I haven’t watched SNL religiously since Mike Meyers reigned supreme. But every now and then, I catch it. Sometimes on Weekend Update they do a bit called “Really?”. Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler comment on some ridiculous piece of news and the only response appropriate is “really?”.
In order of importance: greatest to smallest. Hurricane Sandy devastates my community. Really? A few days later, we are covered in snow. Really? My face is broken out like a 15 year old and my hair is rapidly approaching Monica Gellar on vacation status. Really?
Yes, this is truly unimportant in the grand scheme. Seriously though, I need a keratin treatment right now like Romney needs a prescription for Prozac. I’m turning 31 next week and I’m going to have facne when my girls approach puberty. (facne = fucking acne, yes, I made it up). I am convinced it’s hormonal, so there’s a silver lining. I get a hysterectomy and oophorectomy in a couple years because of the BRCA gene. I’m clinging to the desperate hope that that will mean relief from all of the wonderful (read: horrible) things that come along with having a uterus and ovaries.
Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful to have had the luxury of getting pregnant, carrying my babes to term and not having any issues there. But after we go for número tres, the ump calls the play. You’re outta there!! No more period, no more PMS, no more facne!!!
My three year old is obsessed with Mary Poppins. She watches it all the time. So it wasn’t surprising that she marched around the house yesterday randomly yelling out, “Votes for Women!” Appropriately timed for someone who has no idea what voting is (let alone the name of our president which I tried to teach her today).
I am not politically minded. I hated history, social studies and government classes as a student. Why on Earth are kids required to memorize the date Colonel Custer died? Was it in the closet with a candlestick? I’m getting confused again. Government was actually a useful class as I do think it’s important to have a basic knowledge of how the system works. If only so we can bitch and moan about how fucked up it is.
In all seriousness, I rocked the vote today. With my two girls in tow, we walked to our voting location and we all got our stickers for casting my ballot. I crammed twenty minutes before to make sure I knew at least a little about all of the candidates. One town rep got my vote because her husband very sweetly asked me to vote for his wife before I went inside. Another guy who talked to me at the local BBQ competition this summer got my vote because he was friendly, kind and served in the Navy. My favorite Facebook status update today was a friend saying a candidate outside of the polls told her to vote for him because he promised “to never hate [her] uterus”. I missed that ad on tv but he would’ve had my vote too. I try to vote for the candidate instead of the party and I’m proud to say that my ballot was truly bipartisan. I don’t often participate in political conversations because I don’t think I’m politically educated enough to comment. And because when people start talking politics, I start falling asleep.
One thing is not lost on me though. I vote to protect my freedoms. I vote to ensure that I can continue to act on my own behalf and have the power to do with my body what I want or need to do. How fortunate we are to live in a country where women’s health issues are as important to our representatives as they are to us. The candidates may not sugar coat their points of view, but those who care will prove it. After all, just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.
When I was little, I would complain to my mother about trivial crap. Of course I thought whatever it was was so important. I remember her telling me to think of kids who never had xyz-stupid-thing-I-was-bitching-about. I found it extremely annoying. I always thought, “can’t I just be annoyed that I don’t have it? Do I always have to think about those kids who have nothing?” Yes and no. Wisdom is so often wasted on the youth. I see now exactly what she was trying to do. Teach me to gain perspective.
My older daughter’s preschool was wiped out by the hurricane. They were completely flooded. Pictures of the classrooms are heartbreaking. All of the other moms I’ve talked to have the same reaction, “oh gosh, isn’t it horrible? What can we do to help? What the fuck am I gonna do with my kid until they’re back up and running?” Can you hear the panic in their voices? It’s there. And these are people who have no heat and power in some cases, but damnit they need those three hours, three days a week. Maybe more than power? You can’t begrudge them the opportunity to complain (even though they all feel guilty doing it). They know others have lost much more than they have, but being honest with themselves and recognizing their own losses is just part of the process.
While my husband and I sorted through the debris in our garage (seeing what was salvageable and what had to go), I came across a large cardboard box. The contents were completely soaked. As I recognized things like cherished photos, old letters from my mom, a yearbook, I stopped. I knew none of it could be saved and I asked my husband to just take it away. I didn’t want to see what I lost. I let myself feel that sadness for a bit and then moved on.
I look in the mirror everyday and see what I lost right on my chest. I see the scars and know what I gave up to secure my future. Had I been home during the flood, could I have saved those possessions that meant so much? Maybe. But my family is safe and they are all I need. It seems lately, I have lessons in perspective on a daily basis.