Sunday, March 6, 2016

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan Merges With The Infinite

Former First Lady, 80's fixture, anti-drug advocate, Mr. T snuggler, astrology enthusiast and spouse to President Ronald Reagan - Nancy Reagan - has passed at the age of 94.

The kids will never understand what it was like having Nancy Reagan as First Lady in the White House.  We haven't since had a First Lady who demanded the same sort of attention and her piece of the spotlight as Nancy, in a sort of WASPy, 20th Century social-rules, imperious sort of way.  The Ronald and Nancy Reagan relationship was one of true mutual adoration, but you sort of got the feeling President Reagan was more than happy to let Nancy dress him and tell him how to cut his hair, and it worked out well for both of them.

As a kid, Nancy Reagan kind of freaked me out.  She reminded me of the moms you'd get stuck listening to talk about what bad kid's families looked like (ie: yours), and it usually boiled down to anything that wasn't country club white, upper class and stuck in a mode decades out of date.  God help you if your mom worked.

She consulted astrologers and insisted Ronnie join her in checking charts before making policy decisions, wore red almost every day, and got catty with Raisa Gorbachev, threatening Glasnost because she wanted that perma-frosted off-the-rack shopper to know who was top dog in the leaders of the world's social pecking order (not that Raisa wasn't more of same).

Mrs. Reagan launched the cartoonish "Just Say No" campaign that worked like a charm for the grades K - 5 set, but kids were wearing their "Just Say No" t-shirts ironically already by 8th grade, which probably tells you a lot about the generation between the Millennials and Boomers.  (Nancy knew from personal experience* - Crack is Whack).

Some folks still question whether Nancy Reagan pulled an Edith Wilson and hid the state of her husband's failing health during the last years of his presidency.  I don't tend to believe that's actually true, but it certainly seemed well within the realm of possibility.

I dunno.  You're supposed to say nice things about someone as they pass, so I should come up with something.

She really knew how to throw a White House Christmas Party that featured ALF.

*this is likely not actually true

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