Privileged, empowered, white, upper middle class, 50ish female. This is me.
You could call me a Karen…although I hate that term and feel bad for my friends named Karen.
It could have easily been a Heather meme instead.
“OMG she is such a Heather.” Because I kinda am.
But I know who I am.
I stand on the shoulders of proud generations before me. People who have fought for my freedoms. People who enabled me to devour this life before me. I have grown up lippy, opinionated and loved. Perhaps the last variable is the most controversial…..I am vocal because I feel safe and because I feel loved.
It’s easier to be lippy when you are loved.
So I will.
I struggled this 4th.
Because I don’t understand what it means to be an American anymore. This is not a left or right thing…..this is a who are we thing? Are we really a gun toting, forced birth, climate change denying country?
I recently read an article that said, “America is more about a dream than a place.”
I read that to my husband who said, “what a cop-out- of course we are a place. We are a country with a GDP of $20.95 trillion. This is a place.”
So, if we are not dream. And really a place…..I feel a tad more unsure of where I belong.
Because in this last week we (the collective American We) forced a ten year old rape victim to travel to Indiana because no one in Ohio would perform an abortion.
On a ten year old….who was raped.
I should read the story above about a third world country. I should drink my double espresso with foamy oat milk in the shape of a heart and shake my head but not be surprised….because I’m an American….and this happens in other countries but not here.
And I like Ohio….really Cleveland is lovely. Don’t make me reconsider my Skyline Chili in Cleveland!
On the 4th, we drove to my mom’s to celebrate this great nation. And we heard about another shooting in Highland Park, Il.
Highland Park….an incredibly affluent suburb. Home to Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller and Risky Business. Highland Park is my personal Columbine, before Uvalde, before Buffalo, before, before.
And I’m not an extreme progressive. I am not woke….ask my nieces and they will tell me that I clearly do not know my pronouns.
I am not super liberal.
But this is not my America.
On the flip side…..I am……I am…….super lippy and super loved and soon to have a super knee.
And I make mediocre parade signs. And one thing my generations before have taught me, is that this is still my America, even when it feels as scratchy as a wool sweater lined with sandpaper……
As the great George Washington. once said, “Winning was easy, young man. Governing is harder.”
May we Govern better, listen to the voices.
And may this be our non-partisan pic one day…..filmed in Highland Park, IL.