Click here to read previous Patrol love letters.
I’m sure you won’t mind if I call you “Favs.” I know we haven’t quite met yet, but I’ve been in love with you for at least two or three months, so I feel confident that our relationship is intimate enough for nicknames. I’ve never written a love letter before. I've saved myself for you. I wanted you to be my first experience with the mysterious passion when two words meet in perfect harmony.
I saw you were in the Washington Post recently. Looking good. I love picturing you at Starbucks, fingers flying across the keyboard, head bulging cerebrally—so hot. I bet your triple espresso cools into slush, and your scarf slips off the chair to the floor, and you don't even notice, because you're “in the zone,” stringing words together for the President’s Inaugural address.
I used to have a crush on President-Elect Obama, actually, but it was a misplaced love. Sure, he’s tall and has melting brown eyes … but what really makes my knees knock are his words. There’s poetry in his speeches, like on Election Night, when he proclaimed, “What began 21 months ago in the depth of winter cannot end on this autumn night.” He asked me to “join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand,” and I started looking around for my tool belt. That foxy Barack, I said to myself, he understands the sensuous rhythms of language, I thought to myself. He knows how to woo with a semi-colon.
And I realized, those are also your words, your semi-colons. You’re putting the verbs, the adjectives, the participles into the mouth of the most important man in the country. You’re determining where each comma should fall. You’re responsible for renegade modifiers. You’re in charge of pronoun antecedent security. You dip your hand into the dictionary and bring out a sentence that vanquishes decades of prejudice and converts a globe of Yankee-haters to hopeful allies. That's powerful. That’s hot.
And they’re not just beautiful words. They’re words that mean something, words that gave a nation a reason to keep hoping, to keep trying. Even though the bombs kept falling in the desert and the banks kept crumbling on Wall Street, Americans filled the polls. As your boss—and you—described on Election Night, Voting Day brought “lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.”
That’s the power of words—and you’re holding the reins. That’s so hot.
And you know what else is hot? You’re not a hater. I got pretty tired of all the back-and-forth dissing that went on during the election—red vs. blue, elephants vs. asses. So when I read in Esquire that you're a fan of George W. Bush’s speechwriter, it gives me hope that you and your boss won’t limit your thinking to party colors. And that makes me confident that you’ll help your boss keep his promise from his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, “a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.” I like the sound of that.
Plus, President Obama is married. So I transferred my crush on him to you, which pretty much makes you my Cyrano de Bergerac. I’ve done a pretty extensive Google Image search on you (it was time-consuming to wade through all those shots of your homophone, that guy from Swingers), and I’m pretty sure that your nose is rather perfect.
I’m positive that you and I were made for each other. You were the valedictorian at Holy Cross, and I also, um, graduated from a liberal arts college. And I know how it feels to be a victim of Facebook embarrassment, thanks to a rather unflattering shot of me trying to open a champagne bottle on Election Night. We’re just meant to be, like an old-fashioned fairy tale, with you as the Oxford-shirt-clad knight battling the wicked witch of … well, I'm sure there's a crazy hook-nosed female lurking around this story somewhere.
You don’t have to worry that I’m marrying you for your money; I’ve learned from experience that wordsmithing is not the most lucrative career, even if it does get my motor purring. And I understand that your schedule is going to keep you very busy. But you can text me sexy poetry on our his-and-hers Blackberries—I know yours is never far from your side—and maybe sometimes your boss won’t mind if I tag along on Air Force One. I’ll be very quiet.
I know you’re preoccupied with the President's Inaugural Speech, but if you could just take a couple seconds to confirm my relationship request on Facebook, that’d be great. We can wait until after January 20 to start making babies.
Love always (or at least the next four years),
Image courtesy of the New York Times.
- hater on Evangelicalism is Shrinking Itself to Death
- oaklandj on The Evil God of ‘Noah’
- jlpaternoster on What Really Happens When People Lose Their Religion?
- Rebecca Wimer on New Sincerity Sighting: Normcore Fashion
- Patrick Sawyer on The Evil God of ‘Noah’
Tags2012 Election Andrew Sullivan Atheism Barack Obama Bible Book Review Books Capitalism Catholic Church Charles Taylor Christian Christianity Christianity Today Conservatism Conservatives Evangelicalism Evangelicals Facebook Faith Feminism Gay Marriage God Gospel Coalition History Jacques Derrida Jesus Journalism Mark Driscoll Marriage Martin Heidegger Marvin Olasky Marxism Media New Sincerity New York Times Patheos Philosophy Politics Religion Religion and Spirituality Ross Douthat Same-sex marriage United States Women Young Evangelicals