Election years make my brain shrivel up into yesterday’s raisin. They suck the life out of my normally optimistic mood, and make me want to unplug every social media site, television, phone, and news platforms.
Because I hate politics?
No, not really, though I confess to loving them about as much as I love a slight papercut. That is to say, uncomfortably ignoring them for the most part. There are the issues I care about, and about a million others that make my head swim. But that’s not the reason:
It’s because, like a gawky, awkward pre-teen, I don’t fit in anywhere.
To someone who knows cheerfully that they are Liberal, everything is black and white.
Too someone who knows happily, that they are Conservative, everything is black and white.
Being a homeschooling, pro-life, Christian, in a heterosexual marriage, I’m much, much too conservative for the liberals.
Being a short skirt wearing, gay friend having, reader of Harry Potter, sipper of wine, I am far too liberal for the conservatives.
Does that make me murky gray?
What’s a girl to do? Bury her head in the sand and refuse to come out? Tempting.
It’s difficult to make friends of any sort when you say something like,
After the baptism tonight, do you want to come over and watch Hells’ Kitchen?
Hey, let’s go to the Dave Ramsay conference and then go wine tasting!
We missed the church prayer vigil cuz we were out trick or treating.
I’m one of the most Goody Good Girls you’ll ever meet (ask anyone), yet I don’t even own a denim jumper. I make my bread from scratch, but I’ve also taken my kids to the Anheiser Busch Factory (that’s Budweiser, yes. The beer. Not butter beer, but there are those who would cry that that would be even worse). I wear sparkly eye shadow and high heels, but I believe in modesty. I love my Jesus, but there are times I hate praying over dinner because of the squirmy shenanigans going on and the fact that my hard work is getting cold (Martha, Martha, Martha…I know). I’m certainly not a Democrat, but I’m also the worst Christian you’ll ever meet. Is that me being humble, self deprecating, or just honest? Yes.
I have straight friends, gay friends, Calvinist friends, Buddhist friends, friends with eleventy-seven children with four more on the way, friends with one child and laser beam eyes that will shoot your way if you ask them how many more they want, friends who go to church four times a week, and friends who wouldn’t be caught dead in a church (or that’s the only time they’ll be in there!) Friends who would pray for my soul if they saw me in the beer aisle at the super market, and friends who consider me a light-weight because I draw the line at two. Friends who would never consider even celebrating Christmas, much less teach their kids that there is a Santa Claus, and friends who will only accept “Happy holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas.”
Am I well rounded? Do I have such eclectic friends because I am non-judgmental, or because I am luke warm in my convictions? I honestly don’t know. I know my liberal friends don’t feel judged by me, because they’ve told me so. But have I watered down the scriptures in pursuit of friendships? Jesus told us to eat with tax collectors, the first century equivalent of lawyers. What to do? Crap, I don’t even know any lawyers.
I love my friends. They’re the greatest group of weirdos you’ll ever meet. But they make me sad sometimes, because while they’re yelling about someone hating them, they’re doing the same thing to my other friend. And even if they don’t know that person personally – well, wait. That’s the problem, isn’t it? Can’t we all just sit down at a Chik-Fil-A and have a book group about 50 Shades of Gray? Hahahaha: 50 Shades of Gray in a Chik-Fil-A. I slay myself.
But seriously, while you feel certain in your convictions, whatever they may be, slamming one of my friends isn’t okay. Because they disagree with you, doesn’t make them a hater. We all suck at love, anyway, don’t we? Who has cornered the market on that? The atheists? The Christians? The muslims? The homeschoolers? I repeat, we all suck at it. That frumpy mom you roll your eyes at for being so religious and close minded; she’s been on a journey you’ll never know about. That lesbian who has just come out of the closet; she was one of my only friends at a time when the religious were too busy for me. That teenager with a mouth like a sailor and no respect; given what he’s had modeled for him, it’s amazing he came out sane at all. That woman who’s been divorced twice; she already feels like a loser without you pointing it out. That mom with the autistic daughter; she doesn’t need your spanking methods. That man with the gay son; he doesn’t want your chicken sandwich shoved in his face.
Does this make me weak, meek, turn the other cheek, we’re okay, you’re okay, all we need is love, hold hands and share a Coca Cola and hum a Michael Jackson song? No way. I think everyone needs conviction and passion and should never stop learning. And do I think we all find our own way to God? Not really, no. Being a Christian I can’t say that and still be a Christian.
I’ve done the legalistic approach, where your spirituality is determined by the length of your hair and your skirt. And I’ve done the “God is in the trees” route, so “don’t you dare tell me what to do,” too. I am fiercely pro-life, but I don’t march in parades. I love my gay friends, but I haven’t been invited to any of their weddings, either. When I go to the library, I might leave with a devotional book and Twilight.
So, what am I, in this election year?
confused. And my nose is full of sand. Could someone smuggle me a People magazine and a glass of vino, please?