white-knuckled hope

I bought a new white blouse yesterday, a fancy new white blouse with a bow-type thing around the waist. I’m not fully sure I can carry it off and I also feel it emphasizes the fat I still have around my lower belly but after losing quite a bit of weight I’ve come to the realization that almost every new blouse is going to emphasize said fat until I work it off and the reason it makes me self-conscious is because I’ve been slumming around in blouses that drown me, looking quite unprofessional, and so I bought the blouse and kept my fingers crossed and thought well done, C, you are stimulating the economy, now get thee to pilates and then I came home and threw away a too-big white blouse. Then S., to whom I gave my chest cold and whom is NOT happy about it, and I put away our laundry and went out to dinner for the first time in over a week because even though so far we haven’t been affected financially by the world-wide financial crisis we are still trying to conserve, you know, to save and live lean, which we were trying to do before this anyway but are now attempting with even more fervor. S. was really hungry and ate his whole dinner, lots of our shared basket of fries, and half my sandwich, which was chicken Parmesan, my favorite. Then we came home and watched the presidential debate and agreed between our little household of two that Senator Obama swept the floor with Senator McCain and wondered over and over again how anyone in their right minds could vote for Senator McCain. Then I went to bed but S. stayed up so when I had a coughing fit a half hour later he brought me an extra pillow and said “Sweetie, I’m sorry you are having a tough time of it. I love you.”

I’m not having a tough time of it, though – not compared to the hundreds of thousands of unemployed and/or uninsured and/or living below the poverty line families that are out there right now. I’m a little nervous S. and I bought a house during the largest financial crisis in our lifetime, but so far I also feel relatively secure with both of our jobs, although who knows, I could come to regret that statement.

I’ve received several emails from friends…okay, about five emails from friends, asking me why I haven’t blogged recently about McCain/Obama/Palin/Biden because they are interested in hearing my thoughts and the truth is the reason i haven’t blogged about the political scene in America right now is because while its at the top of my mind most of the time, you all KNOW my thoughts. I’m not suddenly going to come up with some insight you aren’t expecting from me and in several cases, to be quite honest, I can’t temper my reaction to the current situation for this blog.

If you aren’t hearing from me as regularly as you once were on this blog, don’t worry. After November 4th I am sure my blogging regularity will resume. And I will take the liberty of saying this probably holds true for a lot of casual bloggers these days. I won’t speak further for them, but I am spending a good majority of my free time reading every conceivable paper and magazine analyzing the election I can find, or watching television coverage (and damn, I thought Tom Brokaw was sort of a dick last night…I miss Tim Russert!). When I’m not watching or reading I am texting or emailing friends and family although I should note right now I’m only communicating with the liberal ones because I feel much too raw to listen to any pro-McCain/Palin arguments right now, and when I am not texting or emailing I can be found in my boss’s office, planning how we can together land hospital positions in Berlin if this all goes down badly. Or working. I am doing that, too.

Admittedly, it is inconceivable to me how anyone could cast a Republican vote this election year. With the financial world crumbling, our reputation around the world shattered, thousands of troops lost in a criminal war, health care unavailable to half the nation, the effects of global warming more glaring than ever, the very very rich continuing to take advantage of the very very poor – well, I cannot understand how anyone can be okay with the state of our world today and willingly hand it over to another republican president. At the same time, I know there are hundreds of thousands of people who will vote for McCain and Palin – voting so because either they are single issue voters (like abortion) or because they like that this party “speaks to them” or because they don’t trust a black man (I heard several shudder-inducing interviews on NPR recently) but the ironic thing about this is these people, except for the very, very rich, will be voting against their own best interests in order to hold up a broken ideology of what America stands for. I mean, they will be voting to have their health care taxed! I laugh every time I see McCain tout his five thousand dollar tax credit – five thousand dollars a year isn’t going to touch the health care needs of an average family. I work in the cancer world, where people face the astronomical costs of chemotherapy, radiation therapy – a five thousand dollar plan isn’t going to touch a crisis situation.

At the same time, while I acknowledge the very real possibility of a McCain presidency, I have hope. Nervous, white-knuckled hope, to be sure, but hope none the less. When my dad calls me from his cell phone while taking a short break from bird-hunting, Nick panting by his side as he sits beneath the glittery gold of the autumn aspen trees, and tells me how amazed he is by Obama, when just months ago he supported McCain (mainly, I think, because of their shared service in Vietnam and not from a shared ideology), I have hope. When my mother, who often votes democratic but hates, and I mean HATES abortion with a consuming passion, mentions how much she hopes we once again have a SMART president, I have hope. As Obama makes inroads in states generally held by republicans while McCain pulls out of battleground states, I have hope. As more and more women band together in an effort to say Sarah Palin does not represent me, and no, I will not willingly identify with her despite her shoes or her hockey mom status, I have hope.

So, that’s that. Here at everythinginbetween we are nervously hopeful about November 4th and quite unable to concentrate on much else at the moment. It is my hope that in less than a month we elect the man who can repair our image abroad, end the war in Iraq, begin tackling our energy crisis – who believes teachers should receive better pay, who wants to expand our Peace Corps, who has an actual plan for stewardship of the Great Lakes region, who believes in health care for everybody and whose election can prove to the rest of the world that here in American we are able to not only begin transcending our history with race  but also able to take something besides our own petty needs and desires into consideration and recognize and hope for the possibility of what our country can be, when given the opportunity to learn from our mistakes.*

And if that doesn’t occur, I’ll forward you my new address in Berlin.

* I also wanted to tie in a conversation about the financial crisis but this post is entirely too long as it is so I hope to have that conversation soon…

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13 Responses to white-knuckled hope

  1. kimhaasdesign says:

    Yay… you’re back! I’m with you on the white-knuckled hope thing. I think I have permanent fingernail marks on my palms. And congrats on the house! Between that and the blouse your are single-handedly stimulating this sad economy:)

  2. Dorothy W. says:

    Oh, yes, white-knuckled hope is an excellent way to put it. Things are looking good for Obama now, but four weeks is a loooong time …

  3. I loved this post, I did.
    “I can’t temper my reaction to the current situation for this blog.” Oh, me too. That’s why I don’t write about politics. It’s too painful, and I couldn’t do it without a rant so I stay away. Your readers do know your thoughts on the matter- they’re in your posts with powerful subtlety, and for me as a reader that’s the best way to do it.

  4. Scott says:


    Tell me about this house! I need to know where I’ll be crashing. Also, how does this investment affect your ability to hang out in Chicago?


  5. Emily Barton says:

    “Admittedly, it is inconceivable to me how anyone could cast a Republican vote this election year. With the financial world crumbling, our reputation around the world shattered, thousands of troops lost in a criminal war, health care unavailable to half the nation, the effects of global warming more glaring than ever, the very very rich continuing to take advantage of the very very poor – well, I cannot understand how anyone can be okay with the state of our world today and willingly hand it over to another republican president.”

    Amen, little sister! And you know, Berlin is only a hop, skip, and a jump away from Scotland, which is where I’ll be stationed if McCain wins.

  6. Litlove says:

    Ah, perhaps this explains why the blogworld is so quiet of late? I mean not just you, Courtney, dear, but everything seems really quiet and not like usual. Over here in the UK, support for Obama is strong, but alas, that doesn’t help you any. I have my fingers crossed too.

  7. Obama is also big in Germany, but we’re not voting … God, I hope he gets in though. I think you’ve put your finger on it, as usual, Courtney, when you say there is quiet – the financial crisis for one is making everyone lay low and take stock, and then we are all just waiting for November to see what happens in the USA.

    As for the blouse, I am sure it looks lovely.

  8. Smithereens says:

    Fingers crossed here in France too! I’m amazed that even my politically-challenged coworkers only speak about the US elections during lunch break and how Palin looks… well… totally crazy to us. (Yet that would be nice if you lived in Germany, we could meet and have a blog party on the Rhine river!)

  9. lvmg (Lizzy) says:

    I think ‘white-nuckled hope’ describes exactly how I feel. I can’t even watch the debates because I get so nervous. I’m waiting for the Republicans to pull a dirty trick, they are so good at it.

  10. Andi says:

    Amen and right on TO EVERYTHING YOU SAID! I’m right there with ya, and I might see you in Berlin!

    As for Tom Brokaw, I was supremely unimpressed. I Twittered throughout the entire debate and kept waggling my finger at Tom to shut the hell up.

  11. oh says:

    Good to read this with my morning coffee and start the day. You’re right on. As long as we all get out and vote, there’s hope. Will I watch the next debate? Yes. No. Yes. I will. Obama can do this.

  12. Cam says:

    White-knuckled hope. I live in a state that hasn’t gone Deomocratic in over 40 years — and we’re now considered a battleground. I actually got a ‘like that bumpersticker’ comment from a co-worker the other day. For a moment I thought he was joking and then he said, “are you kidding? Of course I’m voting for Obama!”.

    Yet the vitriolic, race-baiting crap from McCain’s campaign these week is so upsetting to me that it angers and depresses me, makes me forget to be hopeful. How dare they suggest that a US Senator is not just unpatriotic, but treasonous, when he has done nothing wrong. Regardless of one’s political party, unless there is legal evidence of treason (in which case one should be kicked out of office), never should you refer to your opponent as a traitor because he disagrees with you. This is contrary to what this country stands for — or used to before Bush 43. I don’t know where I’d hypothetically move — and I hope that none of us actually do. If McCain gets in office, we all need to keep doing our part to keep our government honest and respectful, even if the person in the office does not embrace this value.

  13. Courtney says:

    Kim – Hi! Yes, I am back…or rather, as close to being back as I am likely to get. I can’t believe how much more time I used to have for blogging!
    Dorothy – it’s too long. Let’s have the election today!
    S – check your email, babe. Miss you loads!
    Emily – Scotland, hmm? Perhaps I’ll reconsider my choice of local and join you…
    Litlove – I do think that, combined with the financial crisis, is why the blogging world has been so quiet as of late. At least, that’s my excuse…my attention is definitely diverted elsewhere.
    Charlotte – it does seem time to lay low and pay attention to what’s happening around us.
    Smithereens – there are no words for the support Palin receives. It is inconceivable to me!
    Lizzy – I know, right? The same old tired abortion debate broke out yesterday, I noticed.
    Andi – Tom Brokaw was MISERABLE but it made for great SNL fodder last saturday…
    Oh – watch the debate! It’s the last one and sure to be the most interesting, what with everything that has unfolded this weekend.
    Cam – oh, I know all the moving talk is hypothetical – I wouldn’t leave for the exact reasons you bring up. But a girl can fantasize, yes?

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