This. 

1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth? The last bite of pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving. 

2. Where was your profile taken? It’s a Bitmoji. I am a big fan of the Bitmoji. 

3. Do you play Pokemon Go? No. But I am all in when (if?) Harry Potter Go goes live. I’ll even carry a mobile charger for that shit. 

4. Name someone who made you laugh today. Larry David. I am really enjoying myself some binge-Curb Your Enthusiasm lately. 

5. How late did you stay up last night and why? 12-something. I was ready to go to sleep at 11:30 for a change, but ended up in a text conversation with my brother. 

6. If you could move somewhere else, where would it be? Boston. That’s a no-brainer. 

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks? I don’t think so? My wife is generally sleeping if it’s late enough for fireworks and no one else kisses me. 

8. Which of your friends lives closest? Sarah, but just by a street or two. 

9. How do you feel about Dr Pepper? Ambivalent. I have a baseline appreciation for all carbonated things, so there is that. But do I ever choose Dr. Pepper? No. Never. (I do enjoy Dr. Pepper, the psychologist on “Married at First Sight” but I have the impression that this isn’t the intended gist of this question.)

10. When was the last time you cried? November 9th. 

11. Who took your profile picture? Bitmoji. Again. 

12. Who was the last person you took a picture of? The Who, celebrating his 8th birthday with his bestie yesterday. 

13. Was yesterday better than today? No. I mean, today was fine. I guess it was better in some ways and not in others. Probably they averaged out the same. 

14. Can you live a day without TV? Of course. Some days, I do so voluntarily. 

15. Are you upset about anything? Oh, sure. Mostly about people in general. I’m feeling pretty misanthropic since the election. I’ve been so lucky for so long (and still, I know) to be able to ignore or at least compartmentalize all the ignorance and hatred, but…I guess I just thought (hoped?) people were ultimately better than that. They’re not. 

16. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it? Of course. 

17. Are you a bad influence? In some ways. I often encourage friends to delay responsibility to hang out with me. I’m very persuasive. 

18. If you could take a vacation anywhere you wanted, where would it be? Europe. Specifically, England and Italy. 

19. What do you procrastinate about the most? Grading. 

Stages.

I’m not sure which stage of grief I am stuck in. Anger and depression simultaneously, maybe? Denial was definitely first. This isn’t happening. This won’t happen. There will still be a way for this not to happen. Last night, I read a series of DJT tweets about how grossly inaccurate the New York Times was when discussing his transition team’s struggle. And another one about how many foreign leaders he has met with. And still another about trying to shut down rumors about his children and security clearances and I actually thought: this whole conversation is fruitless; he’s not going to be president.

But he is.

Denial, I guess. I’m still in denial.

I’ve spent the better part of the past week in conversations with friends about the surge in hate speech in the public schools. It’s coming out like worms after a rainstorm — disgusting, slimy little words struggling to stay alive out in the open. “Build the wall” chanted on the school bus. “White power” called out in the hallway of the middle school. A little brown girl told to “go home” in the elementary school. All of it right here in my little blue community. I can only imagine what’s happening elsewhere.

It’s making me lose hope in humanity. It’s making me — the unapologetic idealist, the eternal optimist — believe that most people actually are horrible. Motivated by fear, hungry for power, ultimately only concerned about themselves. This is not to say that there aren’t good people; there are, of course. Just not as many as I thought.

 

Safety.

Ugh. The safety pin thing. I have heard different opinions from all kinds of people; everyone has a story. The mansplainy white blogger who shames allies for being allies. The self-righteous white lady who just wants people to know she didn’t vote for Trump. The woman of color who is fully over the safety pin thing. The Muslim woman who cried when she saw one. The gay guy, the transwoman, the aunt/uncle/cousin/etc. of a biracial bisexual. There’s no right answer.

If you feel like you want to make a more tangible statement of your support of people who are actually scared and angry and at risk in this “new” climate of hatred, make that statement. It’s ok. And if someone feels offended by that, that’s ok, too. People are allowed to have their feelings and responses. If people tell you to your face that they are offended or hurt by your decision to wear a pin because they think you are just trying to make yourself feel better, cop to it if it’s true. You’re allowed to do things to make yourself feel better; we are all grieving. No one gets to put a price tag on your grief. People do not get to value their grief higher than yours because it has been going on longer or more overtly. But, cop to it. Yeah. I am wearing this because I want to feel like I’m doing something during this time when I am not actually doing anything. And if it’s not true — if you’re wearing it, yeah, but you’ve also got boots on the ground, working to get shit done or if it’s something in between those two extremes —  then it’s fair to say that, too. People do not get to ignorantly assign motivation for the choices you make.

So many people suffer more than I do. And so many people have suffered for longer. As a white, middle-class, employed, well-educated, healthy, able-bodied, cisgendered femme, I fully understand that. I have checked my privilege over and over. I continue to check it. But my privilege does not mean that I don’t also experience hatred and fear for the other identifications I hold. Or that, even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be entitled to express myself as an ally by doing something like wearing a safety pin on my shirt without getting dismissed or harassed for doing that.

Wearing a safety pin is not enough. (Did anyone ever say that it was?) Voting is not enough. Marching on Washington is not enough. Treating people with basic human decency is not enough. Respecting difference is not enough. Raising my son to be a feminist is not enough. None of it is enough. But all of it is something. Each one of those things is something. And maybe wearing a safety pin is all you can do right now.

Anyone with a genuine desire to treat people fairly and decently is struggling right now. Collectively, we are hurt, sad, furious, and frightened — some more than others. We’re all just trying to do the best we can in an undeniably shitty situation. So, wear a safety pin if you want to wear a safety pin. And if you don’t want to, don’t. I won’t judge you.

 

Free.

The Who is one of the most patriotic people I’ve ever met. He loves this country. He trusts in the freedoms and our leaders. He adores Obama, gives more reverence to our flag than it even deserves. He understands racism and sexism and is disappointed in the Americans who represent that, but his love for our country and faith in the inherent goodness of our people is pure.

This morning, when I told him the election results, he cried. He climbed into bed next to me and cuddled up close. And as M* wrapped her arms around the both of us, he said, “I don’t think the second to last line of The Star Spangled Banner is true anymore.”

This is what this man and these people and this election has done. It has taken a loving and innocent and hopeful 8-year-old and given him reason to doubt what he fiercely believed.

We have to do better.

One.

This is probably a premature post to write, given how up in the air it all really still is. But, it’s getting late and I’m going to need to quit eating all the leftover Halloween candy and go to bed at some point and I’ll have a lot of explaining to do in the morning when The Who wakes up, eager to hear results that we may or may not have. I need to be prepared. There are no easy links online yet about how to explain a Trump win to kids. There’s a lot about how to explain a potential one, but not a real one — presumably because no one really believed it would ever happen. Alas, here we are on the brink. So in the absence of resources to make this shitshow a little less painful and difficult, I’m creating my own resource. A how-to for the morning for everyone who has some explaining to do.

Two steps forward, one step back.

That’s how I’m choosing to frame this situation for The Who if it does indeed come to that. I’ll tell him the story about the frog in the well and about how even though his journey was arduous, he still eventually made progress by taking two steps forward, one step back. Two steps forward, one step back.

With the election of Obama, our country took two steps forward. In the past eight years, we have earned marriage equality, created universal healthcare, elected our first African-American president, and nominated the first female for president. Two giant steps forward. And then we elected Trump (probably? maybe not?). One step back. We’ve taken two steps forward before. The 19th Amendment. The Civil Rights Movement. And we’ve taken one step back before. This is the cycle we find ourselves in over and over again.

Does taking a step back mean that all hope is lost? Does it mean that we all slide back down to start in what my brother cleverly referred to as a giant game of Chutes and Ladders? No. It means we take a step back. Maybe more than a step. Or maybe we’re strong enough together to hold our backs against the tsunami of racism and misogyny and fear and hatred and ignorance. Maybe we keep it to just one step. And when we’re given the chance again in four years, we take another two steps forward and net three.

I’m comforting myself with this tonight and clinging to it for my kid’s sake. For my family’s sake, for all of our sakes. We’re not all going to Canada (even though we all want to so much that their immigration site crashed tonight). We’re going to stay here. And we’re going to grieve what we thought would be two more steps forward, but then we’ll be ok. Because we have to.

 

Can NOT.

The other day, I overheard The Who and his buddy in the backseat of the car. It went like this:

The Who (as we passed a Trump sign): Why would anyone want to vote for him?
Friend: I know. What will happen if he gets elected?
TW: Well, he wants to build a wall all the way from Mexico to Canada! And make Mexico pay for it. But he won’t get to do it because Congress won’t allow that.
F: Yeah and he also hates all the people in Mexico.
TW: Yeah and anyone who has black or brown skin. He wants to kill them all.
F: So, if he gets to be president, that means he might shoot X* (a friend in their grade who is Black)
TW: I know! So he can’t become president!
F: He can NOT.

Second graders, you guys. This is what he is doing to second graders.

XX.

I am so absolutely sick of the crazy fucking misogyny. And don’t tell me that that’s not what it is. When you tell me that you hate Hillary, that you find her fake and disingenuous, that you don’t trust her — don’t pretend that you would feel the same way if she were a man. Because it’s complete bullshit. Even if you absolutely believe it (which, if you took a second and actually thought about it, you probably wouldn’t) it’s not true.

You hate Hillary because she isn’t skinny enough. Doesn’t smile enough. Doesn’t wear dresses. Doesn’t get Botox. Doesn’t retreat when she’s challenged. Doesn’t stop asking for what she deserves. You don’t trust her because she lied? Fair. That’s fair. Just also tell me that you hate every other politician who lies or has lied. (Like Trump, for example. Except he’s not even a politician; he’s a fucking joke.) You find her stiff and insincere? I wonder if it’s because when she was her real self — remember the Texts from Hillary meme? Back when she had no shits to give about how pretty her hair looked or whether you were watching her while she looked at her phone because she had just spent 20 hours on a plane after meeting with foreign diplomats? — when she was her real self, you hated her then, too.

It’s crazy. I feel crazy. How do I live in a time and place where this double standard is so blatant — so completely obvious — and still people refuse to admit it? YOU. WOULD. NOT. HOLD. ANY. MAN. TO. THESE. STANDARDS. Admit it. Own it. Hate Hillary if you hate her. Distrust her if you distrust her. But at least fucking see the forest for the trees. If you’re a man, you hate her because you can’t stand the idea of a smart, strong, qualified woman who refuses to just sit the fuck down when you tell her to. And if you’re a woman, you hate her because she threatens the notion of everything you think a woman is supposed to be (because men have been telling us this for eternity): mild-mannered, smart (but not too smart) kind, docile, deferential, and quiet.

I get it, you guys. Change is hard. US presidents are men. Presidents are MEN. They wear navy blue suits and power ties. They give firm handshakes with their big hands. They have pretty wives who take the smaller office down the hall. They address the nation with deep voices that convey strength. We trust men. Men rescue us. Men keep us safe. Men are providers. Presidents are not women. Jesus. How could a woman — a mother, a grandmother — do all of that? I get it. A mindset is a hard thing to change.

But, seriously. Fucking suck it up. Hillary Clinton is the only goddamned candidate. She has experience, intelligence, stamina, presence of mind, impulse control, and the fortitude to do this job. Yes, yes. She has a vagina. She has that, too. But maybe just pretend she doesn’t for a second. Because I would bet my life, the life of my kid, and my coldest yellow Vitamin Water that you would never ever hold a man to the impossible standards of perfection to which you are holding Hillary.

Just fucking knock it off already. I’m over it.