Don't read any further if you don't want to read about politics.
It's about a million degrees in Los Angeles today, and I've felt kind of queasy for about two weeks for no apparent reason. Evidently there were some more earthquake clusters out in the desert, but I didn't feel anything -- or maybe I did on some deep tissue level. I woke up at three in the morning, worried, for no apparent reason, so I went into the den and found The Husband watching television where he'd been sitting since returning from The Mistress. I chastised him for not taking care of himself and watched him stumble off to Sophie's room, where he lay down beside her and promptly fell asleep. I then went into the kitchen and mopped the floor, ate a Liberte coconut yogurt and climbed back into bed to read a bit of Joanna Brooks' memoir Mormon Girl. I went back to sleep and woke up a couple of hours later to get Sophie ready for school and then drove her to school. I then drove back to my house, did some work for my job at a non-profit, cleaned some more and washed mountains of clothes and then finished another job and took care of my boys and then, and here's the dumb part, wasted entirely too much time in a back and forth conversation on Facebook about Ann and Mitt Romney with a guy I went to high school with and a motley assortment of his friends who I don't know and who don't know me.
Why would I do this other than to satisfy my primitive urge to rant?
I can't tell you, although there's a small part of me that sort of enjoys the back and forth, particularly when it's not personal (my high school friend is always gracious, even if I disagree with everything he says). That part gives me hope.
What irritated the hell out of me, though, were some of the friends' comments which sounded, for the most part, like they were plucked out of the bosom of the Republican birthing machine, maybe even Ann Romney's outstretched arms in her oh-so-red suit (why? why are Republican women always in red?).
What started the exchange was a fairly innocuous comment by my friend on his FB page about how much he admired Ann Romney for loving America as opposed to hating it like Michelle Obama. I think he might have called her a "class act."
Here was my response:
Ah, yes. Ann Romney: proud working mom who is worth 1/4 of a billion dollars and employs five nannies/maids. Her America is definitely something to be proud of as opposed to the America where my friend Mirtha, a legal citizen, works three jobs to support her family and recently needed my help to file for food stamps and is called lazy by the RNC.
And here was his:
Well that is unfortunate about your friend Elizabeth. Hopefully she can work her way out of her situation. No doubt millions of Americans are hurting. Obviously she has not improved over the last 4 years either. Politics aside, the country has not improved over the past 4 years and we need a dramatic change.
And here is mine:
it's silly to think that the last four years is why this country is in a recession or that during the last four years we should have somehow snapped our Democratic fingers and fixed all the problems of the world. The Congress has been
in a deadlock with extreme obstruction for the last four years, with the far right wing of the majority party hell bent on dictating who should marry whom and parsing out the distinctions between rape and forcible rape, while their moderate counterparts flail ineffectually. The Obama administration has disappointed many of us who had hoped for universal healthcare and a serious end to the obscene, lost wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it has passed the Affordable Care Act that ensures tens of millions of people and, in my case, guarantees that my daughter can have healthcare despite her pre-existing condition. He also ended state-sanctioned torture, one of the greatest evils ever perpetrated by the United States and something that I am unembarrassed to be ashamed of my country for justifying. When Michelle Obama said that she was ashamed of America, she spoke of its history of slavery and torture and the FACT that nearly a quarter of our children live in poverty. It's disingenuous to smear her as a person who hates America. I know nothing of Ann Romney but have listened to her speak and shrink at her condescension. As for her husband, tell me one thing he says that isn't pat jingoism.
Which I did. I posted that video of the twin girls dancing while their father played the guitar.
Then I got the notice that a friend of my friend had posted a comment to me:
The difference in the two parties, is a Republican who starts from nothing makes his way on his own, investing his own time, energy, and money: and a Democrat feels he needs help from a program in order to do the same thing.
I KNOW! I should have let that sad little ball just drop right there. Let those be the last words.
But, no. Think of me, your friend Elizabeth as a sort of fly, lazy in the southern California heat, in the backyard, where the dog has just -- well -- here's what I said:
Your theory doesn't hold up well given that Romney is decidedly not a self-made man, but Obama most certainly is. Way too simplistic --
And then my friend responded, still gracious:
Wait a second Elizabeth... what do you mean Romney's not a self made man?? Its a given he grew up in wealthy household, but have you ever read or heard of the extrordinary success he had at Bain? He started at Bain and Company at age 30,
later started Bain Capital, then later returned and ran Bain and Company, growing both firms phenomenally. He may have inherited a few million fro papa, but the over $200 million he has is money he made. Yes, he did build it!!I don't have this kind of cash just yet, but certainly I'm not bitter that he has it. I congratulate and embrace successful stories like this. This is the kind of mindset we need to grow our ecomony back to prosperity. By doing so, we all, incluidng health insurance for your daughter and job opportunities for your friend, benefit.
And dumb old, fly-like me:
I'd hardly call "inheriting a few million from papa" "starting from nothing." Maybe it is nothing to you, though, and I'd argue that NO ONE makes that much money completely on their own. Read Elizabeth Warren's statements on wealth. Read about the myth of the self-made man.
Are you still with me? Because this is when the attack started by my friend's friend, and not only did it get personal, but it wasn't particularly intelligent.
Obviously, you have never started a small business. I think he started his own successful business before his father died and left him anything. You have a chip on your shoulder about anyone who has been more successful than you. So sorry
for you. Obama is self made using everyone else's money except his own, hardly self made. That is how he has become president, other people's money, Romney at least has put some of his own money into his campaigns.
Well, bless her heart.
I asked the friend of my friend to not personally attack me when she knew nothing about me. I told her that The Husband and I are actually owners of a small business and that she didn't know what she was talking about when it comes to me. I think I then gave some links to an interesting article I read about the myth of the self-made man and then I stopped. My original friend had some things to say, but I didn't respond and I guess I won't anymore.
Instead, I lay on the bed with Sophie who had just come home from school and I thought about the Alps in Switzerland. I thought about The Husband and me and Sophie and Henry and Oliver with hands entwined and arms outstretched weaving in and out of grass and flowers, the peaks behind us, The Mistress (that business I know nothing about) out of our minds, all of us, weaving in and out and on our way to freedom from flies and bullshit. I know that's just a dream, and I'll be buzzing around again, but doesn't it sound nice?
Now I need a title for this post. I'd love to work the phrase sister wives into it.