This weekend we went to a friend's annual Friendsgiving party. We look forward to it every year as it gives us a chance to spend time with friends that usually leave town to visit family. Most of the people we see know where Bob and I stand on many issues, yet we don't normally talk about them at a social gathering like this. It's usually about friends, kids, beer and life in general. These people are fellow home brewers and a wider circle of friends that has grown since we moved to this area 8 years ago -- almost to the day. They are people who work in the private sector, they are contractors and some work in the federal government. Our friends are regular people who happen to live inside the beltway but make no mistake, there is no bubble. They live here, work here and raise families here. They don't generally marinate in this stuff the way we do here on this blog.
Not this year. Within moments of our arrival, and before many others got there, our host stated, to us, this is a safe place today. Shortly after that, people started talking about what happened on the night of November 8. As more people arrived, more people wanted to talk about what was going on. I was really surprised about this. There was an air of friendship and trust, but there was also an air of mourning and sadness. Stories were shared of that night - the tears, the anger, and the utter disbelief.
They were deeply concerned.
Not one person at this gathering felt that this was normal. They know this abnormality isn't about the left and right of politics. I don't know if I took comfort in this or not. Our friends who work in various government agencies don't know what is going to happen, going forward. They don't work in politically sensitive jobs and yet they know things are going to change. Friends who are contractors aren't sure what the future in holds for them with this incoming administration. One friend has been waiting for a contract job to become a permanent one and is starting to doubt whether it is going to happen.
Keep in mind, Bob and I were the oldest people there. We all know that we live in an area of the country that's really
blue and well-educated. It's not like everyone there was liberal -- and it still didn't matter. It wasn't about politics. Once again, I don't know if I take comfort in this or not. None of us did. We all have family in other areas of the country, and some of us have family members that voted for the President-elect. There will be some uncomfortable dinners this week. Contingency plans were being made and basically, yesterday was a symbolic place of primal scream for many of us before Thursday.
I don't know where to go with this, but all of us are preparing for what the next four years are going to be like and we still aren't over the shock of the election. We don't have time to get over it.
I saw too many little people yesterday who are (as they should be) blissfully unaware of what has been put at our feet. They are the innocent ones. They are the ones that will need protection from adults for the next few years.
We must not be afraid to reach out and hug our friends and let them know that if they want to talk about the things we normally don't talk about at social gatherings, they can talk to you. People want to talk. Let them know you care and are there for them.