Dear Stephen Harper.
Just so as you know, being Prime Minister doesn’t make you cool. I know. Because, I too have been Prime Minister.
I was Prime Minister of Junior Parliament.
This experience was both the height of my 14 year old pride and the apex of nerd-dom, a talent I practiced in middle school, and perfected as an adult.
I guess it all began with books. For many years I refused to read any books that did not have a picture of a dragon or a wizard on the cover or at least 10 sequels.
It became a family joke. I craved to wear robes with bell sleeves and wondered if there were any ancient prophecies in our family. Other than a tendency towards being Methodist, there was nothing the past had promised my kin.
Then in grade 8 there was a musical that our church youth group put on. I was Grumpy Bell. I remember the song I had to sing… “My name is Grumpy Bell, I’m sure that you can tell…” it was ridiculous and embarrassing and so, so, so, so, so, so uncool. However, my mom said it was a turning point during my 13th year, that annus horribilis. She said it spurred me on to ignore bully girls at school, be who I was and join the crap out of everything our school had to offer. I was too busy to notice that I was deeply, profoundly unpopular.
So I joined Junior Parliament. I believe that first year I was the Minister for Health and Welfare, as it was known then. I can’t remember the bill I introduced. I knew it was just a stepping stone to the real power. Then, I was elected Prime Minister. And it wasn’t just Prime Minister of our school. No, it was Prime Minister of Lockport Junior High, too. No mean feat. I was honoured, but I’d earned it. I’d worked the room, currying favour, courting my fellow nerdlets. I even got a scholarship from the IODE (International Order of Daughters of the Empire) to go to the Peace Gardens Speech and Debate Camp, which was a good thing, but I hated it.
|Certificate of proof I went to a camp for losers|
I learned about index cards and highlighters. Heady times.
At the next Jr. Parliament session, a year later, I was the shit, I tell you! My mom bought me some excellent skirts and a power blazer. I wore heels and taupe hose. I killed it.
I received congratulatory letters from important Canadian politicians (that I wrote away for).
|Eat this one, Cheryl McKinnon.|
I gave speeches and everything and I got praised a lot, which is the ONLY reason I do ANYTHING.
Later, in high school, I joined the drama club and sealed my super not cool fate.
|I'm quirky AND the centre of attention.|
|I am super super emoting here.|
|Dramatic, and fat.|
I was still reading dragon books, and I really wanted to learn to play Dungeons and Dragons, but no one would teach me. I got super fat. I went to university and studied Canadian political history and was completely and totally enthralled with it and driven to go far. My professor, who I looked up to so much, told me I wasn’t much of an original thinker but I was a hard worker and that would be enough for me to get a PhD. I’ve hung on to that for years, hoping. Maybe one day. Maybe if I work hard enough, and don't think very originally, I can become Prime Minister of Canada. I know how to play a role.