May 27 • 12:03 PM

Loose change, small change, no change

September 17, 2008
Dear Presidential Candidates:

I'd ask you how it's going but I know the answer: Downhill. I suppose it's unavoidable when walking in your shoes—which now include for the first time a pair of pumps and the occasional high heel.

This is something I can relate to, even if it's the only thing I can relate to at this point. Except I wear lipstick, too. That's what I'd like to talk about here, madam and sirs, if you'll indulge me for a moment.

Out here in the real world, most people I know work very hard to solve their own problems and certainly don't try to create new ones. And as a female who indulges in a modest variety of shades, I can say in general terms that I'm not overly concerned about lipstick.

Madam and sirs, I'm here to tell you that out here in small town U.S.A., we don't care about lipstick on pitbulls or lipstick on pigs—although the occasional school principal has been known to smooch a swine or two if enough students read enough books. And I'm here to tell you that from the photos in the paper I couldn't really say whether or not said swines were wearing any lipstick, not that any of us cared too much one way or the other.

What we do care about is paying the bills. We care about the people we know who've lost their homes to foreclosure. We care about the sons and daughters of our sisters, brothers, friends and neighbors who are sweltering in a desert with their health and lives at risk.

When we pull up to the gas pump we're not thinking about lipstick. Truly. We're thinking about how far ten bucks will get us. We're thinking about what we're going to do after that runs out.

Health care is something we care about. And I'm not embarassed to tell you that food's right up there on the list, too. Sometimes we forego the former to make sure we can put the latter on our table every day, especially lately.

So if I may be so bold, let me ask you all a favor: Get over that bridge to nowhere—the one that's built with diversionary tactics and divisive allegations. It's been trampled enough by presidential campaigns past and it's way, way too flimsy for us now. We see that it's an illusion. We want something that's real.

Real change, for example. Lots of us are ready for that—the sooner the better. But so far during this campaign there's been no change from what has come to be the standard operating procedure for you folks. Lots of hype and bluster about things that don't really matter to divert our attention from things that desperately need to be addressed (the war, the economy, the housing crisis, the energy crisis, the environment, etc. etc.)

Believe it or not, we really do want this "change" you all keep talking about. That is unless the meaning of change has changed. Perhaps that's it, since all four of you are now campaigning on that promise. Has change changed?

Do you mean loose change? Small change? A chunk of change? A change of clothes? A new direction? Or just a new shade of lipstick for the same old...uhm...animal upon which one may apply lipstick but in its nature?

DISCLAIMER: I am not the pot calling the kettle black, nor am I taking a poke at a pig or attempting in any way to lead horses of any color to water for the purposes of forcing them to drink. I would only dream of so doing when pigs can fly.

Further, use of the foregoing aphorisms are not to be construed as racist, sexist, elitist, or any other 'ist.' Candidates may choose whatever shade of lipstick they like and put it on the animal of their choice as long as it is no longer the focus of this campaign. Please note: If putting lipstick on animals is cruel in any way, shape or form I withdraw all support for doing same.

For the record I like pigs and dogs equally, and kettles and pots sit on the same shelf in my kitchen.

Email Catherine at

Castle Creek
Milnes Ford
05 - 27 - 19
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