OK, I know it’s super uncool to post a bunch of pictures of yourself on your own blog, and even doubly so when they look super humblebrag-y and shit. But I had to share this. I was on a set visit today for the new NBC midseason show 1600 Penn. It’s about—oh look! you already guessed it! you are very smart, you—a dysfunctional modern family living (and working!) in the most famous address in the United States: that of the White House.
Now aside from my usual “blah blah blah my life is so strange and I am so lucky because I’m actually living my life as a paid writer omg! the dream, etc… blah blah” schpeal, there is an actual funny-life-related story that makes this picture extra-special to me. When I was very young, I really thought I was some sort of impressive som’bitch because I told everyone I was going to become the first woman president of the United States. Yeah! Like at 6 years old I thought I had all the answers. All of the fucking knowledge, to run a nation. I even wrote it in a biography I self-published in class (I’ve always been a lover of words and real entrepreneurial), that was what my job was. Like I could just casually write novels about magical Christmas teddy bears on the side of being the leader of the free world.
Like I said, I was delusional. But my grandfather loved this about me, and he got it in his head that I should become the first woman president. He would tell all of his friends this when they met me. And I’d be real fuckin’ smug about it too, with these middle-aged men who were probably just dying at the thought of it. Laughing and knowing all-too-well about the over-the-top dreams of kids. Or maybe they just knew about politics and knew that sometimes it feels like babies are running this country. Who knows. Regardless, when my grandfather told people this, they would always find it very amusing, if nothing else.
My grandfather still to this day tells me that I should’ve run for president. And that he’d even vote for me, he liked me that much (he’s a Republican and I most certainly am not any of that nonsense obviously, duh). It was one of those running jokes you can only have with a grandparent. With someone older who gets the joke, who appreciates it—but also believes in you so much that they really know that if you wanted to be president, you would be president of the fucking United States of America. It’s a joke with a lot of love, and it’s special.
So it was really cool to be able to take this picture today, fling myself in my car and post it on Facebook so he could see it (my grandmother has a Facebook account because she’s a thoroughly modern woman). I called him immediately and he laughed and laughed when I said “Look gramps, I finally made it to the Oval Office.” He laughed so much after that, one of those big, full-body laughs; I can see it in my head if I imagine it, he smiles so wide when he’s laughing really hard. And then he told me “I knew it kid, I always knew it! Now where’s my private jet and my steak dinner, Leesh?”
I don’t know if anything would make me prouder than to get my grandfather that steak dinner. He’s always used it as a running joke, every time I got a new job, or moved to a new city. Heck, even when I was in college. He’s so impressed and confident in who I am and what I can do in this world if I want to, that he just knows I’m going to be able to take him out to a really nice, really old-school steak dinner. Like at Peter Luger’s or whatever the equivalent of that is in Los Angeles. He just continues to believe everything I do is wonderful and impressive and miraculous, but not at all surprising. Even though I’m not even done yet. Even though I still have dreams to write a TV show of my own and actually have someone air it rather than it just exist in my notes, storyboards, and scripts.
And before anyone believed in me and before I even knew what I wanted to do with my life, my grandfather told me, because he knows me better than maybe I even know my self. “You’re so goddamn good with words, Leesh,” he always starts. Even these days, after a family dinner or a few Manhattans, “You should do something with words with your life!” And here I am, doing something with words with my life. And I was in the Oval Office today.
Anyway, it was really great to be able to send him that picture.