Sarah Palin: My Damned Doppleganger [Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered]
I’ve avoided taking on the Palin thing for a variety of reasons. Like many others, I feel like any press is good press, ergo any press for Palin is bad for reasonable, rational people like you and me.
But, I can be silent no more.
It’s not her lack of basic American history. It’s not her it has nothing to do with rape kits, rifles, or reality shows.
I have a unique reason to revile Sarah Palin: she shares my first name.
I’ve always liked my name, which means “princess” in Hebrew. I feel like a Sarah. In grade school, I practiced writing it in long, scroll letters across American History notebooks and inside Trapper Keepers folders.
I’ve always been grateful there has been no glut of Sarahs. Granted, the name is not exotic or unheard of – oh, it’s no “Apple” or “Honor” – but it’s no “Jenny” or “Brittany” either. As a first name, “Sarah” has maintained a respectable level of popularity for ages, which, I would argue, makes it a classic.
Unlike other classic names (“Elizabeth” or “Maria”) there aren’t a great many famous Sarahs – so I so excited my name was finally receiving the royal recognition tied to its roots when Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson.
Then Princess Sarah turned out to be a money-grubbing whore. Damn it!
Still, it was a step above the bain of my childhood, the children’s book, “Sarah Plain and Tall” or the old Western, “Two Mules for Sister Sarah.”
So, when John McCain chose his running mate in 2008, I was curious about this new Sarah on the scene.
Then, I saw her.
She doesn’t just share my name but also my chestnut hair with blonde highlights. My rectangular eyeglass frames. My height!
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where the similarity ends.
Once I realized this, I wasn’t happy about this pseudo-Sarah splashed about newspaper and magazine covers giving my name a bad…well, you know!
There was only one thing to do: embrace the name, embrace the look. It was in that spirit that I went to a 2008 Halloween party in red dress and navy blazer, shoes, and skirt with a familiar updo and an “I Voted” sticker across my chest.
This, in retrospect, was not a good idea.
I only knew one person at this party, and she was frolicking with Elliot Spitzer, The Joker, and a white-sheeted Miley Cyrus, so I stuck my hand out to a motley group of pirates, vampires, and assorted sexy kittens and bumblebees. “Hi, I’m Sarah,” I introduced myself.
“We hate you!”
I’m smiling. Really. I’m just standing here smiling. See? I asked myself, it’s funny because they don’t know that’s your real name. Ha ha. I can laugh at that.
“My name is Sarah,” I clarified.
“Boo!” Someone threw a neon orange marshmallow PEEP in my general direction.
“No!” I coaxed sugar crystals out of my eye and tried to tousle them out of my slightly beehived coiffed hair without ruining the updo. “My real name is Sarah. My name is Sarah!”
When I looked up, everyone had dispersed to the drink table, with the exeption of a single sexy bumblebee. She looked at me with a pot-glazed stare, and mumbled
“Ooooooh.” Long pause. “Waaaaait…” she processed the situation. “Like…your real name is Sarah Palin?”
My beautiful name: every time I see it scrawled across a headline, over the headline, “2012?” I die a little. Every time I hear my lovely first name uttered from the lips of John Stewert – followed by a sneer – I cry a silent tear for the ruination of my fine name. The terrorists may have hijacked Islam, but Palin had surely hijacked my name.
Until now. I hereby reclaim SARAH for myself and for the rational, reasonable, thinking people of the word. Palin recently gave her account of the Paul Revere story, (“He warned the British!”) and so in the same vein, I take back the name by citing an idea from my favorite storyteller, William Shakespeare, who might have this to say: a media personality/candidate/circus act by another other name would still give off the same stink.