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The president might spend time alone, but he likely craves approval like the rest of us

President Donald Trump talks with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in the Oval Office before the start of a National Day of Prayer event in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 3, 2018. Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for Trump, says the president didn’t know the full details of his personal lawyer’s arrangement with a porn actress until “maybe 10 days ago.” Giuliani, appeared on “Fox and Friends.” He says that Michael Cohen was reimbursed for making a $130,000 hush payment to Stormy Daniels in the days before the 2016 election to silence her allegations of a sexual encounter with Trump.
President Donald Trump talks with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly in the Oval Office before the start of a National Day of Prayer event in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 3, 2018. Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for Trump, says the president didn’t know the full details of his personal lawyer’s arrangement with a porn actress until “maybe 10 days ago.” Giuliani, appeared on “Fox and Friends.” He says that Michael Cohen was reimbursed for making a $130,000 hush payment to Stormy Daniels in the days before the 2016 election to silence her allegations of a sexual encounter with Trump. AP Photo

It is said that our president spends a lot of time in his room at the White House alone.

That’s understandable. According to some reports, his relationship with the first lady is strained. I’d guess that sitting on the couch, holding hands and watching TV news and those seemingly endless panel discussions are probably out for this couple.

There is the ever-present risk that the panel’s conversation will suddenly shift to Trump’s affair with Stormy Daniels and other alleged liaisons with other women. Such reminders are not likely to contribute to the First Couple’s domestic tranquility.

In fact, Stormy Daniels has become a household name in America, if not across the world. .

Not since Biblical times, when King David saw Bathsheba bathing on the rooftop and sent her husband off to the front lines to be killed in battle, has a sexual affair received as much publicity.

There is also speculation over whether the president’ s alleged $130,000 payoff in hush money to Daniels should be a campaign expense or just payment for a one-night tryst.

A follow-up question might be whether Daniels paid income tax on the payoff.

Our president is an “early to bed, early to rise,” individual, retiring to his bedroom at 6:30 p.m. and arising at 6:30 a.m. when he is subject to tweeting anyone on his tweet list.

Despite the president’s display of bravado, bragging, and sometimes loose language, I suspect that he is an inwardly lonely individual, yearning for universal affection and approval, that most of us also harbor.

A deterrent to Trump’s achieving those desires is his aggressive personality. He reminds me of the woman described in Flannery O’Connor’s short story, “Everything That Rises Must Converge.”

In the story, it is said of Carver’s mother, “Her face was set not only to meet opposition but to seek it out.”

President Trump’s face seems set in the same way. Smile more, Mr. Prez.

Supermarket snapshot

I found her in “Cereal, “ along with a crowd of other folks. “Cereal” is where you find the traffic jams. It seems that half of today’s supermarket shoppers are there, either trying to choose the cereal that will lower their cholesterol or which fiber will help them with their digestion.

“Ma’am, “ I said pleasantly . (After all, let him who has never mistakenly pushed somebody else’s grocery cart cast the first artichoke.) “Ma’am, I think you have my cart.”

“I do not!” she said sternly , her eyes hard and suspicious.

“But you have my broccoli and my onions and my pole beans.”

“I also bought broccoli and onions and pole beans, “ she said confidently.

But I knew I had the goods on her in case it came to pressing charges.

“Well, ma’am, if that’s not my cart, what’s my wife’s shopping list doing in it?”

She blushed and apologized. I tried to reassure her.

“Not to worry, “ I said. “We all do it from time to time. I think it happened back at pole beans. Yes, I remember you from pole beans.”

She surrendered my cart and walked away without apologizing.

Quotable

If you haven’t added the expression to to your vocabulary by now, you’re not in vogue.

“Quid quo pro” comes up two or three times in almost every TV discussion of presidential politics.

I took Latin in high school and college but don’t remember ever running into quid quo pro until this year’s political season.

The thing I remember about high school Latin class is being sent out of the room for giggling.

During class one day, a girl from out in the country whispered to a buddy and me that she was so passionate she had to urinate in the creek to keep from setting the woods on fire.

My smothered laughter at first drew only stern stares from Miss Beatrice Holbrook. But every time I glanced at the girl, she winked. My laughter then became even more uncontrollable.

I later had a hard time explaining to my mother the only “C” in conduct I ever received on a report card.

By now you probably know that quid quo pro means, generally, giving something in exchange for something else.

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