It's not my goal to make this a terribly political blog. I doubt that I'll re-visit this topic after today. So if I piss you off, give me a bit of slack and come back again sometime. It's supposed to be kind of fun here.
Ok, so what's on your mind today, Urban Mom? Well, let's put it this way. I live in Chicago. But I didn't vote for the Chicagoan. In fact, there's not one single Chicago politician that I would vote into national office. But there ya go, America. Welcome to the Chicago machine. May it be more productive for you than it has been for us.
Anywhoooooo, I'm not in the habit of talking politics too much except with those that are the very closest people to me. There are a few reasons for this:
One: I am polite. Politics. Religion. It's personal. And don't assume that you actually know someone's thoughts on a topic, no matter how much "surface chatter" you've had with them. (And I'd really appreciate it if presumptive people who are utterly clueless about my core beliefs would quit sending me inane e-mails.)
Two: I live in Chicago. My political views put me square in the minority on this topic. I don't need the hassle. I know who I am and what I believe. And I don't need to put it on a bumper sticker or button (i mentioned not needing hassle, right?) You want to go in a different direction? Vaya con Dios. That's the beautiful thing about this country. But have the decency to stay the hell off my back. I've learned that the people who can do that, plus actually express respect for my different point of view and still find me endlessly adorable, to be a rare and wonderful gift. That's you, Sara M. and Lucy.
While on The Mommy Circuit, I have been literally right next to people as they have called me "narrow-minded" and "uneducated." I sit politely as they gush over who went to the rally and who didn't. And when I'm outed? I'm no longer a dynamic person with charming, intelligent daughters who is married to the twice-elected Teacher of the Year at Great Big Urban High School. They no longer see that person. They see a drooling mouth-breather. And if a few people aren't careful, I'll be a drooling mouth-breather who quietly takes my business elsewhere.
Did I mention that I once stood behind a fellow voter took a bunch of hassle from a neighbor? She point-blank asked him, "why do you even live here?" Geez, why not just say, "we don't like your kind around here?" On the ballot that day -- Jack Ryan vs Barack Obama for the Senate seat. As she went up to vote, I leaned forward to my fellow voter and quietly said, "it's refreshing to encounter a kindred spirit." This allowed us to exchange a few kind words. Given another minute, I think we might have developed a secret handshake.
And then a few days ago, somone who thinks she knows me joked, "if you're voting for the right guy, then go for it. If you're not, then just don't bother voting." Yeah. You're hilarious.
And so this is my world. I'm surrounded by buttons, t-shirts, hats and bumper stickers with The New Guy's name. I drive past entire brick walls of buildings with his countenance painted on them, like some leader of a third world country. I simper quietly as people gush. It's cool, though. The Urbans know who we are and don't need absolution from anybody to know that we're a good bunch. An educated, open-minded bunch, thankyouverymuch.
And y'know what? I hope that The New Guy is all that, plus that bag of chips too. I mean that out of concern for our country, which I believe to be an amazing place. I truly hope that something good comes out of this, because if it doesn't, then we're all in a pile of trouble.
And why do we live here? Because Chicago is a wonderful place. Yeah, you don't want to look too closely at who's running it, and the weather is crap, but the history, architecture, diversity, distractions... it's all here. The world is quite literally at our doorstep. And we're excited about showing it to our kids.
In the meantime, the U-Kids and I are off to St. Louis tomorrow for a visit with the folks. One raised two kids as a single mom getting no child support from her psycho ex -- she can now afford to write a check for the house she left penniless thirty years ago. Another is an engineer who designed both fighter jets and medical technology and who was Special Forces in Vietnam. Another runs his own business and thirty years ago snuck his toddler daughter out of Germany to get her away from her unstable mother. Another also runs his own business, has been married for twenty years and is raising his son in an environment much different (aka: better) than what he grew up with. Another straps on Kevlar and stays up all night so that you don't have to. You know, the "uneducated" and "narrow-minded" folks that produced the Urban Mom.
NOW. Back to your regularly scheduled blog entry.
What do you suppose the new First Daughters will name their puppy?
By the way, I smell bacon. And who took my lipstick?