So It’s been a week. I am not one to be quick to figure out how I feel about something. Even if you call me and tell me someone I love has died you won’t get much of a reaction out of me besides the usual platitudes. It takes me awhile to digest things not that I don’t care or don’t have feelings I just take awhile to get there sometimes. So for a week I have been writing this piece in my head during long commutes and sleepless nights and I have tried to digest everything and figure out not only what I feel but what I am going to do about it.
I was actually staggered over how upset I was and am. It wasn’t just that she lost. I can handle that I think my problem is that he won. And to be honest he scares me. I hope all his rhetoric of hate was just a facade to stir up the populist masses. And I sure hope he has some angels of his better nature hiding under all that hair but I am scared. The way he is already flip flopping on his campaign promises maybe he will flop in the right direction but judging by his first few staff picks leads me to think probably not. But I don’t want to be that dramatic I don’t like to borrow trouble and I don’t want to imagine all the terrible things that can happen. But I do want to be vigilant and aware of what’s going on to be ready to fight if needed.
The only thing I can really think to do is to give money to people like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood and research more people who do good work who try and safeguard our liberties no matter which side you are on. And with everybody yelling it’s been hard to listen to myself to figure out on my own for me alone how I feel. Even my darling social media which for an introvert like me is a dream come true (along with self pump gas and instant messaging) is making me feel like I am being torn to pieces.
I don’t know whether I should just get over it (if I do I feel like I am betraying people on the margins who are in danger), just wait and see what happens (but if i do that will it be too late to fight when the dark times come?), take to the streets and protest (not really my thing), wear a safety pin on my jacket (useless gesture where I live feel like I am picking a fight?), just drink wine and read Proust and garden till its over (cry baby overeducated elitist), or think nothing bad like that could happen to me (history proves me wrong).
I know women who voted for Trump in fact at work I think I am surrounded. My skin isn’t thick enough yet to ask why and maybe it never will be. But I do feel that it’s me against them hopefully that feeling will fade with time. For a few days after I actually found myself glaring at everyone secretly blaming them for what happened without even knowing who they voted for or if they even voted at all. The chip on my shoulder is getting smaller with time but it’s still there. Thoughts like how could they vote for him they are women? Maybe they just voted along party lines since I call myself a blue dog democrat I really can’t take issue with that or maybe they just think as an outsider he can bring much needed change.
But I am used to feeling like a stranger in a strange land and to be honest I like being the underdog but that is so easy for me to say when I am wrapped in my snuggly cloak of white privilege. Isn’t saying that betraying everyone who has reason to fear? I noticed that the amount of American Flags being flown on main street have grown and even those flags which should inspire patriotism in me inspire fear. What are people saying with those flags. Are they saying hey liberal jerk how do you feel now? Because that’s what they make me feel like they are taunting me with my loss making me free like this isn’t my America.
I just want a country where everyone has a fair shot as possible and there is true separation between church and state. Where I can be proud to be an American too and not slightly embarrassed as I usually am. And yes I have problems with authority I have refused to say the pledge of allegiance since I was a child I never felt the under one god part was fair. I still don’t and who’s to say how many gods there really are anyway.. But that doesn’t really make me any less of an American because that’s the freaking point of being an American isn’t it?
Its Halloween and this is the first place I have lived in where we are getting a lot of trick or treat action. I was somewhat prepared there is a pumpkin out front and I have candy in a plastic pumpkin filled to brim and the lights are on and hopefully the house looks inviting. I got home around quarter to six Tommy had manned the door until I got home and we were at dangerously low candy level so luckily I just popped down the street to Rite Aid to fill up the coffers.
I cleaned up a bit while I waited for more trick or treaters and I was worried I bought more candy for nothing but the knocks started to come some timid and some loud sometimes I could barely hear them and some they scared the shit out of me. But watching the parents watch their kids from the safe distance of the curb brought me right back to being a kid. The time my brother dressed me up like Frankenstein and slicked my hair back with vaseline. Yes vaseline I had to wear a bandana to kindergarten for days. My poor mother still talks about it to this day.
But one thing I really remember is my dad waiting by the curb and me being a shy child (I could have gotten mail delivered to me behind my mothers legs that’s how much I liked hiding there) going up to a strangers door and knocking and saying things and remembering what I was supposed to do was pretty hard. Luckily the lure of a pillow case full of candy usually got me up that stoop and hopefully some years I was in a large group and could lurk at the back until it was time to grab the loot.
I remember being pretty little and him giving me a gentle push between the shoulder blades now go on beth go up there ring the bell. Remember to say trick or treat remember to be grateful remember to say thank you. So many cute little girls tonight bravely knocking at my door and then shyly looking back to their parents to make sure they were doing it right. It was really sweet. But it occurred to me between knocks that Halloween is like assertiveness training for shy kids. Outgoing kids would probably jump at the chance to knock on a door in exchange for candy us shy kids not so much. Thankfully candy is a big enough reward.