Pantsuit Nation Restored My Hope at the 11th Hour

standard November 8, 2016 Leave a response

I just spent a pathetic amount of time trying to find a photo I took of Little L on election night in 2008. It’s lost somewhere on a thumb drive or a USB card, or maybe the laptop I was using back then. The fact that it’s not stored in my Facebook memories probably says more about how much my world has changed since then than anything else, but I digress.

In the photo she’s sitting in her highchair wearing not much other than a diaper. The tray in front of her shows the remains of the pitiful dinner I managed to pull together for her while keeping my eyes glued to the election Twitter feed. Olive slices and cupcakes. That’s it. That’s what my delighted toddler ate on election night 2008. There is no record of what her 3 year old sister had for dinner that night.

It was an amazing night. One full of hope and excitement. I couldn’t take my eyes off the giddy frenzy that was Twitter. It was all just such a high.

The last year has felt like the opposite of that high and I’ve often looked back at all the tragic events that have sucked the hope right out of the air and the vitriol that has filled it instead and wondered where it all went wrong.

Where did the love go? The hope? The camaraderie and support?

So much hate. So much anger instead.

It’s enough to make a person want to lock their doors and hide forever.

Even Twitter, so full of bubbling joy that night, has become a cesspool of muck.

Then yesterday I joined a top-secret-not-so-secret Facebook group titled Pantsuit Nation.

I was sick and tired of the increasingly desperate Facebook posts of people pleading 3rd party voters to not throw away their vote. Exhausted by reading the same rhetoric again and again. And lured by the hints of hope I was seeing from people who had joined the secret group.

I waded in with zero expectations and was gobsmacked into feeling hopeful again.

It’s not a group for convincing fence sitters or staunch opponents, it’s just a group of people celebrating Hillary.

No, no, not a “rah rah, ain’t she great!”, kinda place, just story after story about why people are voting for her.

Intensely personal stories about late term abortions, immigration, daughters and sons. About elderly parents who are voting for the first time. About terminally ill people holding on so they can see history made. Stories about triumphant love and healthcare. About beating odds that didn’t even exist 8 years ago.

It is a place of hope and love, of support and encouragement.

It is proof that all the goodwill hasn’t been sucked out of America.

Proof that lies in the fact that, as of this morning, 2.5 million people have joined the group and the comments aren’t angry, aren’t mean or demeaning.

That’s worth repeating. The comments aren’t angry, mean, or demeaning.

This morning in the Pantsuit Nation group I saw a photo of a man standing in line to vote, wearing the most amazing pair of red patent leather high heels. And the thousands of comments were all positive.

All. Positive. 

For a man who is so hopeful to cast a vote that might mean he can truly be himself, that he wore red high heels to vote.

I don’t know what tonight’s election results will bring. I’m crossing all of my fingers and toes that the nation turns out to vote in favor of love and not hate, but no matter what happens, I’m going to forever hold those red shoes in my heart.

Over the last few years, we’ve been showing our really gruesome underbelly. Hate. Racism. Sexism. Xenophobia. I don’t believe that these are new, I just believe that people have kept them hidden deep in dark closets and basements.

Maybe, just maybe, Pantsuit Nation is proof that what was really happening is the first step to the great clean-up. When it’s time to tackle that closet no one dares open or talk about, you first have to take everything out, lay it out, and start sorting.

We’ve laid it all out. I finally have hope that what comes next will be beautiful.

That baby who is no longer a baby covered in olive juice and frosting deserves to grow up in a world where people are loved for who they are instead of being reviled for being different.

No matter who wins tonight, I take heart in the fact that at least 2.5 million others feel the way I do. Because in the end, it’s proof that humanity hasn’t yet lost.

Pantsuit Nation

 

Turns out we need a whole new kind of scale

standard June 2, 2009 7 responses

After my rant on numbers yesterday I got emails and comments and tweets from lots of women who empathized with me. Seems we all have the same painful issues with numbers in our lives.

Then Genevieve* came up with the best idea ever. A different scale. A way to measure the good stuff in our days. We spent the morning awarding each other points for being nice, doing good things, thinking positive.

It’s a brilliant idea. Think of all the things you could give yourself positive points for! Instead of berating ourselves for things like the number on the scale or the number in the blog stats we could be earning points for everything else!

So I bring you – The Positive Thinking Scale – yours to adapt as you wish!

  • Crossing something gnarly off the to do list +550 points
  • Crossing something easy off the to do list +125 points
  • Changing a poopy diaper +75 points
  • Smiling at a stranger at the store +515 points
  • Letting someone cut in front of you on the road +56 points
  • Doing something selfish that makes you happy +775 points
  • Doing something nice for your significant other even when you’re tired +235 points
  • Making the right food choice for lunch +150 points
  • Making the right food choice for dinner +325 points
  • Making the tasty food choice for dinner +450 points
  • Taking time to cheer a friend up +1000 points
  • Going out of your way to be a good friend +590 points
  • Going out of your way to help a complete stranger +675 points
  • Keeping the laundry tamed +1500 points
  • Thinking something positive when you look in the mirror +990 points
  • Leaving a blog comment +15 points
  • Leaving a blog comment on a blog that doesn’t get many comments +35 points

Now we’re talking! I scored a high of 6531 points today! Yay me!

It’s your turn! What positive things do you want to be rewarded for? What did you do today that deserves a pat on the back and a bucketful of positive points? I’m going to keep adding to the tally, keep giving myself points throughout the day, just to offset the depression created by the weight scale and the blog scale.

*Genevieve’s blog is brand spanking new, so be nice pretty please and head over and say hi. I’ll give you 345 points if you do! And she wrote one of the chapters for the Harlequin Pass the Plot story. She’s cool. You can be her friend, but don’t tell her I told you so. k? Thanks.

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Letting family in is a double edged sword

standard December 4, 2008 10 responses

I love that my family reads my blog. (Hi guys!) I know a lot of people go to great lengths to keep their families out, but I really, honestly, love that they check in on me on a somewhat regular basis.

That said, I’m not a person who finds it easy to open up to people in person, especially to my family. I like to maintain the illusion that everything is always hunky dory, peachy keen. I’m the tough one, the one you can rely on, the one who’ll put on her big girl panties and just deal so you can fall apart. I’d have to say that 90% of the time it’s not even an act, but trust me, you probably won’t ever know when I’m in the throes of the 10% when I am acting all cool and collected and melting down inside.

The only time I feel comfortable opening up is when my fingers are tippy tapping on a keyboard. Ask M! If I have something I need to vent about I do it over IM or over email. The words just flow better when they’re coming out through my fingers. They somehow always get jumbled up between my brain and my mouth. So I let lose on my blog. Venting to the Internet gets out all the stress and the angst, then I feel better and I can get on with my cool and collected life.

Are you seeing where this is going?

Right. If my blog is where I lower my guard and show my true murky angsty colors, and my family reads my blog, then they know that I’m not always doing awesome.

Now, when I started blogging, I really wanted to shut them out so they would never know about that side of me. Then I realized that having people know that I wasn’t Super Girl wasn’t a bad thing, and could even be a good thing, so I threw the gates open and let them in. And then I discovered the one drawback. These people, they love me (Oh, shush, yes you do.), and it turns out that they worry about me. So, every time I write about having a middle of the night meltdown, or about not getting any sleep, or even about depression, then they all call to see how I’m feeling, and I feel terrible for having worried them.

So then the one thing I really didn’t want starts happening, I start to censor myself before I write. I stop and wonder if what I want to unload will cause my family to fret. I agonize over how what I write is going to make them feel, I imagine how they’re going to react, and I discard great blog posts, fantastic topics, and tough emotions that I really should be sharing with the world both because it makes me feel better and because I know it helps people to know that they aren’t alone in the world.

The more I think of it I realize that the issue isn’t really that I don’t want to worry them, it’s that I’m back at that “I don’t want to admit that I can’t always deal” and that I’m hiding behind a smokescreen so I don’t have to confront my true feelings.

Well, guess what feelings, you’re busted! I’m on to you and I’m going to out you to the world. Heh.

And no, in case you were wondering, this is not a post about me being covertly depressed. Things are actually pretty good these days, if you ignore the fact that I still never get to sleep and the fact that my writing is bringing in close to $0 at a time when we need more money, not less. It’s a post about the challenges of opening up to the Internet when it’s filled with familiar faces. It’s a post about baring yourself to the world and then putting your clothes back on and looking your readers in the eye.

Originally posted on It’s my life…