Monday, November 12, 2007

Yellow Dog in Very Red Stepford

I need to make a list entitled “Things I Believe in My Heart to Be True.” Number one on this list would be: God has a sense of humor. And not some average, ordinary sense of humor, but a sitting up in Heaven, belly laughing his head off sense of humor. This must be true. There can be no other explanation for the fact that I was born and still live in Texas (the granddaddy of all red states), and I am and forever will be a Democrat. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of good things about Texas. I hate to be cold and there is very little of that here. As I write this in November, it is eighty-one degrees outside. I also think had I not been born and raised in Texas, I could have never have known how much I despise certain things that there are quite a lot of here. There is a Kenny Chesney song that says, “I am what I am and I’m not what I’m not.” I love that … because what you’re not is sometimes way more important than what you are. And I am not a Republican.

Number two on my “Things I Believe in My Heart to Be True” list would be: God puts things where he knows we’ll eventually find them. My granddaddy used to say our family were “Yellow Dog Democrats.” So guess what was waiting for me the day last January I finally broke down and took my family to the SPCA to “just look and see if they have a dog we like?” Yep, you got it. A seventy pound yellow lab. Ten months later my family is still wondering how it was that we went to the SPCA to get them a dog and I was the only one that ended up with one. Don’t get me wrong, they love the dog too. But one yellow dog can spot another yellow dog and this dog and I have a connection. Which loops back to what I was saying about God having a sense of humor. My friends are having a hard time adjusting to my becoming a dog person. They view this as some sort of miracle. Which of course, it is. I mean do you know the odds of walking into the SPCA on a Sunday afternoon and finding a two year old, full blooded yellow lab that is housebroken and well socialized? About the same as me becoming a dog person or finding a real Democrat in Texas.

What I really am is an undercover operative. I live in affluent suburbia where the median annual household income is greater than $100,000 AND most mothers do not work outside the home. Add to that the fact that the population is 98 percent white and the average age is less than forty and that equates to a whole lot of young, successful white people. In short, not a lot of diversity and a lot of men who have achieved a lot of financial success early. Oh, and they are 99.9 percent Republican. Don’t get the wrong idea … I fit this demographic too, but with two exceptions: 1) I CHOOSE to work outside the home and 2) as we’ve already established, I am a Democrat. On the surface, I look like all the rest. I have a lovely home, a fabulous church in which my family is active, we drive nice cars, I shave my armpits, don’t own any Birkenstocks, have never hugged a tree while eating granola, and believe that for me, a personally conservative life is what brings me peace and happiness. All in all a great parlor trick I’m sure God appreciates. Because of this it’s not surprising that most people who are unfortunate enough to begin a political conversation in my presence, are stunned into at least a two minute silence. During this silence, my husband, if he is present, will take the opportunity to distance himself from me as much as the physical space will allow. He’s a Dem too (although he will not confirm this), but I forgive him this as God has not given him the same political anointing as me. Following the silence, the conversation usually goes something like this:

Republican: “What??????????”

(One of my pet peeves is feigned deafness in the face of perceived unpleasantness.)

Me (taking a deep breath): “I’m a liberal, a Democrat, and I didn’t vote for the current President either time I was given the opportunity.”

(Slightly less silence)

Republican (now thinking they are on some modern version of candid camera): “Very funny!”

Me (as monotone as I can muster): “I don’t joke about politics.”

At this point, the Republican who has begun to look at me as if I’m a creature they’ve read about but never expected to see in real life will either engage or run. If they engage me, I’m OK with whatever they throw out as it’s usually something lame about Hillary or Bill. Nothing serious. No social debate, no foreign policy debate, no health care, social security, or Iraq … Nada … all in all, not very much fun.

I do occasionally get to have a little fun though.

During the 2004 Presidential election, I worked in a very conservative office. Now, its not like there are any offices around here that aren’t, but this office was run by an ex-Marine with a picture of him and the current President on the wall and his partner who is a non-political good ole boy. Now, I liked them and they liked me and we bantered back and forth about Kerry versus Bush. I had to be careful only to the extent that the Marine thought it was disrespectful for me to refer to the President as “Big Ears.” Which I admit, it was. So, I tried to watch that. Anyway, one day while signing up for the MomsforKerry email list, it occurred to me that I could sign the Marine and the Cowboy up too. Which, of course, I did. Now, I’m not advocating that anyone else do anything like that, but the day they received their first emails from John Kerry, was a great day indeed. As a matter of fact, it was the most fun I had the entire election cycle considering the unfortunate outcome.

I can only imagine what’s going to happen when Hillary starts emailing them in a few months and their Christmas gifts ordered from arrive.

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