How Hillary Clinton and a Barista named Aaron kept me going.


16195130_10153984448085876_8882475005335036163_nIt was shortly after the election day, I was devastated. Like many others I had put my daughter to bed whispering , hoping I did’t jinx it. “Tomorrow when you wake up, it will be a whole new world.”

I jinxed it.

I didn’t lie to her. It was. It was a world where a sexual predator with no experience won over a woman more qualified than he could ever hope to be. Despite the medias non-stop barrage that she was was unpopular, Hillary Clinton was and is beloved. I know because we showed up to vote. We called, we wrote, we joined FB groups, and mobilized in her defense fighting inflammatory lies on line with facts. We canvasses and campaigned our hearts out and I stand by our love for her because all of those groups are still going. We haven’t abandoned her, or our love for her. We struggle for the words to  capture what she means to us, how she has inspired us, and we share with gusto when someone writes a piece that does so. We love her and voted for her enthusiastically and unapologetically.

We got the message loud and clear from the media, it was cool to love Bernie. Uncool to love Hillary.

Good thing we don’t care about being cool.

Hillary took to the woods, as well she should have, but those of us with daily jobs and small children had to keep going.  I was so depressed. Everywhere I went I was met with sympathetic eyes, sending messages of “me too”.  My town became smaller then. Because we were sending one another signs that we felt the same.  It felt like someone we loved had died and everywhere we went we encountered more mourners. We wandered around in a stupor of disbelief.  For those of us of the female persuasion it felt like we had come so close, so close, only to be told not only do we have to be PERFECT (she was a “flawed” candidate) but that by a tight margin people voted in a man who is a walking trigger warning.

My husband held me in his arms while I cried many times.  He reassured me we would be okay. I insisted other’s wouldn’t be. He told me he understood and we would be more involved. He told me it wouldn’t be too bad and didn’t even get angry when I told him he just could never understand.

After that I ate a lot of cookie dough.

Then, like a mystical creature, a Hillary sighting! Happy, relaxed, healing in her Technicolor Dream Coat (Hill, call me, let’s shop.) There she was, chatting with fellow hikers, visiting restaurants in her neighborhood. Interacting and living. If she can do it, so can I.

I reveled in every Facebook post and Instagram story that appeared. When she began speaking again I knew I was validated in my love for her. And I wept over how lucky we would have been to have her.

We didn’t just want A woman president. We wanted HER.

I run through the Starbucks drive-through frequently. I’m about as basic as basic gets and my two big weekly outings, as a work from home mom, are the ubiquitous Target and Starbucks. So, it was as I pulled up to the window I offered a weak smile to the young man taking my card. “How are you?” He asked out of routine. As an oversharer by nature I said “Well I am going to the march and that’s basically all that’s keeping me going.” He looked me dead in the eyes and said “I hear ya.” “What are we going to do?” I asked him,  all of probably 22 years old . He is 6 feet tall and strong, people might call him a thug if they saw him in a hoodie, but he was a  lifeline that day. We talked about how upset we were. How we were in this together. Right then I felt better. We are in this together. This young barista knows I have his back. I know he has mine. We joked about joining the resistance a la Star Wars and then at a later Drive Through chat we laughed about how we had done just that.

I look forward to seeing him. I once made him laugh when he said “I heard you over the speaker and said ‘I know her!'” I responded “it’s me! Your friendly neighborhood outraged stay at home mom!” His laugh filled my heart right up.

We chatted politics and smalls wins we have had. I want to ask him more about himself but there is rarely time. Everyone wants their double shot espressos and Flat Whites and I don’t blame them. I want my soy latte and I want it now. I can never thank Aaron for the gift he gave me that day in December when we first started speaking. How I think of him as a nephew, a son? I can only hope I helped him a little bit too. I know he helped me. He does every time I see him in the drive through and we talk.

When I feel down and like the Jackson Pollack like flinging of destruction coming at me is too much. I think of Hillary Clinton and of Aaron.

Then I get up and get going. I got some resisting to do.




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