My parents have always supported the topics of which I have chosen to cover. Even the subject matters that might be considered taboo and controversial, my parents always have my back. When it came to any concern that they might have, it usually came down to my reactions to negative comments that sometimes weren’t too far from watered-down death threats. When someone tells you that you should be aborted, I take that as a death threat in a round about way.
Because they’re smarter than me, my parents have never read any of the comments I’ve received. They avoid it both for their own sanity and because they also know they’ll probably hear about it later from me.
There have been a few occasions where I have run certain ideas past my parents just to get their “OK” on something. I do this both as a heads up and because, as we’ve learned, our extended family reads some of my essays, I’d like them to be prepared in case some lunatic aunt decides to call and get all crazy on them… and once again call me a heathen, of course.
Originally, this week’s feature was going to be about my high school class president who is now running for governor of New Hampshire. My intention was to point out his hypocrisies, his ultra conservative ways that are more backward than forward thinking, and I was going to do it all from my liberal soapbox that I have on me at all times when I’m in NH. My reason for wanting to write about this particular person was to take the angle that he can dish it out, but can’t take it. I learned this lesson when I, a registered NH voter although I live in New York City, inquired about his stance on gay rights and funding for Planned Parenthood. Most politicians would either give you some sweet talk, find a middle ground and try to procure a vote, but this did not happen in my case. I was instead blocked from his governor Facebook page, as well as Twitter. Perhaps, after having been blocked on Facebook, I got a wee bit aggressive when I took my grievances to Twitter, but it paled in comparison to the questions and comments that most politicians would receive by a less than happy registered voter. I’m quite certain neither Romney or Obama waste their time blocking old high school classmates because they have better things to do and there’s this whole thing about “freedom of speech” even in the world of social media.
When I ran my idea by my mother, she wasn’t exactly thrilled. She said she’d be more than happy to drop me off at a rally of his while I’m visiting in New Hampshire this week if I felt it necessary to make a scene. However, to put my issues with him in words and on the Internets was a completely different story. There they would remain permanent and would probably, to use her words, “bite me in the ass later” as Republicans do not like people from their past popping up with a story or two to share.
Unlike myself, my mother has to live in this small, conservative New Hampshire town that is currently covered in Republican nominee signs on the fronts of every other lawn. I actually think I’ve seen maybe one Obama sign; something that changes drastically once you go over the state line to Massachusetts where the liberals tend to be in the majority and politicians are probably less inclined to block voters on Twitter.
While my father was all for it in a “Give ’em hell, Mandy,” type of way, my mother pleaded with me to reconsider. Not only does she live in this town, but she works here, too (my father on the other hand, works in Boston.) My family has lived in this town since the mid-80’s and because of this my mom knows a lot of people and a lot of people know her. Not to mention that she knows this particular nominee’s mom, not very well, but enough to say hello in the supermarket. My mother just wanted to avoid any drama should his campaign director sniff me out, call foul, and maybe even bring up the fact that I was arrested or something else from my past that I’ve already written about anyway as a means to prove that I’m just a bat shit crazy liberal looking to cause trouble — which, of course, wouldn’t be entirely untrue.
What it comes down to for my mom is that election years are precarious and scary. Like most of us, she doesn’t trust politicians and she especially wouldn’t put anything past them; if she can avoid any potential drama, she’d really love that.
Here I am, for the first time ever in my writing career, obeying my mother wishes. This is her one shot at making such a demand, so I hope that it will have been worth it when I decide to do an exposé on her and her exciting world of crafts and epic Thanksgiving dinners. When I told her this, she just sighed and said, “Mandy, we all know my Thanksgiving dinners are far better than epic.”
Touché, Momma, touché.