I am not a cool mom. I can’t get into the whole good-for-you-flaunt-it-if-you’ve-got-it-mentality. I don’t think it’s such a great thing when women parade around without much clothing, particularly when the intended audience is young children. As a result of these uncool beliefs, I sometimes find myself in bed (ideologically) with religious, right-wing conservatives. The same people I warn my children about. I wake up thinking, “How the hell did I get here?”
My daughter was already in the front car of The Dragon, hugging her seven-year-old doppelganger who, weirdly, shares her name. The Ellas, dressed in pink, bobbed in blonde, the colors of the dogwood blossoms this festival is named for, were blind to the scarred cheeks of the carnies, in whose hands we put their lives.
I am a thirty-one year old mother of an almost-three-year old. My partner and I and our son moved to the Netherlands from Boston two years ago. It was very much my idea, and for me it was very much about not wanting to raise my son with the constant anxieties about health insurance that I had experienced for years (thank you Aetna! I had to call you so often that you were #1 on my T-Mobile “top 5”! I wish I were kidding!).
I walked outside to light up a cigarette. I took a long drag and looked down the hill, a beautiful view of downtown Seattle. I stepped back to let a couple of hipsters pass by, and pulled another drag. My stilettos clipped the sidewalk as I paced. The day was chilly, and I wrapped my scarf around my neck shivering a little as I inhaled the crisp air through my nose. I loved the smell of Fall. Laughter and music poured out of the bar down the street as the door swung open, and I waved at two friends exiting that bar. They turned and headed up the street to join us, and I stubbed my cigarette out on the ground, walked back inside and ordered another bourbon. Our friends immediately ordered a round of shots. It was four in the afternoon, I was drunk, I smelled of smoke, and I loved my life. And I was leaving to become a mommy.
I was born and raised in the rural south, where racial difference was like oxygen. You inhaled it, you exhaled it and you learned about the function and composition later. While my family checked the white or caucasian box on forms, my county was predominantly African-American, a term that did not exist yet. I learned to say "colored", which my mother said was polite, and then to say "black", the term preferred by my classmates to whom it referred.
Republicans don't hate the old American broadcast media model because it ever persecuted them or denied them a voice - they hate it because it thwarted their own desires to persecute and alienate. That's what "The Liberal Media" means, not media that displays a constant Democratic or progressive or left bias, but media that's liberal in principle and practice, in that it allows and encourages a multiplicity of voices. That’s what American conservatives hate and always hated and it shows in their choice of media, in these post-Fairness Doctrine years.
When I was 19, I was in a car wreck. As a result I had a spinal fusion that was successful for two reasons. First of all, I can walk and second, the fusion is in excellent shape twenty years later due to an excellent surgeon and prudent care on my part.
However; this puts me in a category known as "pre-existing condition" to insurance providers. Once you have one, you must stay insured at all times or you will never be insured again.
On the news last night, following the $700 billion dollar bailout talk, it was mentioned that 25% of Americans are struggling to pay their bills every month.
Let me raise my hand and say hello, I am one of those Americans, and my actual debt is a miniscule fraction of this bailout… but it is a real, day to day, emotionally and psychologically draining financial struggle.