Friday, November 18, 2016

It's the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)

The past week and a half - and really, the months leading up to this past week and a half - have been exhausting. I grew up in a household in which history and current events and politics were CONSTANTLY the topic of discussion - well, that and football. And even with that frame of reference, I don't remember ever being so consumed with an election - with fear of what the wrong outcome would bring.

And now here we are, and it's shaping up to be as awful as everyone thought, if not more so. There are white supremacists and overt racists and misogynists heading into major positions of power. People who would have members of a particular minority forced to "register" - whatever the fuck that entails - so that their movements can presumably be tracked and they could be singled out for harassment and discrimination. Instances of bullying and bigotry and harassment on the rise, with the perpetrators emboldened.

I've been reading about the rise of fascism in the 20th century. And what's going on has me legitimately terrified. I don't want to be hyperbolic, but that instinct of, "oh, let's not hyperbolic, it won't be that bad" is what led to World War II.  I'm scared.

So I've been participating in advocacy groups and calling my representatives and writing letters and joining the Colorado Democratic Women's Caucus.  I feel like my days have been consumed with worrying about all these things that are bigger than I am - with feelings of, "what more can I do? how else can I help?"

It's overwhelming.

Tonight is the start of a weekend when I don't have the kids. And we'll be in Virginia next week, so it was my last day at work for a week. And I'm tired and I needed a break from worrying that the world is about to end and wondering what I can do to stop it.

So I went and bought some earrings for Josie.

She got her ears pierced at the beginning of October. And then had to wait for a month, keeping the same earrings in place, cleaning them and turning them every day, while the holes healed.

Anyone who knows her, or who reads this blog, knows that patience isn't her strong suit.  I've gotten quite a bit of, "AAUUUUGGGHHHH! WHY DO I HAVE TO KEEP THESE SAME EARRINGS IN FOR SO LONG? IT'S SO STUPID! IT'S SO BORING!"

And I'll roll my eyes and say, as calmly as I can, "I know, honey. Just a few more weeks, and then you can wear all the different earrings you want."

"Uuuuuugggghhhhh..."  This is accompanied by exaggerated huffing and puffing and flailing of arms.

"Oh, for god's sake, Josie, stop growling at me!"

But eventually the holes did heal and she has been able to swap out different pairs of earrings.

"Mama, can I wear your pearls?"

"Yes, but not to school. I don't want them to get lost."

"Can I wear these dangly ones?"

She pointed to a pair of cheap pearl drops that I've had forever but never wear.

"Yes. You can have them. Wear to school if you want. Just don't sleep in them - they could get pulled if you roll over and it will hurt."

"I can keep them??!!??"

I smiled. "Yes. They're a present from me to you."

"Squeeeeeee!!"  Her whole body shook with happiness and her grin consumed her whole face.

I have a million little purses and cloth bags and jewelry boxes that my mother has brought back from her travels around the world, so I gave Josie a heart-shaped jewelry box that my mom got in Korea.

"This is for you. Mimi gave it to me and I want you to have it to keep your earrings in."

"Can I get some new earrings? Some little dangly snowflakes?"

So today after work - after helping one of our lawyers get a decision out, after interviewing witnesses in a case I'm investigating, after answering a million questions from a million different places - I went over to the Claire's near my office to buy my daughter some earrings.

I bought dangly snowflakes and dangly penguins and little ladybugs and bumblebees and turtles and flowers and sparkly hearts and cute little faux-diamond studs.

I wasn't worrying about Jeff Sessions or Steve Bannon or calling my congresswoman about conflict of interest investigations. I was having fun buying frivolous baubles for my sweet, impish daughter, and enjoying the thought of how delighted she will be when I give them to her on Monday when I pick her up to go to the airport to fly to Virginia for Thanksgiving. I was thinking about how, when we go to the hockey game this year, Zeke will be coming with us for the first time, and how excited he is about it. I was thinking about how he asked me the other night if we were going to do the Turkey Trot this year, and when I said we were, he said, "yaaaayyy!! That's my favorite thing about Thanksgiving." I was thinking about that moment when, after walking through the endless corridors of Dulles Airport from the jetway, we go through the doors to baggage claim and the kids see my mom waiting for us and completely lose their minds with happiness as they run to her and jump into her arms.

I came home tonight to an empty house. And I continued to set aside thoughts of the world coming to an end. Instead I ate some cold pizza and watched The Crown, alternately entertained by the pomp and then irritated by how utterly useless the royal family really is. Over the weekends I have errands to run and plans with friends both nights, and I'm looking forward to it.

The world is scary right now. But it will not end this weekend, so I'm going to get a pedicure and go out and have some fun, because if I don't, I'll collapse under the weight of it all.

1 comment:

  1. Love this. How delightful it can be to tear yourself away for a breather.