Monday, November 7, 2016

It's Personal

I thought this election was personal.

I was delighted to share in this moment of history with A, celebrating powerful women shattering ceilings, achieving it all, having no limits to what they can become.

I thought it was about being with her, celebrating leadership and femininity and courage and pantsuits and bossiness and intelligence and wit being tied into a story that is beautiful and to be celebrated.

I read stories of the "why hers".

I reacted so viscerally to the reasons of why not him.

I made careful to speak only positively of Secretary Clinton, naming her opponent to R and A, but never speaking a word negatively of him.

I tried not to chuckle when R said yesterday, out of no where, "Donald Trump says mean things."

I tried to ally.  Not to borrow other's reasons why her and why not him, even when they are amazingly compelling.  Stark.  Clear.

I celebrated with the PantSuit secret Facebook group.

I'll wear one tomorrow (and so should you)

You know I was one of the first ones in there, as you do.

I was motivated and inspired by stories.  Real stories of adversity, and why their vote is making a difference.

I muted it.  It was too much celebration.   Too much sharing stories.

It turns out not just Methodists like to share stories. (SO MUCH SHARING!)

I started to panic last Friday.

What if.

I all out wept at work today when a well-meaning colleague came in to chat about the possible election results.

And I finally said to an undecided male Virginia voter and friend.

"Please, do it for me."

You see?  I don't have a unique story.  I don't have a particularly compelling one.

I wouldn't be a Humans of New York sensation.

I likely wouldn't even make a Human of my zip code unless it was about that time I organized the epic karaoke night out.

But I have a story too.  A story of why.

Vote for Her for every woman who was walked home from a bar after dark by a well meaning friend, who didn't have all the well meanings.

Vote for Her for the woman who was left in a room of very drunk clients at the age of 24, to "settle the bill"... and who wasn't allowed to leave for two hours bound by fear and their aggression.

Vote for Her for the woman who took an angry client call three weeks into maternity leave by a man who wasn't pleased on how his account was running in my absence.  And said "couldn't I have made arrangements for the baby not to cry" during that call?

Vote for Her for every missed field trip, parent-teacher conference, playdate, school celebration, volunteer opportunity.

Vote for Her for the time you were at a meeting in the Deep South and you had to walk out.  People don't say things like this in human company... right?

And the time it happened again in the industrial North three weeks later.

Vote for Her for the time that the room turned to you to get the water refilled or the notes taken because you were the female in the room.  Not the junior staffer.

Vote for Her for those days you saw the phone ring with school calling at 9:35, on a day of huge meeting.

Vote for Her for the time you put a little Tylenol in your "he's just sleepy" kid, and knew you were doing wrong, but you could NOT miss another meeting.

Vote for Her for the colleague who said "Why are you here?  Moms don't work on Fridays!"

Or for the one that said you can't go on business trips now that you have three children.

Or for the one that used THAT WORD.  The one you can't even type.  To refer to a woman.  Knowing you were in  that meeting.  You were the only woman in that meeting.

Vote for Her for every strong woman... even the one in the mirror who can't always speak up because the stakes are too high.

For every woman whose heart races when things are not right, but her mouth stays closed.

Vote for Her for Me.

For Opportunity.  For Equity.  For my reality.

It's personal.

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