So we've been talking about it forever, and it looks like (barring any further contagious disease in the house) we'll be heading to D.C. this weekend for the Rally to Restore Sanity. We're taking the little guy-our first big trip with him. Well, really our first trip with him period, except maybe to the store and such. We've been reticent to take him out to restaurants and the like-Ben and I both waited tables at one point, and realize the havoc a screaming child can wreak on innocent people's evenings. Henry has had what we call a "pleasure sensor" in him since birth-meaning he saves his epic freakouts for when we're about to enjoy a really good meal, or on the infrequent occasions where we have enough energy to attempt to have sex.
But as soon as Jon Stewart announced the event, I've wanted to go. I've been really depressed about the direction this nation is taking-and I don't even mean economically. The current media environment encourages the biggest whackjobs to have the most airtime, and political leaders are actually starting to cater to the periphery. Stewart has a great point-you don't hear from the majority of us, who know that the solution lies somewhere in between "SOCIALISM" and "REPUBLICANS HATE BABIES" but we have things to do. And let's face it, most of us, public relations-wise, just aren't that interesting.
I'm thrilled for there to be a public event where rational, reasonable people can gather and let the world know that what they see on fox news is not an accurate depiction of America. I'm glad that most of us know that our problems won't be solved overnight, and hell, even admit that we CAUSED some of the problems. As a nation, we want everything too fast, and we want too much. When Ben and I started talking about buying a house, we went to a bank to discuss what kind of loan we qualified for. More than one bank tried to talk us into signing onto more than a quarter of a million dollars in home loans.
OVER $250,000. For a teacher, and an administrative assistant (which everyone knows is just a nice way of saying secretary) with massive school loan debt. With our income, the only way we could have afforded those mortgage payments is if we'd given up all luxuries, including food, and I'd pimped Ben out on the side to elderly widows. But plenty of people signed on to mortgages they couldn't afford-you can chalk that up to ignorance or banks taking advantage, or both. This is a culture where more is better, and we don't like to wait for anything. Maybe we should learn to do that.
So I'm happy for the chance to take my kid to an event like this, even though he won't remember it, and, with our luck, will take a dump that will coat him, me, and several passerby. I generally avoid political discussion, particularly now when the nation seems so polarized. But hey, it's time to work together. It's time to fix this mess. And it's ok if it takes some time to do it. Rome wasn't built in a day.