So here’s the thing, I didn’t #writeonehour last night because I was depressed. Not suicidal, not clinically depressed, not check my hormone levels and dose me with Zoloft, not even hand me a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and let me binge watch Netflix (but only because I can’t have dairy). But I was, I AM, depressed. I didn’t realize just how badly I’ve been wanting a female president since Hilary Clinton was nominated and then not elected.
I was never a Hillary fan, I’m still not. I was all systems Bernie in 2016, but when he didn’t get the nomination I immediately said, yes, fine, Hillary. In 2016 I was “any blue will do.” Now it’s 2020 and not only were there many fine women to choose from, there were also fine women of color, as well as an openly gay man. I was in freaking heaven because here’s the thing, not only were there so many choices but almost all of the choices were excellent ones.
I don’t just think the choices we had were excellent because they could put together a coherent sentence (helps), or because they were well read and learned (bonus), or because they weren’t Trump (hallelujah!). No, these were excellent choices because they have a proven track record, these are people who mean what they say and can prove it. Something desperately missing from the current administration.
What’s killing me is how badly I wanted a woman. We’re currently looking at another crusty old cis white man leading the nation no matter who the Democrats end up nominating, and it just makes me sick. How can we revert from Obama to Trump to Washington? Why can’t we go Obama to Trump to Harris? Or Obama to Trump to Warren? Cause the thing is, Warren was freaking KILLING IT in those debates y’all. And not just in the debates, in interviews outside of the debates, in rally speeches, and in her freaking social media feeds.
Warren is a badass. Warren is every girl’s inspiration and every woman’s saving grace. In Warren there was the promise of a sane, competent, intelligent, bitch of a President. I went to a talk by a publishing agent the other night and one of the amazing moments was when she said she’d overheard one of her clients telling someone, “she may be a bitch, but she’s MY bitch,” and my first thought was “Warren!” I want Warren to be my President Bitch!
There are so many moments in my life that I have managed to block out and forget because they don’t serve me. But learning that Warren had dropped out made everything flood back, all the times I’ve been embarrassed, ashamed, or made to feel incompetent:
- Unsure of exact age, possibly six, playing “basketball” with my dad in the front courtyard. The baskets are empty planters. I’ve never played basketball in my life, don’t know the rules except that your job is to get the ball in the “basket.” Any time I actually make a basket I’m told it’s illegal because of X or Y reason. Even if I’ve done the exact same thing my father just did to get his basket
- Unsure of exact age, probably nine, playing backgammon with my dad at the dining room table. He’s teaching me to play and also winning game after game. I finally win one. Finally. And he tells me he let me win
- Twelve years old in my moms car. Look out the window and see a semi. So excited! They always wave and smile and sometimes they blow their air horn. Pull up along side said semi and proceed to smile and wave at the driver. Driver leers at me, and time begins to stand still as he puts his hand up to his mouth, spreads his index and middle fingers apart, and proceeds to waggle his tongue between splayed fingers. I had never seen this gesture before but I immediately felt ashamed and dirty
- Fifteen years old, teacher accuses me of cheating (from who or how she could never say) because “I’ve been asking every class this for as long as I’ve been teaching and no one has ever gotten it”
- Seventeen years old, straight A student, Key Club, Honor Roll, the whole nine yards. Ask to go to a cast party for the play we just wrapped where I was a stage manager. Told no. The explanation: “we trust you, we just don’t trust other people”
- All my life: never go anywhere alone, never stop for gas at night, always carry your key between your index and middle finger so you can use it as a knife (a dangerous idea btw, please don’t do this), always meet a first date in a public place and make sure people know where and when you’re going and who with, if you’re ever accosted or raped scream “fire” because no one will help you if you scream “rape”, girls are too emotional and can’t just have sex (which I rebelled against hard, to my own detriment)
All of these horrible, demeaning, depressing things that wear you down. And I’m a very, very privileged white cis female. I’ve got nothing to complain about and I am all things entitled (though trying desperately not to be). So Warren steps down and I’m flooded with all these feelings of being weak, sad, put in my place, seen but not heard. And I just went on personal lockdown. I turned everything off so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. I absolutely binge watched Netflix, but without the pint of ice cream, and without watching the things that would have allowed me to cry and cry and cry, because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to stop.
Last night in bed, after feeding the baby yet again, I rolled over and cuddled up against my husband. I just needed him to hold me. Again, I was trying so hard not to cry and cry and cry. I didn’t let a single tear out. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t tell him “I need you to hold me so I don’t shatter,” or “I need you to pet my head so I don’t pull my hair out.” I couldn’t speak, but he knew something was wrong cause I hadn’t written my one hour. He didn’t ask, he knows I need time and space before I can talk about things. He just felt me cuddle up next to him and began stroking my head and my back and my arm.
I’ve read this a few times. I can’t seem to stop reading it. Heather Havrilesky has a way of helping me get past some of the sadness and frustration, but keep the anger on a low simmer. And that’s probably good. We probably shouldn’t let our anger go quite yet. I’ve been holding on to hope that Kamala Harris and/or Elizabeth Warren will still be on the ticket somehow as VP’s. There’s always that. It would still be a first. It would still be a “win.” So there’s that. And in the meantime, there’s Netflix.
~~~That’s one hour~~~