i was trying to shorten this anecdote into a manageable thread for twitter but i couldn’t, so now it’s here. YOU’RE WELCOME.
so there are missiles in north dakota – this is p common knowledge, there’s even an abandoned site called the north dakota pyramid that was literally operational for like three days that you can visit – about 150 of them, minutemen i guess, and they’re just… scattered around this big relatively empty state. fine.
well, there’s a silo p near the highway from williston (where i live) to minot (where target lives) that crystal and i have passed prooooobs about 100 times in the five years we’ve lived here. we talk about it maybe 1 out of every 4/5 times we pass it, mostly bc one of our coworkers had a flat tire near there once and a military vehicle appeared out of nowhere, changed her tire, and escorted her until she was well on her way again, which is, obviously, both kind of understandable and creepy as fuck.
ANYWAY, we drove by last week on our way to get our fog light fixed from when crystal hit a raccoon the last time we drove back home on that highway and i noticed that there were a couple of military vehicles at the silo-ish area and i didn’t think anything about it because there is occasionally one or two there, doing whatever they do to ensure that a freakin’ MISSILE SILO is functioning optimally, i assume.
but then on the way home, i looked again because when i’ve seen vehicles there before, they’re usually only there on one half of the trip, but this time they were still there. like a lot of them. like a half dozen military vehicles at the underground MISSILE SILO next to the highway. and i took mental note of it, but went on with our drive because i have the memory of a goldfish and the tiny attention span of the millennial that old people write op-eds about.
it took me a couple days, but like, there were military vehicles at the side-of-the-highway underground missile silo in middle-of-nowhere bumfuck north dakota because our piece of shit president is a FUCKING WAR MONGER and if he decides to launch NUCLEAR WEAPONS there is a very good chance they’re going to be launched from a missile silo very near me.
it’s one thing to know there are 150 nuclear weapons in the ground near enough to your home. it’s another thing to suddenly realize they might actually be launched, used against other living people across the world.
i am, to say the least, unsettled.
also, just for funzies, minot air force base that is in charge of those nuclear missiles AND bombers that drop the more traditional weapons of mass destruction is one of the worst maintained with the worst morale in the country! drug abuse! domestic violence! missile scandals!
living in a country at the whim of a violent man-baby is just the best!
I’ve been sad and angry and overwhelmed since the night of November 8th. I’ve cried and missed work and alternated between furious and hopeless and been both at once. I’ve even blamed myself for the results of the election because I let myself prematurely write a tweet about electing the first woman president. (My elementary school teachers regularly told me I’d be the first and I wanted to thank Hillary Clinton for making it seem like I failed because I was too young, not because I turned out to be a huge disappointment.)
I’ve been all those things because the 2016 election results are garbage. Because I’m angry that I’ve now lived through the Electoral College taking the presidency from the Popular Vote winner TWICE and this time by a margin so massive it embarrasses the entire institution. Because the election was meddled with by foreign powers and no one cares. Because the man who will be president tomorrow is a bad man, a stupid man, an ignorant, hateful, and petty man. Because misogyny won. Because fake news won. Because women and POCs and the LGBT+ community and disabled people have lost massively. Because people still insist that Bernie would have fared better. Because people are demonizing Clinton for losing, for running, for daring to try to serve her country further in the highest office. Because no one is adequately interrogating what they read and believe. Because the arts are going to suffer. Because the environment is going to suffer. Because real living human beings are going to die.
Today I am all those things, but I am mostly sad. I am enormously sad. Because, while President Obama’s politics do not align with mine perfectly and while I disagree massively with many decisions made while he held the office, I never once doubted that he had the best interests of the American people in his heart. Obama is educated and smart and supremely well-spoken*. He reads for fun and because he believes it helps him better himself. He’s a phenomenal writer. He loves his wife and his kids and his dogs. And he has always, always struck me as kind.
I just keep thinking about what the last eight years have looked like with the Obamas in the White House. How proud they have made me feel just by doing the best that they can with what they have. Eight years of congressional obstruction and we still got the ACA that saved my life. Marriage equality. A stronger economy and corporate regulation. Environmental protections. A record number of clemencies.
And it makes me happy and proud and miserable. Because our future looks nothing like the last eight years and the people I live and work with are responsible for it. I hope that we’re overreacting. I hope that it isn’t as bad as it seems. I hope and I hope and I hope. But I also #resist. I refuse to normalize. He wasn’t popular, he isn’t qualified, and he doesn’t have a mandate. And I will take whatever action I can for as long as I can to try to prevent him and those who have put him in power from destroying an America that functions for all the people who live in it.
After eight years, I am still surprised frequently that I lived to see the first black president. I lived to see the first black president. I lived to help elect the first black president. I lived to re-elect the first black president. I lived to see the first black president.
And I hope I live to see the second.
*I know that isn’t a compliment white people should direct at black people and I keep Googling, trying to figure out if it’s ever okay to say, but I would feel like I was leaving out one of the things I have loved most about him if I didn’t. Obama’s speeches have always been phenomenal, his off-the-cuff answers are sharp and thoughtful, and his actual speech-making is stunning, elevated without ever sounding pompous. I’ve never heard a president more skilled.
My girlfriend and I are not engaged, nor do we plan to be married anytime particularly soon. Nonetheless, I am currently infuriated/frustrated/banging-my-head-against-a-wall-repeatedly by/with/because-of the wedding industry.
I am in love with my wonderful girlfriend. I know how I want to propose and I know that, when the stars align and the wind blows right, I will do so. We have discussed marriage. It is something we want to do! And something we’re fairly enthusiastic about. When I realized this was the case, I started collecting bits and pieces of wedding inspiration, following wedding blogs, trying to find places that catered/leaned/considered-the-existence-of our unusual/unconventional/not-white-and-roses-and-parquet-dancefloor tastes.
There are some great blogs (Offbeat Bride and Halloweddings) that bend toward the non-traditional, but it’s still limited. I’m willing to go the extra mile and DIY the shit out of our future nuptial celebrations, but some more inspiration wouldn’t hurt!
But that’s not even the frustrating part, the frustrating part is how wildly hetero-normative the entire industry is! I’m a lady who loves another lady, there are a lot of us in the world, and we should be able to see some more of us out there, getting married, and doing it fabulously! (On a bright note see: So You’re Engayged)
Think of all the gendered aspects of weddings: the clothes, the cake topper, the invitations, the terminology; it’s all steeped in that “well this part is for boys and this part is for girls” attitude. Women are expected to care about the planning and the details, men are expected to shut up, roll over, and show up on time.
In thinking about some of this stuff, I actually found myself thinking, “Hmm, could my girlfriend and I be represented by animals?” so that I could build a theme on pairing two representative species or colors in a way that would suggest we were the same gender, but not identical. What kind of world is that?
All I want is representation.
Okay, that’s not true, all I want is the legal right to commit myself to my partner for the rest of my life, but representation in the industry would be a great second. There are same-sex couples getting married/committed/unioned all over the country, so why aren’t I seeing more of them?
This seems insane to me on a very base capitalist level: why isn’t someone making money off of it? I’m gay! I want to pay exorbitant prices for Jordan almonds and cake too!