I'm sure you have probably noticed at this point that the whole world has gone crazy. There's the Presidential election, which is the zaniest three-ring circus I've witnessed in quite some time, OJ is back in the news, and generally every other headline or news story is something gone awry. The television show 24 is coming back without Jack Bauer, Kanye is using Twitter to beg for money, and poor Sylvester Stallone was basically robbed of his Academy Award by a man who barely had a speaking part. And lest I forget: the SyFy network announced there will be a Sharknado 4. These are strange times we are living in--times that leave you scratching your head, confused, frustrated. Practically every time I leave my house, I end up wishing I had just stayed home with my dog instead.
Also in the news this past week, we lost an icon: former First Lady Nancy Reagan passed away at the age of 94 on Sunday. Seeing some of her memorable moments in the spotlight and hearing anecdotes from friends and family reminded me what a class act Mrs. Reagan was, and so as a coping mechanism for this world gone wild, I asked myself: what would Nancy do? And I came up with a few things that just might work in an effort to try and stay sane:
Mind your manners, as much for your sake as everyone else's. With everything else that is going on, you never know who might be one door slam or cut-in-line moment away from blowing a gasket. We could all use more please, thank you, and excuse me in our lives at this point. I feel quite certain that the woman who completely revamped the White House's china collection would agree that bad manners have the power to infuriate. (On this same subject, write thank you notes. Handwritten, on decent stationery, and most certainly not a text message. A text message thank you will only serve as a reminder to people never to do anything kind for you ever again.)
Wear something fabulous. Nancy Reagan earned her reputation as one of our most glamorous first ladies, favoring the color red as a pick-me-up, so much so that the color was known as Reagan red. A great outfit won't fix all the world's problems, but it's hard to put your best foot forward in a pair of Crocs. Take this picture of Reagan's inauguration in 1981:
Rosalynn Carter is the sad one in the homely brown ensemble, and then there's our girl Nancy, all decked out and looking fabulous. See what a difference a good outfit can make? I'm not saying Nancy's wardrobe helped bring down the Berlin wall, but I can't say it didn't, either.
Stop listening to Justin Bieber. This one may or may not be my own personal piece of advice, since I'm not sure Nancy Reagan even knew who the Biebs was, but clearly, his music hasn't done much to help him in the decent human being department, so let's just not take any chances with that drivel ourselves. The kid has had more misdemeanors lately than a school for wayward boys, and we don't need any more of those kind of shenanigans going around. I can say with an almost 100% degree of certainty that Nancy was not--and wouldn't want you to be--a Belieber.
Don't eat food that is very obviously trying to kill you. This includes basically any menu item at Hardee's, since their goal now seems to be to sell food that will make you forget all your troubles by way of an acute coronary malfunction. You can't feel good about yourself or any part of the world around you, much less contribute anything worthwhile, if you are trying to function after ingesting something like a Memphis Barbecue Burger (that would be a burger that also has pulled pork, barbecue sauce, cheese, and crispy onion straws--or as Hardee's has called it, using meat as a condiment for meat). Maybe Justin and Kanye are eating these things and it's responsible for their bad behavior. That's enough speculation to make me steer clear.
Keep your friends close, and your enemies far, far away. Forget all this keeping them close business--Mrs. Reagan insisted that she and her husband be surrounded only by loyal people with their best interests at heart. It seems like now might be a good time for the rest of us to implement that policy, too. We are living in stressful, chaotic times, so feel free to take a sanity break from high maintenance, high drama, self absorbed, stressful, chaotic people. Go for quality over quantity; wouldn't you rather have four quarters than a hundred pennies?
I don't see the insanity going away any time in the near future, but I'm planning on doing my best to keep the absurdity down to a minimum by channeling the "what would Nancy Reagan do?" philosophy. After all, her secret service code name wasn't Rainbow for nothing. So maybe put on a little Reagan red today, get out there, and politely tell all the lunatics to please and thank you get out of your way.