Posts Tagged ‘memes’

Friends and family were positively giddy on Inauguration Day. Happy tears were shed over our new VP Kamala Harris in her sorority pearls, and a most graceful young Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman. We were transfixed throughout the day as Tom Hanks displayed our Hollywood talent to the world. Why go back to a bunch of Washington mega-donor inaugural balls?

This celebration, those fireworks, were for The People!

Then Twitter exploded with, of all things, Bernie Sanders. I guess he came to the Capitol Mall on his own; I’d heard that legislators could only invite one guest to the swearing in ceremony. Many didn’t want to bring a spouse because they had small children; imagine that kind of fear, in our country. So there he sat, Wednesday with Bernie, sitting all alone on a bleacher, legs crossed trying to stay warm and awake, like any other grandfather. Except that he is the Independent senator from Vermont, and he was wearing hand knit mittens!

Turns out, one of his constituents gave him those mittens five years ago. Her name is Jen Ellis and she used to sell her wares at arts and craft shows, but today she’s a teacher with a small child and she doesn’t have time to knit. Little did she know her mittens would become a meme sensation

“Ellis, who has sold her mittens — which she calls “swittens,” a portmanteau of sweater and mittens — online and at craft fairs. “I’m flattered that they want them, but there are lots of people on Etsy who sell them and hopefully people will get some business from them,” she said. “But I’m not going to quit my day job. I am a second grade teacher, and I’m a mom, and all that keeps me really busy.”

“There’s no possible way I could make 6,000 pairs of mittens, and every time I go into my email, another several hundred people have emailed me,” Ellis added. “I hate to disappoint people, but the mittens, they’re one-of-a-kind and they’re unique and sometimes in this world, you just can’t get everything you want.”


She sounds just like any other New England mom, you can’t always get what you want! And every mom knows that mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves, it’s a fact. My Berkshire roots are showing because I love, love, love the casual predictability of Bernie along with the pragmatism of his independent followers. One of my favorite tee shirts from our Pittsfield, MA era had a picture of American Gothic on its front emblazoned with, “Welcome to Dalton, now go home!”

On Wednesday there was no cow jumping over the moon, or three little bears sitting on chairs. But Bernie was there in all his everyman glory, with a manila envelope containing the inaugural tickets and a very unique pair of mittens. I’m not sure what all the fuss was about, but it was fun for the younger generation to blow off four years of pain and suffering under a demagogue by flooding social media with Bernie memes.

And we are all glad they did! Here are just a few.

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