Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Last Monday at Candy's ...

Yesterday was the final summer pool day at my dear friend Candy's house. Several of us girlfriends had been meeting each Monday throughout the summer to swim and nosh and gossip. Frequently we talk about our spouses and children, about our weight and our jobs, about excursion planning and retirement planning.
Yesterday's conversation, however, wasn't all goodness and light. We talked politics; we are a divided lot. Think The View, only instead of wearing pretty clothes and stage makeup we were decked out in swimsuits and sunburns.
Of the wonderful ladies on Barbara Walters's award-winning daytime talk show, my personality most aligns with that of Joy Behar's. She is a rather outspoken liberal sort, in case you don't know who she is. (Our professional wardrobes are spookily similar as well.)
Elizabeth Hasselback, an ultra-conservative Republican, reminds me of my sis.
The lovely Sheila is a Barbara Walters sort, refined and worldly (Sheila gets to travel a lot!).
And Nancy is a cross between Whoopi Goldberg and that Sherri chick on the show, a woman I can't for the life of me identify as Someone Famous. Was she a soap star? But make Nancy less politically inclined than Whoopi. Whoopi can get very deep very quickly, politically speaking. Nancy is more of a skirt-the-issues-sort. Very Switzerland.
So there we five gals were, lounging on pool floaties, enjoying lemonade and a fierce sun, our tummies full from a salad fest, when someone started in with the politics.
It might have been me; I can't remember. This perimenopause thing has been messing with my memory.
But we talked about abortion rights and Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama and the women's movement, and how it has sort of backfired on women (Sheila/Barbara).
Someone (I think it was my sis) brought up the "whining, entitled Hurricane Katrina victims" and how pitiful they were, when the flood-ravaged Iowans weren't complaining at all. When the flood in Iowa was "just as damaging."
That's when things got VERY "THE VIEW" and I, a woman who usually stays quiet on such matters, especially when I can sense I'm outnumbered, did not in fact stay quiet at all. I rather freaked out. Immediately claimed there was no comparison between the two events (Hurricane Katrina and the Midwestern Flood of 2008); I was peeved at the implication that the Louisiana folks were ignorant, government-dependent welfare cases who didn't have the intelligence to get out of dodge before the storms came and swept 300,000 houses away. Conversely, the people in Iowa were behaving perfectly decently and didn't start crying about the government not stepping in to help. (The Republicans' opinions, certainly not mine.)
I was beyond angry. But I didn't have the facts to support my claims. When one is floating on a pool noodle one does not have access to the Internet.
Because we women are all intelligent and benevolent ladies, we never yelled nor watched the spittle flying out of opponents' mouths. We somehow got off that subject and starting talking about something else. I couldn't tell you what, exactly, because inside I was telling myself, Go Home and Look This Stuff Up.
So I did. And then I sent my information on to the pool gals.
No one has fired back with vitriolic messaging. No one has phoned me to blow a whistle in my ear.
We're still friends. We can disagree and debate and by the end of the day there are smiles and hugs. I love my girlfriends. I love that we can engage in controversial subjects and speak our minds and then head out to a Mexican restaurant and giggle over the guacamole.
So that's how The View girls do it, too.
So don't believe what you read in the media about how much Hasselback hates Behar.


Bee said...

I've never see The View, so I'm not sure about all of the personalities here . . . but I definitely get the gist.

I'm glad that you stood up for the Katrina victims; and I'm also glad that you have the sort of friends you can heartily disagree with (but in a friendly way).

Susan said...

Hey, Kate ~

More later, this now...

I'm barely back from the beach (catching up on e-mail and laundry all day yesterday, and at work now)... but had to drop a note to wish you a most Happy Birthday today!

Figured I'd give you a link to a post I wrote over a year ago, with a lovely poem by Joyce Sutphen (which I think you'll appreciate) - enjoy your special day, however you choose to spend it... <3

TheCarlsonCrew said...

This is something that bothers me. Why is it that most people can't disagree on political issues (even touchy ones) and still remain friends? Most of the people in my circle refuse to even talk about anything political at all, presumably for fear of causing any offense at all. I just don't get it - just because someone doesn't agree with me doesn't mean I don't value them as an intelligent person or a friend.

After all, even if they're wrong, they still have the right to hold their incorrect opinion. ;)

Good for your group for battling it out, but still remaining friends! :)