thirty.