place mats and presidents

When I was a kid, every meal at home was accompanied by these thick rubber place mats that everyone in the 80s seemed to use. I think my parents purchased them at museum stores, in a valiant attempt to make every moment a learning opportunity. This is likely why I’m still unable to eat without reading something – whether it’s a cereal box or a book.

Anyway, I distinctly remember these place mats (that are still available – who knew!). I know we had a ton of them, but right now all I recall is that one was a graphic of the solar system, one showed a map of the U.S. and another listed all the presidents.

Why am I thinking about this now? I guess because as I consider that tomorrow is President’s Day, I’m trying to figure out what the day means.

As a kid, the notion of a president – someone who runs an whole country – is crazy cool. I was intrigued to read about the dates they served and what they looked like, and often wondered if anyone Chinese or Black or Jewish would hold the role – let alone a woman. It didn’t register at the time what a moment it would be when this did occur.

For what it’s worth, if you think you know what we’re celebrating, think again. Or at least, read this, and you can be decidedly more confused.


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