Thursday, October 2, 2014

Getting Political

Yesterday I posted a picture on Facebook of Wade and me delivering campaign flyers for my friend who is running for state representative here in Michigan.  It was a very Facebook-y.  What I mean is the picture only told part of the story.  The picture made it look like I was a very together suburban mom teaching my son about democracy on a beautiful autumn afternoon.  The picture only told part of the story and it partly lied.  

Yes,  I am suburban I have the minivan and the yoga pants to prove it (said yoga pants were my outfit of choice for this particular outing) and it was indeed a beautiful autumn afternoon.  But I'm so not together.  The picture doesn't show Peyton accidentally letting Cosi, our beloved but somewhat wild dog, out the front door and all hell breaking loose.  

"No Cosi!!!!!!!!!!," I screamed as she ran toward the street right as a school bus was heading our direction.  The neighbors that were outside turned and gasped in horror.  Cosi stopped, but didn't exactly come to me.  Two people that just happened to be canvassing the neighborhood on behalf of our state's gubernatorial race looked terrified.  

"Nice job Peyton, what were you thinking!," I screamed accusingly at my oldest son who was frantically chasing Cosi.  I was afraid that Cosi would run in the street and get hit by a car. 

The neighbors were starting to gather at the bus stop to wait for the elementary school kids' bus to arrive.  Cosi was running circles around us, I was yelling like an insane woman and Wade was laughing.  Just when Peyton had Cosi by the collar she started to run and the collar slipped off, and she sort of took Peyton out at the knees.  Cosi and Wade were loving it.  They thought this was the best game of chase ever.  Wade's eyes sparkled.  He loved the element of danger the street brought to the game.  

I could just imagine what my neighbors were thinking.  I imagined something like this "My god, look at her, totally out of control just like all the rest of those liberal Democrats."  

We finally chased Cosi to the backyard.  I walked to the front yard smoothing out my hair and trying to catch my breath and announced to no one in particular,  "Sorry everybody, I didn't...(catching breath)..... mean to....(more heavy breathing).... scare you."  Followed up with a maniacal laugh that sounded like Lucy's Halloween witch doll that laughs everytime you push the button in the doll's hand.  

So my lesson in democracy wasn't picture perfect, but it wasn't totally scary either. 

Getting involved in the political process, being a part of it all feels so good.  I like supporting my friend and talking about what is going on in our community.  I get a little nervous that I might offend my very Republican neighbors with my very pronounced Democrat-ness.  But I won't let that stop me.  Over the years, I've had some of the best discussions with people that don't agree with me.  We've listened and learned things from each other.  More times than not, we laugh with each other about something we can relate to like tweens that roll their eyes at everything we say or those autocorrect mistake posts on Facebook that make everyone laugh no matter what political party they belong to.

I like being involved, helping to make a difference, learning and supporting our democratic process.  Some years I have hosted parties for candidates, gone to meetings and fundraisers, made a million calls and canvassed neighborhoods.  During the 2008 Presidential election, there was a campaign office here in town that I spent so much time at my kids called it "Obama's office."   Other years all I have the energy and time for is to put a sign up in my yard and to go vote.  But every election I will do something because it's a pretty bad ass wonderful thing this whole democratic society.  

This year it may not be picture perfect, but it still feels energizing and exciting to help someone get elected who is passionate and educated and hard working and giving their whole life to public service.  I feel patriotic and young and like I need to dig my Rock the Vote shirt from 1994 out of the attic and binge watch West Wing on Netflix. 


  1. So the visual of a runaway Cosi has me giggling. Hard. And I'm with you on the political process involvement. It gives such a sense of knowledge and accomplishment and the discussions. Oh, the talks I can have with people who both agree and disagree with me. I love it.

  2. I'm such a passive activist, I love people like you who actually get up off their asses and do something, anything. Yay Angela!
    (and OMG, Peyton - heh)

  3. People who keep it real and don't really have it all together are so much more relatable. I like you just the way you are. And it's inspiring how confident you are in your political stance. I consider myself to be more liberal than not, more democrat than republican, but I would have a hard time holding my own in a conversation about it.