Lions and Lesser Royalty
"I want him to be the simplest American alive after he leaves the White House," Edith said just before they both did. "And the funniest thing to me is that he wants to be also and says he is going to be, but the trouble is he has really forgotten how to be. I try to think of his year in Africa and my year in my sister's little cottage on the Mediterranean as having the effect the forty years of wandering had for the Jews. At the end of that time we will enter the home at Oyster Bay as gladly and as meekly as ever the Children of Israel entered the Promised Land."
It was a wonderful notion. After ten years at the center of America's attention, the First Couple would escape the spotlight by the simple expedient of escaping the country. Theodore would head for Africa to go on a safari he had long dreamed of but never, until lately, thought he would be able to experience. Edith had no more interest in killing wild beasts than she ever had or in spending more than the odd night out under the stars; while he played great white hunter, she would recuperate from the cares and responsibilities of running the executive mansion in a snug retreat in the Ligurian hills outside Genoa. Travels about Italy and the neighboring countries would afford diversion when desired.
Yet for all its attractions, this arrangement wasn't what she really wanted. She would have much preferred being with Theodore. During the last ten years he had been close at hand, usually just down the hall in his office. But he had often been so busy that he might just as well have been miles away. She had longed for the day when they would be