You all need to chill out about this election. The trajectory of our daily lives is still -as it has always been- largely dependent on the choices we make. Washington D.C. cannot be where our hope lies. Y’all haven’t figured this out yet? That we’re effectively being used as useful idiots for people who don’t really give a crap about us?
Anyway, one of our daughters was treated to a racist rant by a couple of guys simply for walking down the street near her university. It was an eye opening experience for her, and as the most chill of our kids, she was shaken a little more than is typical for her. She composed herself quickly enough though, and the experience did nothing to change her general relief that Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the election last week.
Her mother however, was not as easily able to shake the sadness that someone had made an assumption about her political position based on only the fact that she is a young black woman. For what it’s worth, no one in our house voted for Hillary Clinton, because we disagree with her policies, and more than that, we believe that character matters.
No one in our house voted for Donal Trump either. Despite the fact that his stated policies align more closely with ours on some matters (not all), we believe that character matters. Our votes were split between the Constitution and Reform Party candidates. The youngest, who are a long way from being eligible voting age, even cast their votes third party on Nickelodeon.com. They voted for Gary Johnson.
When I started this post, it was my intent to rant a bit about how stupid the people of this country are on both sides of the aisle. Despite the clear and glaring evidence that the racial fires are being stoked by operatives on the left, minorities are continuing to believe that it’s people on the right who are the racists.Nationalists on the right allow their fears and insecurities to cause them to stoop to and embrace their most base human instincts and lash out at people they assume to be Clinton voters. They fancy themselves the smart ones, ironically.
.Here’s the thing though: I completely understand that impulse, and I have no way of knowing what the men whom my daughter encountered believe. The disturbing part of all this is reading along as people who claim to be Christians join in to make enemies of anyone who doesn’t look like them and excuse their refusal to deal with people as individuals as the wave of the future.
Meanwhile, the Benevolent Dictator and I are left to figure out what to tell our children, whom we raised to believe that they could at least expect a fair shake from fellow believers. You know, because they obey the Bible. I’ll pause while you wipe your drink off your computer screen.
After I took some time to think about all of this, I ran across a post from Apostate Catholic, where she touches on life as a sphere trying to fit into a pyramid life. That’s my paraphrase of her overall post. One of things I most enjoyed about Booky’s post was her realization that despite the tendency of right leaning Internet commentators to wax eloquent about how great it would be to live an Amish lifestyle, most of them (even the ones with a few chickens and a horse) have no idea how hard of a transition that is when you’ve spent most of your life enjoying the convenience of city or suburban life. How out of sorts it leaves you:
I think the only city people who successfully transition to the country either have loads of money to make it smooth, or they have a house that isn’t really in the country but just beyond the suburbs and they commute to work and basically live a city type life except with a house in the faux-country, where they can keep a few chickens and pretend to be farmers. Or they have family that aren’t a bunch of dicks.
I have come to the conclusion that I am not cut out for real country life.
Reality often sucks, but the realization can be a blessing, the missing link between mental anguish and making peace with the fact that it is what it is, and it’s okay. It hit me that most of us find ourselves out of sorts in life.If you’re even moderately attentive to the world we live in and don’t feel out of sorts, I marvel at your ability to be oblivious.
Despite my general satisfaction with the outcome of the election I feel a bit of dismay at the way it is highlighting our fish-out-of-water-ness. My deep desire for my children to be judged by the content of their character ran into a brick wall on Friday, knocking the wind out of my idealistic sails.
None of this is to imply that who we are and where we came from doesn’t matter. I have a deep connection to where I am from, the legacy my father imparted to me. That legacy includes a life which intersected with all types of people from all walks of life. These temporal things matter, but they matter far less in God’s economy than most of us seem able to comprehend. We take the position that the things which are concrete, unchanging, and unambiguously true matter more than what we see. This makes us misfits, and by extension, it makes our children misfits.
I have always been a misfit of sorts, and that realization hit me yesterday. I have grown to understand that nerdiness is very relative, but where I grew up? I was firmly and deeply entrenched in the nerd category. I didn’t look it, so I didn’t suffer as much for it as some kids might, but I was nerd girl, because my nose was always in a book. My husband was also, but he looked the part even less, and was an angry nerd, so there was no social cost to him either. Unlike me however, he has always been comfortable in his skin.
We’ve glided through life as the odd couple out. We are conservatives from liberal families. Our kids are strange, sheltered, and supposedly devoid of independent thought because they haven’t -as of yet- displayed evidence of being wild or incapable of make wise decisions. Even though they live, work and travel as full adults, without rebelling against virtue, they are not fully living.
Benevolent Dictator and I have been accused on many occasions of being unreal, in myriad ways. I’ll spare a list because it doesn’t really matter. Ultimately, the past week has been one of emotional unrest as the stark reminder of what I used to know ans embrace came roaring back from the depths of my subconscious.
We do not fit. And that’s okay.
We’re not supposed to.