I’m Just Hoping By November 5th, I Still Have Friends

A sad and disturbing thing happened at Kindergarten this week.

I finally started talking to some other parents.

I then immediately alienated them.

It started innocently enough. I was volunteering to work in the class room, discussing dates with the ‘room mom’ when her husband showed up. He, of course, introduced himself and we all chatted like old friends.

This is the couple that had already met my husband and chatted. In the back of my mind I was thinking ‘sweet! friends! I wonder if they drink?’ when I got the ‘so what do you do?’ question.

‘I’m the political director for a site called blogher, it’s a network of women bloggers.’

‘Oh, really…so what do you think of this Palin thing…she’s getting a lot of the women’s vote, huh?’

And then…something happend. It was like, involuntary. I launched into this tirade on women voters and issues and how, actually, a new study showed Clinton voters are now 55% less likely to vote for McCain due to the Palin pick and women actually vote on issues, not gender…so assuming they would vote for Palin based on gender was not only untrue but rather insulting…and on, and on, and on.

He then politely said something to his wife about his dentist appointment and left the table, moving to talk to a much less crazy mother.

I can’t even have a normal conversation while waiting for Kindergarten pick-up. I am hopelessly trapped in the echo-chamber and I see no real escape until November 5th, 2008.

I just hope I will have friends when it’s all over.

Scratch that, I don’t care if I have friends so long as Obama wins. Then I’ll work on that friend thing. And maybe talk about something like…the weather.


  1. I’ve been there before, too. Not the same exact situation, but it’s similar to blanking out when you’re about to fight. You go on this crazy leftist tirade and people start feeling uncomfortable. Ehh, fuck it.

  2. It’s a tough election. Information overload is affecting everyone. You’re doing a great job covering and parsing through it all. Hang tight!

  3. Anyone who would reject you as a friend because of your political opinions would not likely be much fun to have as a friend anyway.

    You WILL find some sympatico parents among your children’s classmates. And they will appreciate your intelligence, passion and sense of humor.

    In the meantime, you may want to remember that Buck McKeown keeps winning his Congressional races in your district. SOMEONE keeps voting for him.

  4. Erin,

    Obsession sometimes seems like a friend, but the consequences often are harsh. Maybe toning it back a little when talking to people in real life would help? I know that many times I hear things that make me want to launch off into a rant, but I hold my tongue and invite others to have their sa. But that’s just me. I hope you can find that balance.

  5. I had a similar situation too this week, Erin. I made the mistake of bringing up the Hadron Collider with a creationist. Not good. But as someone else said here, you may want to tone down the rhetoric offline. You will need these people, even though they may be Neanderthals, intellectually speaking.

  6. Queen of Spain says:

    Balance? ha! I’m telling you, it was like…involuntary. I had zero control. Poor guy, I think I scared the hell out of him.

    The GOOD news is there is one mother I know who likes to talk about it. Maybe we can commiserate while we wait…lol

  7. Your life is like mine, but thankfully almost none of the parents of my kindergartner speak English or of the handful that do speak English have displayed any interest in politics.

  8. Yesterday I had a conversation with my neighborhood about the election, She was quite surprised at the level of my vitriol targeted to all things republican and my absolute panic about putting Ms. Palin anywhere near the oval office.
    Of course, we have been friends for several years and so a little rant here and there will not hurt my friendship but if it were the first time she met me….
    I have a friend who is going to meet her daughter’s boyfriend for the first time. She was originally thrilled that this boyfriend unlike previous boyfriend is Jewish. However she has learned he is considered voting for McCain and she said, ” I’m not sure I could forgive him”
    Erin, you are not alone.

  9. This is an extremely polarizing election year. As a Baby Boomer I haven’t quite seen anything like it since I’ve been voting all my life. I have written many posts regarding all the rights that women my age have fought for. I am an online ecommerce businesswoman. Recently one of my online friendships took a nose dive out of the blue because of this election, and I really felt the need to blog about it. So I did.

    I might be losing friends, but I feel I must stand up for my beliefs and convictions first. Yay for us ~

  10. I learned a few years ago that vanilla conversations are the only ones I have in the school zone. No matter the issue, someone’s gonna get uncomfortable. When the election is over, there’s sure to be something else! Vanilla, sister, vanilla….

  11. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say McCain stating that he thinks Roe v Wade was a “bad idea” on the View this week sealed his coffin.

    We can only pray.

  12. OK, that was a little dark. I think I meant “the final nail in the coffin” or “sealed his fate…” Politics make me crazy.

  13. When I started my doctoral program, which has a fairly leftist radical curriculum, our professors warned us that it would, for much of our life, be a marginalizing, alienating experience. So far, I’ve found that to be somewhat true. I can’t control my mouth when I hear people say things that aren’t based in reality. I’ve been in that situation many, many times. But I’m a liberal elitist, so whatev.

  14. Queen of Spain says:

    I guess that’s the thing. I didn’t even mean to get into it. I was just going to say something short and quick about palin and move on…but once my mouth started going, it couldn’t stop. And the poor guy, I think, was just trying to make small talk. lol

  15. I’m always surprised at how women with strong political opinions make people shiver and run for the hills. I think its awesome as you are. Embrace it and know you have so many friends out there supporting your voice in this incredibly important time.

    Who knows you may have swayed him.


  16. We live in a small town that is very conservative so I have learned the hard way to avoid polarizing topics. Every year our school budget vote is very controversial so I have the chance every year to offend someone (or many someones). What I find disturbing is how some people have very strong opinions but don’t know where the politicians stand on the issues. For example, a lot of people like Sarah Palin because she is just like them. I don’t want a president (or vice president for that matter) who is like me. I want one who is smarter and more prepared than me.

  17. I have no friends here either but I will heed your warning and not talk politics at our kindergarten pickup either!

  18. Any time I’ve ever taken a stand for something, specifically on my blog, people have come against me. It’s tiring and yet I understand people just want to be heard.

    I always just pray people have a short memory.

    I’ll always be your twitterfriend as long as you’ll have me. πŸ˜‰

  19. I hate when that happens! Ok, not really, cause I do it too. At the end I have this out of body experience of “Uh, did I really just do that?” Thanks for sharing your (justified & rockin’) tirade. πŸ™‚

  20. Friends? My father and brother have stopped speaking to me because I blocked their nasty e-mails. I am considering MOVING because this state is so full of people rejoicing at the homophobic, racist, anti-choice, fundamentalist, anti-environment, pro-big business regime. These are not my people.

  21. I would be honored if you would be my friend, no matter who wins.
    (and I mix a really mean dark and stormy, just ask my wife) πŸ˜‰

  22. I recently ended a fun night with some of my husband’s work friends with the line, “I can’t believe anyone would vote for some old white guy that doesn’t know how to use the internet.” Not quite as eloquent and well versed as you but hey, I think they got the point. The evening came to a screeching halt and my hangover haze the next morning did leave me feeling sick to my stomach but also slightly proud of myself. F-it man. I had to listen to them tell me they were voting for McCain because they were scared for Israel. PUH LEASE!

  23. I probably would have done the same thing! It is insulting to hear that kind of thing, even if it is just in an offhanded, making-conversation context.

  24. Yay Erin!

    Preach it, sister. It’s part of who you are and what you do.

    Prior to the 2000 elections I NEVER talked politics at work. NEVER!

    After 2000? Fuck it. It’s balls to the wall time and if anyone remotely asks me who I like or what I stand for, they get the unadulterated 100% truth. If they don’t like it, it’s their problem.

    Funny tbing, I have found a lot more people that are as fed up as I am but were always afraid to talk about it.

  25. Let’s not forget the fact that you say you work for a women’s blog network, the assumption is that you’re all excited about a woman because what the hell, you both have ovaries.

    I’d have done the same.

    Which is a good reminder, I should shut up at school next week.

  26. As I read some of these comments, I’m reminded of many words & arguments that I’ve been a party to over the years and truly blush. Maybe I’m just an old softy, but being so strident over one topic or another is sometimes fruitless.

    I could point out that one of the comments here derides McCain because β€œI can’t believe anyone would vote for some old white guy that doesn’t know how to use the internet.” Really? You think that is a valid reasoned argument for choosing a president? How does someone who spent five years as a POW and survived with injuries (applied to him by the communists) that make typing painful, automatically become disengaged with an entire generation due to that handicap? Why shouldn’t that make you feel sick? C’mon!

    I’m saying vote for who seems to have the most in common when it comes to issues. I will vote for McCain/Palin because they most closely represent my vision for the future of America. Am I right? Am I wrong? Probably a little of both. Is an Obama/Biden win gonna put me in a funk? Nope. Not even close. Here is where I’m sure I’ll touch the nerve: I believe that we will get the President that God wants us to have and that doesn’t change with our moaning or groaning about one candidate or another.

  27. This probably wouldn’t make me any friends at the school drop-off, either, but I think you did the right thing. You corrected a misinformed opinion with fact. If there’s one thing this election is missing, it’s reality-based fact.

  28. I find myself in that situation too. Sometimes you just can’t avoid it, because the message has to be told.

  29. I can’t control myself anymore, either. When I first moved here from the Bay Area I had severe culture shock and was sure everyone I met was a flagpin wearing evangelical republican. I didn’t discuss politics with anyone for years. What I thought would happen if I did, I don’t really know.

    I’ve had some amazing conversations this year with all kinds of people, and I’m usually pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Just the other day at soccer practice I got to talking with one of the dads, he’s a doctor and a scientifically minded individual and the Sarah Palin thing is driving him nuts. When I said she was smart I had to spend the next 15 minutes qualifying what I meant by that statement, what kind of evidence there was of her intelligence, etc. Then we discussed taxes until the moms in front of us got pointedly loud with their birth stories.

    I went to the Democratic caucus this year and saw the middle school bursting at its seams. So if I lose a potential friend or two, I know there will be more.

  30. Srsly. My husband and I both seem to be incapable of small talk with anyone when the election comes up. But you know what? I’m tired of pretending. I’d just rather not have certain friends if they can’t see the light on this one. It’s just a no-brainer in my world. Anywho… off to go alienate more people in my life, both on- and offline!

  31. What I don’t understand – what I just don’t get…is how so many people hate me. Literally HATE me, because I may not see things the same way they do.

    I think it is awesome that our country is so diverse. I think it rocks that for the first time ever we don’t have four old white guys on the big party tickets ducking it out. And that we have the right to speak our mind and disagree and argue and everyone gets a right to vote — it is such a priveldge.

    But what I just can’t wrap my head around is the anger and the hate. The personal attacks. I understand that people get fired up. I do. But I fulheartedly will defend to my death your right to disagree with me. I just don’t understand how I don’t get the same courtesy from others.

    It falls on both parties, so I’m really not pointing fingers. I’ve seen it happen over and over again.

    I just happened upon this post and a lot of the commets here (not the post itself) really stung. I don’t mind that you disagree with me. In fact, I love it — by all means we should all have our own opinions about policy and issues and law. That is what makes our country great! But please, don’t attack my intelligence or character.

    Oh, as someone on the other side of the aisle — had you said that to me, I would still totally be your friend.

  32. HERE HERE! I’m pissing off almost every single node in my various social networks and am getting hatemail on linkedin by asking for donations to the cause. I’ll rebuild after we win.
    Pass it on! http://my.barackobama.com/page/outreach/view/main/mannforobama

  33. Sarah Palin has sure put some fire into the debate.

    I think the most common reaction is that of quiet indifference.

    Why it okay to talk about personal dental work but not of the future of our country.


  34. Just so long as you have your priorities. πŸ™‚

  35. I can honestly say that when I picked my daughter up from her elementary school the other day, a women COMPLIMENTED me on my Obama bumper sticker. But I live in Northern California, so that’s not unusual. Now, at my son’s conservative pre-school, it’s a totally different story. I hope he doesn’t get kicked out for my bumper sticker!

  36. You know what… I admire people like you who can put their factual opinions out there not caring if other people agree. Stay strong πŸ™‚

  37. You’re a common left-wing nutjob and the way your brain is wired you just can’t help it. You’re really gonna go off when McCain wins in November, as will most of the other moonbats, it’ll probably register as a 4.7 on the Richter scale.

    Good luck though on both on the friends and putting all your hopes into an Obama win! You’ll find out that you’ve lost both though.

  38. If you are waiting and the cool kids don’t want you at their table just stand tall and call me on the phone, I will pretend to be a very important client EVERY SINGLE DAY!

    Just wait until the in-school politics start with PTA and Foundation and School Board, aye chihuahua!

  39. Queen of Spain says:

    Vjg is cute with the anonymous stuff. Cute Vjg, thinking the Senator from Arizona can be his ‘change’ ….bah.

  40. you won’t lose friends for being passionate hon… if that were the case, I’d have been gone long ago. Just tell freaked out dad next time you see him ‘sorry if I got a little overboard the other day…I’m just passionate about supporting Sen. Obama.’ he’ll get over it. πŸ™‚

  41. I just had similar conversation with someone re: Palin, women voters, education, the arts. I spewed, don’t know what came over me. Reminded myself that I usually don’t discuss my political views (for my own safety?).

    After November 5th, you’ll still have a friend in NJ. Stick with it. I hear ya.

  42. Good for you! I too have done that quite a bit, but you know what I actually think I changed one of those people. So it is worth it in the end.

    I am so sick of it all, that I am throwing my own Mamas for Obama rally in my hometown. It started out small, but I think it going to be big and I hope all those small town people choke when they see all of us Mama’s with our kids and strollers walking around the park with our Obama gear. Keep up the good wor!k

  43. idon'tdaretellyou says:

    I think you have hit on the jis heret: “Scratch that, I don’t care if I have friends so long as Obama wins.”

    I can think of no better explanation for a McCain win that what you have shown with that sentence. Blessed with supporters with that attitude, HOW can Obama possibly win? do you really think this zeal is persuading people to do what you want? and before you jump all over me, i’m a democrat. i’m voting for Obama because i have to, it has nothing to do with Obama either way. But i’m stopping reading everything now before I can no longer stand to do so.

    An earlier generation said it better: when will they ever learn?

  44. Queen of Spain says:

    Felicia my point was that it’s so very important for Obama to win this election, I can put aside my own needs. This is bigger than me and my selfishness.

  45. I think I will be in the group of people needing friends by Nov. 5th. So maybe we can set up a play-date well rant-date.

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