Totally Judging

oldtimeywigs

I can’t take it anymore. I, being the responsible citizen I am, watched the final presidential debate. Or, rather, I hid under my Tardis blanket and hoped it would send me into another universe. It didn’t. I was still on my couch—being stared down by a predatory, entitled reality television cast member. And I love reality television. I feel personally invested in Khloe Kardashian’s happiness and I fantasize about running the Amazing Race. I tried to find comfort in the intelligent, experienced public servant on the other side of the screen, but it was to no avail. I felt my insides compacting with every interruption, insult, and lie.

Like most women I know, this isn’t the first time I’ve been confronted with an arrogant, condescending, and overreaching man. It happens over and over again in my life. I’m not the only one who’s felt the gut-wrenching sting of trauma-rooted anxiety when sexual assault so cavalierly became the center of this presidential conversation. I’m not the only one who knowingly winced at each one of the 55 times Hillary Clinton was interrupted during the first debate. I’m not the only one who feels the need to hide from the barrage of hate we’re experiencing. But we can’t. We have to stand up. And walk. To the polls.

From here on out, I’m going to post one reason each day that we all need to vote. That’s 20. I’m sure, if I think real hard with my little lady brain, I can come up with 20 reasons for us to get out to the polls on November 8th. This is the first.

There will be at least one appointment to the Supreme Court made by the next president—probably a few. Bill Clinton said there could be as many of four. Donald Trump said he’ll nominate five if he’s elected. This is massive.

Let’s do a little Schoolhouse Rock rundown on the Supreme Court. Justices have the job of the interpreting the Constitution, that nifty document that’s supposed to hold our country’s core. The Constitution was established back when men wore powdered wigs, so it needs a translator—or nine. Since it currently only has eight, they might be relying on Google Translator on evenings and weekends right now. Not a good look for the most powerful court in America and all the more reason to unfreeze that job listing.

Basically, SCOTUS is the highest federal court in the country, so what it says goes. A whole bunch of important rights have been granted to Americans through the court and others have been withheld, depending on its composition. It changes the country’s trajectory—for better or worse. It established an accused person’s right to an attorney, but it also allowed for the internment of Japanese Americans. It confirmed the legality of segregation and, nearly 60 years later, desegregated schools. It ruled against a woman’s right to vote and then upheld a woman’s right to (mostly) choose what’s right for her body. It denied citizenship to slaves and their descendants and, after 110 years, ruled that interracial marriage must be made legal. Just last year, the court determined that states must allow for same-sex marriage. These are big, and, make no mistake, there will be big things coming.

Justices stay on the court until they decide to peace out, so these next few appointments will impact decades of rulings. This is important stuff, guys. I’m going to vote for the candidate who supports the human rights of me, my friends, and many other lovely strangers. I’m just really into that kind of thing.

Forward Or Else

emailchain

I finally figured out why I was so unlucky in love during my middle school and high school years. All this time, I thought it was because I had trouble relating to other kids, never had the right outfits, and stayed up all night reading instead of doodling hearts in my journal with a glitter pen. Then, scrolling through the internets last weekend, it hit me. None of those things kept me from having any semblance of a dating life. It was one thing and one thing alone. I never forwarded along those email chains. Never. You know the ones. The letters that claimed if you deleted them or stopped their run, no one would ever love you and you’d die in a fiery crash. Well, they worked. I didn’t die in a fiery crash… yet, but I also didn’t have a line of young men interested in taking me out on the town, so I’d say the consequences were real.

The power of the chain email seemed to fade in the years after the internet bubble burst. I finally found someone who wants to eat pizza and watch Netflix with me, so it turned out ok. It was a tortoise and the hare kind of situation and apparently I’m more reptile than mammal. It was also like being an unknowing participant in a cruel, cruel experiment. Studies find it takes six to seven years to overcome the curse of late 90s technology superstitions.

Forced Expungement

computer

I organize my emails in the most responsible way. If I don’t have the time or energy to deal with something at the moment, but I feel like I can’t delete it, I mark it unread. That means nearly anything of importance sits at the top of my inbox, waiting for me to respond. Because sometimes even email feels like a bit too much communication. That’s the beauty of technology—you can always get to it later. But later becomes even later and that becomes never. The ones in the never category grow until the number gives me anxiety and I feel forced to deal with them. And then those get resolved. I recognize it’s not a perfect solution, but it’s the one I’ve got.

I can’t be the only one in this world who chooses to avoid virtual interactions in this way, but I know I’m the only one in my house. Dave likes to keep no more than five emails in his inbox. He is obsessively organized about it all and swears by a well-developed folder system. He’s always telling me about how I should try it, how the system helps keep everything coordinated. I, obviously, scoff at him and declare it’s a waste of a time. I laugh in the face of his order. I tease him about his careful organization. I tell him I know what I’ve got and it’s not a big deal.

I was wrong. Last week, the computer-wizards (the tiny creatures who live inside my macbook) decided I had too many unread messages. They read them all. Without me. Those emails are now mixed up with all the actually-read nonsense and will never be found again. I’m embarrassed to say how many I had at the exact moment they disintegrated. I’ll just give you a hint: it was more than 222 and less than 224. Gone. Not really gone, but pretty much gone. Who has the time and energy to try and find them? Not someone who didn’t have the time or energy to respond like a normal human in the first place.

I guess if someone really needs me, they’ll try again. If not, it can’t have been that important. I might try this method with real-life interactions—just stand silently when someone talks to me and see if they walk away or keep talking. It will either force really efficient conversations or someone will try to squeeze me into a straightjacket.