APW Happy Hour


Well maybe happy hour isn't the right title this week

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

Hey APW,

Maddie here, coming to you from our hotel in Lisbon, where we’ve been spending the week at Web Summit. It’s been intense to experience this week’s events from abroad. Unlike those of you in the U.S., we went to bed on Tuesday night feeling optimistic about what was ahead. I fell asleep shortly after midnight in Lisbon, when Hillary was leading Florida, and woke at five to the news that Trump was sweeping the election. I stared at the TV, and cried a combination of exhausted, hormonal, and horrified tears as it became increasingly clear that he was going to become our president. And then, because we weren’t quite sure what else to do… we went to work. We cried some more, and tried to listen to tech dudes talk, and took solace in the fact that there was a women’s lounge at the conference where we could hide for a little while.

But experiencing this week in Europe, and more specifically in Lisbon (where everyone has been the kindest human), was also strangely comforting. I expected the world to be like…”WTF did you do? You are monsters.” But instead we have been reassured by everyone we’ve seen so far that we are a good country, and we can pull out of this, and they are scared too…. but want to comfort us because we must be so much more scared. Which is nice to hear, especially when it’s hard to believe.

And even with that, I know my fears pale in comparison to so many around me. I have friends and loved ones whose terror is visceral, and who have felt an immediate threat in their communities in the wake of this election. I haven’t figured out what comes next, but for now we stand in solidarity with our immigrant, Muslim, Black, Brown, LGBTQ, Jewish, and disabled friends, their loved ones, and communities at large.

And with that, it’s happy hour. This week, let’s call it sorrow hour. Talk it out however you need to.

xo,

Maddie

link round-up

Want to do something? Donate to the Get Bullish “All-Out No-Bullshit Liberal AF Fundraiser.”

A bit of light: Ilhan Omar is the first Somali-American female legislator everrrr.

Here’s how you raise feminist kids.

How to remain positive post-election 2016 (if you want to. Anger is fine, too).

This petition that encourages “faithless electors” probably won’t work, but it might.

Joy’s House is the only shelter for women and children in Athens, Alabama, and it faces closure.

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Just Me

    Because I know there are a lot of other Parks and Rec fans out there:
    http://www.vox.com/first-person/2016/11/10/13580582/leslie-knope-donald-trump

    • Trinity

      This was one of the few things that made me smile this week.

      “I acknowledge that Donald Trump is the President. I understand, intellectually, that he won the election. But I do not accept that our country has descended into the hatred-swirled slop pile that he lives in. I reject out of hand the notion that we have thrown up our hands and succumbed to racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and crypto-fascism. I do not accept that. I reject that. I fight that. Today, and tomorrow, and every day until the next election, I reject and fight that story. I work hard and I form ideas and I meet and talk to other people who feel like me, and we sit down and drink hot chocolate (I have plenty) and we plan. We plan like mofos. We figure out how to fight back, and do good in this infuriating world that constantly wants to bend toward the bad. And we will be kind to each other, and supportive of each other’s ideas, and we will do literally anything but accept this as our fate.”

      • Justine

        For starters, if we keep up the narrative that all Trump voters are racists, xenophobic, misogynists, and not looking deeper, we will never win again.

        WASHINGTON POST:

        “Of the nearly 700 counties that twice sent Obama to the White House, a stunning one-third flipped to support Trump.

        Trump also won 194 of the 207 counties that voted for Obama either in 2008 or 2012.”

        We should be asking why so many Obama supporters flipped. If they voted for Obama, then “racist” doesn’t quite fit the narrative.

        • Ashlah

          My father in law is deeply racist and voted for Obama. People are weird.

        • FALSE. Sorry, I just can’t get with this.

          By supporting Trump, for whatever reason, people who voted for him also voted for all his rhetoric. His xenophobia, his racism, his sexism – all of it. They don’t get to distance themselves from him by claiming they voted for him for other reasons – at the end of the day, their vote for him was an endorsement of EVERYTHING he said on the campaign trail and everything he claims he wants to do.

          The one thing that is constant for the Obama-now-Trump voters is that they are more apt to vote for “change” in whatever package that comes in. In 2008, it was a progressive Black man, and in 2016, it was a failed businessman with a bad tan.

          • Ashlah

            Everything you said. “Well, I voted for Obama” feels like this election season’s version of “I have black friends.”

          • Justine

            That tactic just doesn’t work. It goes both ways.

            So since you voted for Clinton, does that mean you support the Clinton Foundation taking money from Saudi Arabia and Quatar? Those places treat women worse than dogs and Clinton didn’t report the Quatar donation to the State Dept.

            Do you support her “super predators” remark and the legislation passed that put more Black men in jail.

            My point is that everyone, including you, accepts things they don’t like when they vote.

          • I support other countries being allowed to do what they want in their country. It’s so amazing to me how Americans, especially White folks, get up in arms about human rights in other countries, yet ignore the human rights abuses that occur every day here in the US. Black folks are being outright lynched by the police in the US with no repercussions. Communities of color are being poisoned by their government. Minority kids are funneled into the prison industrial complex beginning in elementary school. But you want me to worry about a donation from Saudi Arabia & Qatar? I have bigger priorities.

            As for the super predators comment, Hillary wasn’t the only person who stated that rhetoric – many Black leaders at the time said the same thing, and supported the same legislation. And she’s since grown and changed her position, just like she grew and changed her position on same sex marriage. But I don’t see anyone continuing to harp on that, I wonder why?

          • Justine

            I wasn’t able to answer you because my computer was having problems.

            Anyway, I only listed two examples of things that are problematic with HRC. There are certainly others and I just don’t think you get to say Trump voters voted for EVERYTHING he stands for unless you accept that you voted for EVERYTHING Clinton stands for.

            I mean, Clinton is supported by Goldman Sachs and Wall Street in general, the very people who drove our economy into the ground. And I know people here are gonna defend it, but the Clinton Foundation has befriended some very questionable people.

            Donations from Qatar and Saudi Arabia is a huge problem. For one thing, accepting money from them means they want something in return. Saudi Arabia is directly funding ISIS.

            I don’t think we live in an “either/or” world where because we care about how women are treated in the Middle East means we can’t care about people at home. That’s a false equivalency. We should care about both and we should not compromise ourselves because some politician can’t say “No” to money.

            I happen to know Trump supporters who feel a vote for HRC was a vote for all that. Sorry, but it goes both ways.

          • emmers

            The big difference is that Hillary herself wasn’t saying women should be treated worse than dogs.

          • Cleo

            It’s “interesting” to me how we held one candidate up to the HIGHEST moral standards during this election cycle (every wrong thing was a black mark against her, no matter how small, no matter what good she’s done).

            And then, there’s another candidate who should have had a WAR & PEACE length book full of black marks with no good to offset them, but many people were able to forgive or ignore them.

            I could give 2 shits about missing emails when one candidate is threatening to REGISTER members of a religious group, effectively strip the First Amendment of the free press clause, and is tacitly accepting the support of the KKK.

          • Lisa

            John Oliver did a great piece on scandals vs. Scandals on Last Week Tonight that basically says what you’ve summarized here.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Lfd1aB9YI

          • BSM

            Only men are allowed to have flaws.

          • Sara

            I don’t disagree with this, but I think Justine’s point is more that there was something else driving these people. They didn’t vote for Trump because of his hate filled speeches – not most of them – but they voted because they did not want Hillary or they wanted to end the political run around of the same people constantly. They weren’t thinking about who they WERE voting for, just who they were not. Incredibly shortsighted, yes.
            Its not an excuse, or a rational reason, but we can’t start with assuming hatred when trying to fix this mess we’re in now.

          • Yes, I understand that, I’m not slow. My point is that no matter what drove them to vote for Trump, that doesn’t excuse them from getting labeled as racist/sexist/etc. They are at minimum, tolerant of it and that’s not acceptable.

          • emmers

            So much this. They have shown that they either are racist, or that the hate speech isn’t a deal breaker for them. This is so different from a regular election with issues. It’s hate speech vs not hate speech.

          • BSM

            I think it is just as bad to hold your nose and vote for a bigot as it is to ascribe to his racist, sexist views. It’s all a wash in the end.

          • Anon

            Please don’t say you’re not slow. I get that this is a heated discussion but to say “I understand, I’m not slow” is also pretty offensive to me.

          • NOPE

            Um, no. While I understand where you’re coming from, that is a ridiculous and unnecessary correction to make, especially right now. Someone tried to re-explain a previous commenter’s point to Jubilance as though she had not understood it. “I’m not slow” is a perfectly acceptable reaction. I appreciate your efforts at bringing awareness to ableist language, but your correction in itself is discrediting her point and detracting from the discussion, and therefore, offensive to me.

          • Anon

            I did not say anything in regards to her comment intentionally. I actually agree with her, but I disagree with the way she phrased this. She just as easily could’ve said “I understand, you explained this already.” I think bringing in the cognitive speed of others is detracting from the conversation. I don’t see how it’s anymore “acceptable” than any other language that the APW community stands against. And what do you mean I shouldn’t have said anything, “especially right now?” If you and I are disagreeing about ableist language and I make a sexist or racist comment, is nobody supposed to say anything because of the topic? That’s ridiculous. I don’t care if we’re up in arms over Trump. I don’t care if we’re arguing over something completely unrelated. If somebody says something that is offensive to me I should be able to say that, even if it’s “not the right time” because there will never be a right time. You act as though I attacked Jubilance, when all I said was that it was offensive to me and please don’t say it. I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to take away from the discussion, but I feel it’s important stand up for what we believe in, especially when we are heated.

          • Kelly

            Thank you! Also, seeing as how society always expects a public apology from Muslim leaders whenever one person commits an act of violence, do we now get the same disavowment from Trump surrogates? There’s a KKK rally being held to celebrate his election, are his supporters even attempting to distance themselves from such acts?

        • emmers

          I’ve tried being reasonable. I posted something about how I know not all Trump voters agree with his statements on all the various groups, but it’s painful to me that he was elected because I am in or have friends in all the groups. One trump supporter was reasonable. Another led with a rant that caused one of my gay friends to message me in tears. It’s just hard. ETA, I’m now taking a break from social media for awhile. Too painful.

          • take a break as long as you need to. I’m also finding it a very not helpful place to be. Meanwhile, I’ve got some great email chains with my lovely feminist friends for sharing links and encouragement.

        • Sarah

          Slate has an interesting article on the five baskets of Trump supporters (only one being the deplorables)

        • Katherine

          From what I understand, it isn’t that Obama supporters flipped – it’s that Rust Belt folks who usually don’t vote turned out in spades. Working class individuals finally had a candidate who resonated with their rhetoric.

          • A.

            Wealthy whites voted for Trump in spades too and in greater numbers.

            https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/09/white-voters-victory-donald-trump-exit-polls

            “Of the one in three Americans who earn less than $50,000 a year, a majority voted for Clinton. A majority of those who earn more backed Trump.”

          • Jess

            This reflects what I’m seeing anecdotally right now. My very wealthy uncle? Trump. My wealthy parents? Trump. My coworkers in middle class? Trump. The hourly folks on the production floor? Clinton. My friends and family scraping by in education? Clinton.

          • The average Trump supporter actually makes more than the average salary in this country. It wasn’t about the working poor or working class folks – these were educated folks who are doing relatively well.

          • A.

            Yes, too many people are pitting struggling groups against each other, when there was actually a very clear segment of the population who voted for him due to what he represents–much of which is the truncated progress of women, POC, and immigrants.

          • emmers

            My husband talked to my mother-in-law and his grandma and they both said that one of the reasons they didn’t vote for Hillary is that she’s a woman.

          • Lisa

            WHAT!!!!! I cannot. That is utterly absurd.

          • The number of women, especially White women, who didn’t support Hillary continues to astound me. I wish I could be surprised that women don’t feel that a woman could run this country…but I’m not. *sigh*

          • Danielle

            It’s a sad psychology. What do these women really think and believe about themselves??

          • Ashlah

            I still remember an aunt telling me as a child that she would never vote for a woman because of PMS. Even then, I was flabbergasted and disgusted. (I’d like to believe my aunt has grown out of that opinion since then, but I really have no idea).

          • Eenie

            Menopause must have been a real learning experience for her.

          • Danielle

            That’s so sad. Also, illogical. I mean, men commit the vast majority of violence in the world. Does that mean we shouldn’t trust any of them because they are unstable and aggressive?

          • emmers

            Honestly, your comment on one of the post-election thread about how you blame white women for trump has really stuck with me. I need to do more. I have to use my privilege. I have to organize. I have to have awkward conversations.

          • Katherine

            Good to know, thanks all for the correction. Apologies for my misinformation.

        • toomanybooks

          I was assuming that it wasn’t that the same people who voted for Obama voted for Trump, but that the people who voted for Obama didn’t all have the same enthusiasm to vote for Hillary, so there weren’t enough votes for her to surpass Trump’s votes. Looking at a chart of voter turnout it’s like the blue vote turnout was cut in half this year. I just can’t believe it.

        • Rose

          Also, those numbers don’t necessarily show that people who voted for Obama voted for Trump. It could just be that people who voted for Obama didn’t show up to vote this election (there’s some evidence suggestive of that; voter turn-out was much lower than in 2012). If, say, people who voted for Obama didn’t like Clinton and weren’t motivated to vote, that could get counties to change. Even if “I’m not racist, I voted for Obama” were a valid argument (which I don’t think it is), that doesn’t mean that Trump supporters aren’t racist.

          • Part of the reason why voter turnout was lower, is because this is the first election without the protections of the Voting Rights Act, and we now see the result of all the voter intimidation and supression tactics that the GOP employed. NC and WI have already said that voter ID laws, limited early voting and other tactics are the reason why voter turnout was lower, especially for people of color. And we have the Supreme Court to thank for that, cause we’re “post-racial”.

          • Rose

            Yeah, I’m in NC, and I’ve been seeing what’s been happening with those laws. The ID law actually kept me from voting in the primaries (I had ID, but it wasn’t in-state, and my passport had just expired, and I didn’t realize in time). At least NC couldn’t do everything they tried to do to suppress voting this election.

          • Doubleblue

            No ID was required in NC for voting in the national election. Primaries, yes, but not the election this fall. We also had one of the longest early voting periods in the country. People worked really hard to make sure that would be the case this year.

          • So important… Like “enthusiasm gap” okay, whatever, but SERIOUSLY can we get some more mainstream coverage on how this is what elections look like with a gutted Voting Rights Act?

          • Doubleblue

            Huh? I volunteered for the Democratic Coordinated Committee (supporting Clinton, Cooper & Ross) in get-out-the-vote efforts here in NC and IDs were NOT required for voting and our early voting is longer here than it is in most states. Ours started on October 20th and ran through November 5th, including Sundays. There was a last minute dirty trick from the GOP in which they sent out mass mailings and lobbied to have voters whose mail came back as “undeliverable” purged from the registered voter lists, but I don’t know how much of an impact that had since we also had same-day registration during early voting, so anyone inappropriately purged could just reregister unless they waited until Nov. 8th. It wasn’t perfect, and goodness knows, I am half hoping that an irregularity is uncovered (except as it relates to Cooper’s narrow lead…please, please, please let him be certified), but to say that states “like” NC had voter suppression and voter intimidation? Not in any district I know of. Nope. Not this year.

          • Anon

            Not all counties included Sundays (mine didn’t). Also the number of polling places was another thing that changed. In my county the polling locations changed (much more out of the way), and the number was reduced. I’m not ready yet to conclude that there was no effect. But as votes are still being counted in the state, and nation, I think we have to use extreme caution before we can draw conclusions. One narrative that has been peddled is the enthusiasm gap, but as votes continue to come it, it looks like turn out was about the same at 2012.

        • Trump made xenophobia, racism & sexism a centerpiece of his campaign. Regardless of additional motives, supporting a candidate who is largely running on white nationalist rhetoric is a racist action.

          I do think a lot of us on the “white left” need to de-echo chamber and start engaging deeper conversations with people who hold different political values then us, but I have to believe that’s possible without denying or ignoring the white supremacy that is at the very front and center of Trump’s political platform.

          Also… racism/white supremacy isn’t a binary, it is fully possible for someone with racist attitudes to vote for a black candidate. That said, counties flipping doesn’t necessarily mean large numbers individual voters in those counties are flipping… The difference could just be who is coming out and who is staying home.

  • Trinity

    I felt completely devastated on Wednesday. The one bright spot was seeing our baby for the first time that afternoon. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6ec99ca621928a6e57291b14611595472cb751369fbf1616345642879a3f423f.jpg

    • Amy March

      Love that your baby is waving!

    • Hi little baby! I hope you had a great ultrasound experience :-)

      • Trinity

        It was so good! The tech was great and careful not to reveal the sex (we’re keeping it a surprise). Everything looks normal/healthy. I’m so grateful.

        • Wonderful news! We also had a really thorough tech (she was training someone during our ultrasound) so we saw everything and got a detailed explanation. Its very reassuring when the tech tells you that your baby looks “textbook”.

          • Danielle

            Yay for textbook Baby Pi!!

        • Sarah

          Surprise babies RULE

        • Yaaaay! We aren’t finding out either (34 weeks here) and while some people are being cranky about it, we’re super psyched!!

    • Danielle

      Hello beautiful baby!! ((waving back))

    • oh good! I saw your post on the election thread. So happy to hear it went well! Through this election slog, when I feel baby move it really cheers me up. On Wednesday night my husband and I had a nice dinner and took our first trip to Babies R Us just to look around (I’m 24 weeks). I know bringing babies into a world that’s rabidly expressing hate is a complicated/scary thing (especially as we’ll be having a biracial son), but babies also bring a lot of love to our families, so I’m focusing on that this week.

      • Gaby

        I completely misread your post the first time and am so happy and relieved now that I’ve reread it, and so happy for you!

        • Oh I just reread it as well and it was confusing. sorry! I meant that its a bummer the election was overshadowing such a happy day, but clearly my brain wasn’t working very well that morning.

          • Gaby

            oh gosh no I’m sorry! I meant to reply to Trinity. I read that she *is* completely devastated and seeing it attached to an ultrasound i assumed the worst :o but to reply to your comment, yes, bringing babies brings love! and it’s an act of hope that I think is really helpful in these times.

          • Trinity

            Sorry for any confusion! In my first sentence I was referring to the election. :)

    • lildutchgrrl

      Live long and prosper, little one.

  • K.

    Two days into the era of President-Elect Trump, I get a positive pregnancy test. My child will be biracial, the granddaughter of Latin American immigrants.

    This is now infinitely personal.

    • Congratulations on your pregnancy :-) No matter what happens in the world, you’ll raise your child with love and strength and you’ll all be ok.

      • K.

        Thank you, I am excited. And the normal amount of scared (especially since it’s early)!

        But the political news also hangs over me now. I was already motivated, but now I’m doubly so (I know that’s selfish, but hard not to feel it deeper now.)

        • I also found myself caring a lot more about racial issues after marrying a Latino and having a half-Latino baby (I’m white). I am embarassed that it took me so long to get there, but also glad that I’m now exposing my FOO to a lot more diversity, naturally. I have a friend who has one Black BIL and one (white) police officer BIL, and their whole family has become much more open-minded as a result.

    • K.

      Just realized I assumed granddaughter! Could also be grandson, of course. :) Been thinking about women a lot, I suppose.

  • Sosuli

    Solidarity to you all from Europe! Particularly those of you with families or in-laws who support Trump. I’m being forced into drinks and dinner tomorrow with some extended-family-in-laws who were outspoken Brexit supporters and as nice as they are to me personally, I struggle being around them with the knowledge that they are so strongly anti-immigration… so, I feel you. And am wondering, how is everyone here on APW handling these sorts of deep divides (if you’re facing them) in your families?

    • Ashlah

      Yesterday afternoon I was thinking that I wouldn’t be ready to face my father-in-law for a while. That very evening, my husband told me we’re going to brunch for his mom’s birthday in a week. I know I could probably say no, but I love his mom, it’s her birthday, and she’s had to live with this man for the last three days, so I’m going to suck it up for her (and my husband’s) sake. I asked my husband to agree to shutting down any political talk if his dad tried to bring it up. I just can’t do it.

      I’m not sure what Thanksgiving will be like. I don’t know how most of my family voted, save for a few, so I really have no idea what to expect. Again, I’m hoping it just doesn’t come up. It makes me sick.

      • Kaitlyn

        I’m going to a birthday dinner for my seven-year-old niece on Sunday and am dreading it (not cuz of my niece obvs). I told my fiance if stuff gets heated, that he’s to intervene, and pull the whole “We need to drive two hours home” card.

    • emmers

      I’m not sure. Most of my in-laws voted for Trump. In the past over holidays they’ve made offhanded comments about politics, but I just cannot handle that about this. I’ve told my husband he needs to shut it down if it happens, because if not I will. There are some I would be ok talking about this with, like his grandma, but for the most part I just can’t.

    • Olive

      Heading home this weekend to see my family, most of whom support Trump. I’ve suppressed the expression of my thoughts and feelings around them for most of my life, but it’s too soon for both me and my husband. My siblings and I weren’t taught how to have polite/respectful conversations about politics, but it feels wrong to not say anything. I just don’t know what to say to my father who makes LGBTQ comments and jokes or my brother who has two young daughters but still voted for Trump. I grew up so sheltered in a white, all Catholic neighborhood, and am so glad I’m out of there. It hasn’t been my home for nearly 5 years, and it hadn’t felt like home for a long time before that.

      Anyone have ideas of how to diffuse these types of situations?

      • emmers

        I read this article, posted by captain awkward, with strategies from the southern poverty law center on practical strategies for responding to everyday bigotry. It’s useful. https://www.splcenter.org/20150126/speak-responding-everyday-bigotry

        • Olive

          thank you :) Good reading for the road trip.

      • Cleo

        While it’s not politically correct and makes me cringe when I say it, I have found: “I have close friends who are LGBTQ and that comment/joke is offensive to me. I wouldn’t tolerate anyone saying that to their face and, as a good friend, I can’t tolerate it behind their back,” to be effective.

        When I connect a comment my family/a family friend has made to my own hurt and emotions, I find it tends to get through to them more than abstract discussions about respect and human dignity.

        Good luck!

        • Olive

          Thank you :) great words.

        • Eh

          That’s a great line! I am going to have to remember it for family suppers with my inlaws.

      • Danielle

        There is a great resource guide from the Southern Poverty Law Center about responding to everyday bigotry: https://www.splcenter.org/20150126/speak-responding-everyday-bigotry They give scripts for all different situations.

        • Sosuli

          That looks amazing, thank you for sharing.

          • Danielle

            You’re welcome! Good luck with your situation, it sounds really challenging.

        • Olive

          Thank you!! This is wonderful. It’s time I start speaking up.

    • Jess

      I have no solution yet.

      I am lucky to be not-near my parents at this time (my mom is a maybe on this stuff, my dad certainly voted Trump) and worried about going to R’s family for Thanksgiving (they don’t talk politics, but R’s BIL says some stuff regarding Trans and Black people that have made me uncomfortable in the past).

      The worst is going to work. I can’t tell my coworkers to shut up the same way I can in my family, because some of them are my bosses.

      I think my plan is to just speak up against certain things they say, “That statement was inappropriate/hurtful/…” and try not to cast a “YOU are a RACIST SEXIST IDIOT” at them. I’m worried that the continued message will make people dig even deeper.

      • sofar

        So some tactics that have worked to get my family and family friends to shut up without causing a fight include:

        -If they say something obviously profane or ugly or use a racist term: Gasp loudly and say, “Language!” like you would to a child who used a bad word. If they try to argue with you, say, “I was raised not to talk like that, Uncle, and there are children present.” They’ll usually grumble and stop.

        -If they say something that’s not overtly profane but still racist/sexist/harmful: Change the subject. Abruptly, awkwardly. “SO AUNT MILLIE I saw on Facebook little Madison has started dance lessons. Everyone, have you seen the pictures of her in her little recital outfit?” Have a list of go-to subject-changers. If you get accused of interrupting say, “Well gosh I’m so sorry, but your point about keeping our children safe [from immigrants] got me thinking about children, which naturally got me thinking about Madison! But seriously, Millie, is she doing tap and jazz as well as ballet?” This will make the racist even madder because they WANTED you to argue, and instead you’re taking the high road and now he looks like a big jerk for not wanting to talk about cute little Madison. It’s VERY rare that everyone else will jump in and say, “NO I want to talk about immigrants!” because, really, most people want to eat in peace.

        At work, subject-changes are even easier because you are all supposed to be there to WORK. “Oh, Bob, I just remembered, I need a second pair of eyeballs on this email. Could you come over and look?” What’s Bob going to do — say, “No I wanna talk about politics on the clock!”?

        Yes, people may be so drunk or belligerent that these things don’t help. But they’ve worked in 90 percent of cases with my loved ones, and the best part is nobody can then blame you for sowing seeds of discord because all you did was discourage profanity and talk about your cousin’s dance recital.

        • Jess

          I totally did that at work one on Wednesday because male coworker blew straight past my “I don’t really want to talk about this right now, thanks though”

          I just looked at another co-worker and was like, “Hey, can you show me where those boxes are?” and we walked away.

          • sofar

            I’m from the northern midwest, too! And know the “midwest-nice-but-super-racist” attitudes too well.

            In these situations, I don’t think of changing the subject as trundling along. I think of it as demonstrating that their views have no place in a decent world. But instead of telling them that outright (which would cause an argument and perhaps allow them to get the last word and *think* they’re right), I’m showing them. You’re not changing the subject with a nervous laugh and downcast eyes. You’re doing it deliberately and pointedly.

            In the ONE instances where they kept pushing their agenda (ie, my uncle was suuuuper drunk at brunch), I lowered my voice, smiled and said, “I only talk politics with people I think I could learn something from and who are willing to engage respectfully. When you’re ready for that, let me know.”

          • Alli

            “I only talk politics with people I think I could learn something from and who are willing to engage respectfully. When you’re ready for that, let me know.”

            DANG I want to use that on some of the hopeless people in my family. I wonder if he understood what a sick burn that was.

      • Poppy

        I like your line of thinking. I wrote upthread about my plans to try to get people in my life to build a share vocabulary for confronting latent white supremacy. In short, I’m going to try to get them to read/watch/listen to important anti-racist work like Ava Duvernay’s 13th, “Between the World and Me,” “How Does it Feel to be a Problem,” the NYBOOKs piece about surviving autocracy, and then engage with me about it.

      • Danielle

        The Southern Poverty Law Center resource “Speak Up” (mentioned above and below) has scripts and suggestions for dealing with prejudiced comments at work, home, and different situations.

        For work it suggests saying things like, “What do you mean by that?” or “That’s not in our work culture” (if that’s true), or working with HR to craft/implement a better non-discrimination policy (if not). Check it out! And good luck :)

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I don’t really know what to do. My in-laws are the nicest people you’ll ever meet…. and they are Trump supporters. I’ve never talked politics with them, but my husband does, and he’s angrier at them than I’ve ever seen him before. I don’t know how Thanksgiving will be.

      The part that is sticking in my craw is that their response to my husband’s asking about all the terrible things Trump has said is that “He doesn’t mean it. He just SAYS things.” If that’s true, then what am I supposed to believe? Can I believe anything he says? You can’t pick and choose what’s true and not true.

      I’m just so sad.

    • AP

      My family ranges from Bernie liberals to mild libertarians to conservative Evangelicals to Eisenhower Republicans. A few Trump supporters. Some of them can be reasoned with, some live in crazy town.

      I’m playing the long game. My strategy is to slowly work on the family members that are malleable and open to conversation (my best friend, my mom and siblings, my step dad seems to be coming around), and for now ignore the ones who aren’t (in-laws, grandparents, uncles.) My brother and I got into it last year over rape culture (he swore it didn’t exist, #notallmen, etc.) in a fight that left me in tears and him pissed because I told him to “educate himself.” We didn’t speak for a bit after that. But, wonder of wonders, over time he started listening more and talking less, and now after this election I sent him the link to the Curriculum for White Americans on Race and we talked a lot about white supremacy and misogyny. For me it’s about relationships, waiting for those teachable moments, and choosing my battles.

    • BSM

      Friends, we cannot stay silent any longer!

      White people, we have all somehow collectively decided to let Great Aunt Betsy and crazy Grandpa Joe off the hook at Thanksgiving.
      She’s old, we say. He’s from a different era, we nod.
      But if we ALL let our 1 or 2 or 5 racist family members or friends get away with it, then guess what? NO ONE IS CALLING ANYONE OUT ON THEIR BULLSHIT.

      I am sorry that it took me so long to realize this, and I vow to do better. Please join me in bringing constructive tension to White America.

      • Olive

        love this.

      • emmers

        I posted this upthread, but this resource has some good scripts for addressing bigoted comments. https://www.splcenter.org/20150126/speak-responding-everyday-bigotry
        It’s called “Speak Up: Responding to everyday bigotry” and is from the southern poverty law center.

      • Sosuli

        Yup. I’ve had enough of blending in just to be polite, honestly at the moment in Brexit Britain I want to walk around with a sign that says “EU Immigrant – come at me!”… which I should have done before the bloody referendum… hindsight.

        • emmers

          I’m here too.

    • EF

      i call my mother on her birthday and major holidays.

      i have no idea how i will speak to her for thanksgiving. it may well wait till christmas.

      solidarity on the brexit front. i wouldn’t even go if i were you!

  • Jessica

    1. I’m proud to have voted for Ilhan Omar! I work for a community group, and we are going to be inviting her and her team to a lot of stuff so everyone can meet this groundbreaker.

    2. I’m working out of a coffee shop today because my office smells like sewage. That is a completely appropriate metaphor for this week. Luckily, the coffee shop I’m in is dinosaur themed and gives me free refills.

    3. Fuck this week.

    • I don’t live on that side of town so I couldn’t vote for Ilhan Omar, but I was so excited to see her win! I was happy for another opportunity to vote for Keith Ellison, and also that Natalie Hudson was re-elected to the State Supreme Court!

      • Jessica

        So relieved about Natalie Hudson! The wacko running against her made me shiver.

    • InTheBurbs

      Woot for Ilhan Omar and Natalie Hutson! I’m feeling sick about Angie Craig in particular – I was so hoping that the 2nd could flip.

      • Jason Lewis is lower than the gum on my shoe, but I was turned off by Angie Craig. I noted how in none of her commercials, she ever had a person of color. I get that she may have been playing to the demographic in her district, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. There are lots of people of color here in MN, even in the unexpected places, and it annoys me greatly when people present this narrative that MN is lily white.

        • InTheBurbs

          You’re absolutely right – thanks for reminding me of this.

        • Jessica

          I grew up in a town in district 2, and guess what? THERE ARE A TON OF ASIAN PEOPLE THERE. It was surprising to me in college to not have 1/3 of my class of some sort of Asian descent. No excuses for not being inclusive.

          But Jason Lewis is a literal dumpster fire.

      • AGCourtney

        Ughhhh agreed. I’m in Rice County (the one county that went blue in the sea of red for the presidential election, but unfortunately, red for everything else) and I looked at the non-presidential results the next morning and felt crushed all over again.

  • CMT

    My boyfriend and I broke up last night. We just couldn’t get long distance to work out and stop being long distance. I’ve always had this feeling, since I was in high school, that I could want marriage and a family as much as I wanted but that I just wouldn’t get it. And now I feel it even stronger.

    Also, the only thing I had at home to drink was the bottle of champagne I got for Tuesday night. What a week.

    • Jessica

      Toast to this week being over? Sorry about the breakup, that is always hard.

    • Eenie

      Long distance is so tough. Hugs.

    • emmers

      I’m so sorry. That is super shitty, especially this week. Hang in there.

    • Ashlah

      I’m so sorry, that really sucks. What an awful week.

    • Lisa

      I am so, so sorry. It’s been a really rough week to say the least.

    • Sosuli

      I’m so sorry! What an awful week. Virtual hugs. Fight those negative thoughts in your head with some self-care and be really kind to yourself this weekend. I’ll be toasting you, CMT, tonight for getting through this week.

    • Jess

      I’m so sorry. Distance is so, so hard.

    • flashphase

      I am so so sorry. If it makes you feel better, I’ve had that feeling/concern before and now I’m getting married. Don’t give up hope.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I’m so sorry this happened to you. Hugs to you!

    • Oy Vey

      I’m so sorry!

      Breakup solidarity, lady.

      And I’ve always felt like I’ve had to settle for someone – anyone – who would want me because otherwise, I’d be alone. But I’ve found, through a past breakup, that it’s better to be alone than to be lonely with someone. And that’s my mantra right now.

      Many hugs from across the internet.

    • Trillian

      Really sorry CMT, that is so hard. I can only say that there will be new good things in your life that will make you happy as well. Big hug

  • Sara

    One more good thing that came out of the election – Nevada voted in the first Latina Senator (and their first female!)

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/11/09/a-silver-lining-on-election-night-first-latina-elected-to-u-s-senate/

  • E.

    Something to lighten the mood of this week: yesterday one of my Pre-K students was talking to another teacher about the calendar and said, “it’s November in our class. Is it November in your class too?”

    • Olive

      adorable

    • Keri

      I was working with pre-K students today on a language screening. When I asked a girl to tell me what sounds various letters made, she replied, “Woof!” “Meow!” “Ribbit!”

      • E.

        Kids are the best

  • Nikki

    Been waiting all morning for this thread. I haven’t read other comments yet, so I’m sorry if someone else already brought this up (I suspect many of us might have the same issue), but how do I deal with family members and close friends who I suspect voted for Trump? My parents, whom I love and am super close with, most likely did, as did one of my closest friends (she was my maid of honor!), and other family members as well. I’ve tried to refrain during the whole campaign from engaging in political discussions with these people, as I do really love them and respect their opinions in other areas, but now with everything happening, I’m finding it really hard to reconcile their support for Trump with my own feelings. I’m married to a wonderful man of Mexican descent that my whole family loves, and I just really struggle with how they can separate what Trump has says about Mexicans from my husband and our future children, and still vote for him. Not to mention the terrible things he’s said about women. And basically every other minority group. Is it just cognitive dissonance? I don’t want to think my parents are racist, and I hesitate to think they are, but then how can they support someone who has said such outwardly racist things? And sexist things? We’re supposed to have Thanksgiving with my parents and extended family in a couple weeks, and it’s one of my favorite holidays of the year, and now I’m struggling with how it’s all going to go down. As much as staying silent on politics has kept the peace, I don’t know that it’s terribly productive in the wake of everything that’s happened. Anyone else dealing with this?

    • Emily

      My in-laws definitely voted for Trump. I am just trying to stay away until I can think of the right words.

      • Jessica

        My MIL and SIL keep liking my posts about “now the fight begins,” “serve your community,” “do good in the world,” and I’m super curious if they voted for Hillary or Johnson. No idea, not going to ask, just curious.

      • JLily

        Yep I have been unable to respond to messages from my family right now, and I am not above foregoing holidays as usual. Honestly if it’s going to be MORE damaging to your relationships to see these people rather than giving it some time, that is ok. I’ve never been one to not try and shut that noise down, but it’s important to be able to do it effectively–which means proceeding with level-headedness.

    • Sara

      This article helped me reorganize my thoughts a lot, and #2 I think applies to your situation:

      http://www.cracked.com/blog/dont-panic/

      I also read somewhere that Trump supporters take him seriously, but not literally where as the media took him literally but not seriously. The friends I know that voted for him aren’t hateful people, they’re just angry at the political system and this is the only way they knew to show it. I’m mad that I wasn’t able to see it and talk about it with them until it was too late, and furious at how short sighted the american people are. But the people you love are still those people, just as angry and confused as everyone else is.

      • Nikki

        Thank you, this article was actually very helpful, if for no other reason than that those statistics give me a lot more hope. And in many ways, the Trump supporters I know actually represent those statistics! My dad is pro gay rights/marriage, pro choice, and has never seemed even remotely racist or sexist! My best friend and my mom are concerned about the environment and climate change… it’s so weird! Strangely (maybe?), 100% of the Trump supporters I happen to know are financially well-off. All these things kind of make it harder to reconcile why they’d vote the way they did. Hating the system could be the answer, but it’s mind boggling to me that people could ignore every terrible thing Trump has said/done and vote solely on one reason alone.

        • MC

          Actually exit polls show that the majority of people making under $50,000/year voted for Hillary, so your friends and family are not the exceptions. This article articulates a lot of what I’ve been thinking about the last couple days: http://jezebel.com/please-stop-saying-poor-people-did-this-1788813761

          It could be that they have underlying racial resentment, it could be that they have benefited from politics for so long that they can’t comprehend what could happen to others under a Trump presidency. Regardless of why they chose to vote for Trump, I think the best way to go forward is to talk to them about how you are feeling, how your husband & his family are feeling, how you think about this presidency affecting your future kids, etc. Make sure they understand that even if they were not motivated to vote for him because of his racist & sexist policies, those things came along with it. They might not understand right away, but talking to them about this sonner rather than later means they might change their minds before the next presidential election.

          Of course, it’s easy to type out but so hard to do in our lives. Wishing you & your family the best.

          • it could be that they have benefited from politics for so long that
            they can’t comprehend what could happen to others under a Trump
            presidency.

            I think this is really important, especially if you’ve been living with a narrative that keeps telling you straight white people are being oppressed, but actually everything is fine – that’s going to give you a really skewed idea of what oppression actually is. So on the one hand you think every inconvenience in your life is evidence that the government is oppressing you, and on the other you think that all those people calling out the government for oppressing them are just complaining about being inconvenienced.

          • Jess

            This puts into words exactly what I see so many people around me saying!!! THANK YOU!

            The whole feeling that minor inconveniences are oppression and also that the oppression other people are calling out is just complaining is one that I hear echoed around me *so much*.

    • CP2011

      Yikes. I’m still reeling from the election outcome and definitely very outraged, so my gut response is something like, “cut them out of your life forever”…but I don’t rationally suggest that. I feel very fortunate to not know anyone personally with whom I interact on even a semi-regular basis that voted for Trump, because at this point I really don’t know how I would react.

      • Sarah

        Odds are someone in your circle has voted for him…

        • CP2011

          I agree, and I know I have extended family/coworkers/acquantainces who did, but in terms of people I regularly interact with, everyone was very open about supporting Hillary.

      • Nikki

        As tough as it is, I suppose it can be a good thing, if only because I feel like I can start to try to understand why so many people voted for him. I refuse to believe that EVERYONE who voted for Trump is a terrible person (even if some of them are).

    • Olive

      yessss. I talked to my dad last night and he said “Hillary lost. Are you upset about that?” and I said yes, to which he replied, “I’m not.” He’s literally the most loving man I know (I mean, now I have my husband who is amazing) and it broke my heart. I knew he supported Trump, but just hearing that. Just typing this I’m about to break down at work.

      My family is terrible at communication, and I have no idea how to bring it up to my sister or mom. I want to know where they’re at, but my dad and brother are the only ones who will say anything about who they support.

      • Nikki

        ugh, I’m sorry, and I feel ya. It sucks so much when it’s someone you love – it would be so much easier to just categorically hate all Trump supporters if I didn’t know any. Easier to write them off as racist, sexist bigots. But I DO know Trump supporters, and like you said, they can be loving and otherwise amazing people. It makes my heart hurt.

      • AP

        Ugh, I’m sorry. I was living with my mom and step-dad during the 2012 election, and one day my step-dad told me “you’re too smart to be this stupid” about voting for Obama. To this day it’s one of the most hurtful things a family member has said to me. I don’t know if this is any consolation, but my mom told me on the phone on Wednesday that he is deeply regretful of how he treated me during the 2012 election and now finally understands what I was trying to say and is just waiting for the right time to apologize…so maybe time can heal this for you, too.

        • Olive

          That’s so hurtful, but I find myself thinking the same thing about Trump supporters. I’m trying to remember that a lot of people are scared to lose jobs/upset over lost jobs, and frustrated about the state of the nation and politics, but it seems that “change” has come at a high cost this time around. I also can’t help but think that a vote for him, even with the best intentions, puts a lot of people in danger. I hope he apologizes to you.

          • AP

            It’s funny, I feel the same way about some Trump supporters I know, but I also know Trump supporters who…just don’t have good critical thinking skills. But the common thread across the board for the ones I know is a combo of racism and sexism, rationalized however they want to moment to moment. (And to his credit, my step dad was disgusted by Trump and did not vote for him.)

    • Sosuli

      I totally understand where you’re coming from and came in with a really similar question tonight! I’m an EU immigrant in the UK and have to deal with extended in-laws who voted Brexit and are strongly anti-immigration. I talked about it with one of them pre-referendum and she explained her views as me being a “good immigrant” (she implied because I’m not on welfare, but I also think it has something to do with me being white and not Eastern European), whereas “most” people coming into the UK are “bad immigrants” who just abuse the system. I don’t think she realised that by shutting down the system that lets her supposed “bad” immigrants in, I could also be out. Maybe your family just sees your husband as an exception. In any case, solidarity to you. I’ve also tried to be polite and not breach politics as a topic, but recently I’ve had enough of it and think I will be pointing out that when they talk about immigrants, they’re talking about me. Not in an aggressive way, just as a reminder.

      • Nikki

        Oof yeah, that is rough. The whole dichotomy of “good” vs. “bad” immigrant is so hard to try to understand in any other terms than racism. I’m sure you’re right though — my husband is a citizen, and could certainly pass for white if you didn’t know his dad was Mexican. And I don’t even think my parents are anti-immigration (well, Mexico immigration, I don’t know their feelings about Muslims/refugees/etc.). My best friend… I think is another story. Which really makes me sad/sick. But I might do the same – just non-aggressively remind them when it comes up how those kind of underlying racist tones directly affect my husband and I.

    • Poppy

      I’m not saying this is easy, or even really possible, but I think we all have to start speaking up to the degree that we can while taking care of our loved ones who are most at risk – you don’t want to retraumatize your husband by forcing him into antagonistic situations with his in-laws. I’ve been shutting up to keep the peace in some contexts too, but at least for me, the time for that has long passed. I should have stopped shutting up a long time ago. It seems to me that we need a shared vocabulary from which to help the people we love who voted for Trump confront their own biases, many of which might be hidden even to them. While I agree that we need to, in our own minds, be able to handle the seemingly-conflicting idea that someone could have voted for Trump and still be a “good” person, we also have to keep staring white supremacy in the face and calling it by its name. My plan is to assemble a list of key things to read/listen to/watch and ask people who voted for him to pick at least one to read/listen/watch and then engage with me about – stuff like Ava Duvernay’s 13th, “Between the World and Me,” “How Does it Feel to be a Problem,” the NYBOOKs piece about surviving autocracy… We need to redouble our efforts to educate people in anti-racism. The fact is that when someone can ignore the very real risk voting for Trump represents to the non-White, non-Christian, non-hetero, non-cis gender people in their lives in order to vote anti-establishment, anti-trade, or anti-interventionalist ideals (and I’ve being SUPER generous in assuming that those were the reasons people voted for him rather than just blatant misogyny), that’s white supremacy.

      • Nikki

        Thank you for this response. It’s tough, but I think you’re right. I completely agree, it’s time to stop letting things slide, even if they come from our loved ones. Thank you. Definitely going to check out those writings you mentioned.

    • BSM

      I posted this upthread, but it’s also relevant to your post:

      Friends, we cannot stay silent any longer!

      White people, we have all somehow collectively decided to let Great Aunt Betsy and crazy Grandpa Joe off the hook at Thanksgiving.
      She’s old, we say. He’s from a different era, we nod.
      But if we ALL let our 1 or 2 or 5 racist family members or friends get away with it, then guess what? NO ONE IS CALLING ANYONE OUT ON THEIR BULLSHIT.

      I am sorry that it took me so long to realize this, and I vow to do better. Please join me in bringing constructive tension to White America.

  • Emily

    Guys I am so so sorry that Michigan went red. I don’t even know what’s going on here.
    I feel really lucky my office is mostly women and all dems; no one has had to put on a fake happy face this week.

    • Trinity

      I’m sorry, too! I can’t believe so many of my neighbors voted for Trump. But I’m REALLY frustrated with those who couldn’t get over their love for Bernie, and couldn’t get behind Hillary.

    • savannnah

      My friends who work in social services in Detroit with small families are the most devastated in my circle.

    • Lisa

      I was really grateful for the same thing on Wednesday. I knew my state would go red, but I was totally blindsided otherwise. It was helpful to have a co-worker and boss who didn’t judge me for breaking down during Hillary’s concession.

    • Olive

      I’m in MI too, and so happy my county was blue, but so disappointed in my state. Everyone at work has been in the dumps this week. My boss is still rocking his “Fuck Trump” button on his computer bag, though, which makes me smile every time I see it.

      • Emily

        My county went blue too but that almost makes it feel worse I think. Haha, I would leave the button on for the next 4 years–we’re probably going to need some reasons to smile.

        • Olive

          I’m still upset that our representative got reelected. There was an awesome girl boss running against him, but she didn’t make it.

          I told my boss I was happy to see it and he said he’s buying more. I’m stocking up on shirts from feminist apparel as we speak.

          • Kaitlyn

            I went and bought that sweatshirt “Women Belong in the House and the Senate” on Tuesday as a way to make myself feel better.

      • BSM

        I continue to wear mine because, really, Fuck Trump.

    • Ashlah

      Sending so much sympathy to all of you living in red states, especially the unexpected ones. When I went out in public for the first time on Wednesday, in a deeply blue county in a blue state, I felt weirdly paranoid and uncomfortable, wondering who around me had voted for this mess. I can’t even imagine how much worse it must feel outside of my bubble.

      • AP

        OMG I work from home and couldn’t bring myself to leave the house until this morning. I went to the grocery store and wandered around, not making eye contact with anyone. I live in a deeply red state and I know I was probably one of a handful in the store who voted for Hillary. I totally get the paranoia.

  • Oy Vey

    So last night, I did it. I broke up with him.

    I had signed a lease Wednesday night. Was really excited about it all in that “sick to your stomach, how high is this rollercoaster actually?” way.

    And then, last night, I went into the house, told him I was leaving and why and then… He said everything I wanted to hear 3 weeks ago. He loves me. He wants what I want – what I think is important is important to him. He’d go to counseling. He’d visit my parents with me. Stay in the house with them. He was compassionate. Loving. Listening. Such a stark contrast to three weeks ago.

    But he also denied drawing lines in the sand where he drew lines in the sand. He claims he was REALLY hurt by what I said 3 weeks ago and that’s why he said so many hurtful things. He wishes I’d talked to him about all this before making a decision.

    I told him I didn’t feel safe talking to him based on how he reacted. I told him that he was gaslighting me and I didn’t know which way was up. He told me to take time to think if I needed it.

    I told him I was leaving and my friend, her boyfriend, and my sister were here to help me pack. He told me to just pack for a few days. He told me he’d help me and not to just rip off a bandaid by taking everything.

    I told my friend, her boyfriend, and my sister not to come in at first. Just to give me boxes. I started packing – books. He told me not to. “Why don’t you take toiletries?” I said, “I will.”

    10 minutes later, my sister barged in. 2 minutes after that, my now-ex took our dog and himself into a spare room. Partially because the dog started barking. Partially because he needed some time alone. Partially because he couldn’t watch me pack. That’s what I think anyway…

    Five minutes later, my friend and her boyfriend came in. It took us about 90 minutes to pack up all my stuff and load it into our cars. I said goodbye at the door to the spare room. I heard nothing. I left. Just as we were about to get into our cars, he ran out with the dog. The dog said goodbye to me. He said, “see ya.” I texted two of his best friends, told them what happened, and asked them to be there for him. They said they would.

    Then, we went to my new place, and unloaded my stuff. By then, it was 11:30. I packed an overnight bag and then went to stay at my sister’s last night. The moving truck is coming tomorrow at 9am to bring my bed and all my furniture I kept in storage. I ate Chicken McNuggets with sweet n sour sauce, fries, and Orange Drink – the dinner of my childhood from when my parents went on date night. And I fell asleep while watching NCIS from an air mattress on my sister’s floor.

    Now I’m at work, barely holding it together. He texted me asking whether I knew where one of our dog’s toys was. He added how much he loved me and wanted to work on things. We were supposed to see a play for his birthday next week. I gave him the tickets. He asked me to send the file so he could sell them …or said he wanted to go – he doesn’t want to go without me. He apologized and told me he loved me again.

    I’m radio silent now, but so confused. I know that if I don’t stay in my apartment, I’m out $17,000 in rent (for the year). That’s what I keep reminding myself.

    Despite everything, I still love him. And if he wants to work on things and himself…maybe it will work out. Or maybe it won’t. Either way, I’m stuck now.

    • Oy Vey

      Oh, and I’m not going to the play. I sent him the tickets.

    • Jessica

      You are so, so strong. I’m proud of you. You are valuable, and he has not treated you like you are. You are worth so much love and care. I’m rooting for you.

    • Sara

      Stay strong Oy Vey. The leaving is the toughest part, especially while still in love. I’m glad you have people that love and supported your decision, and that you weren’t alone on your first night. You got this. You can do it.

    • Emily

      Really proud of you! Sorry it sucks now, but at least you have the space to make it better.

    • Trinity

      I’m so proud of you! And I’m not surprised at all that he said everything you wanted to hear when he realized you were leaving–and I’m not surprised that he’s now testing your resolve. Stay strong. Your life is going to get SO MUCH BETTER when you don’t have to questions your thoughts and feelings anymore.

      • saywhatnow

        Exactly this – it’s a manipulative tactic : say what he needs to say to mollify you, get you to come back, change nothing at all. Oh, but he WILL forever blame you for leaving, and use it as an excuse to treat you badly (punishment).

        Don’t give in. The best awaits you!

    • Lisa

      It’s so hard to work up the courage to leave a bad situation, especially when you still care and wish the best for the other person. This is a small victory for you even if it doesn’t feel like it now. Things will get better, and you’ll be available to a relationship with a person who treats you and your family with the respect you deserve.

    • Olive

      So proud of you. Hope healing comes quickly.

    • CP2011

      You are so strong!

    • Danielle

      That first freedom meal sounds delicious. I hope you enjoyed every bite <3

    • At the risk of being entirely cheesy, I feel like HRC’s statement “Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world” applies here. Those feelings of love shouldn’t only come after you’re leaving. You should feel that way every single day. It was never going to be easy, but it sounds like you have strong support. Lean on your sister, take some long walks in nature with your phone at home, and give yourself some time to just be.

      • Oy Vey

        Between this and the election, I could use some cheesy, especially the HRC variety.

        Thanks.

      • saywhatnow

        I love that quote. It made me cry – it’s SO true, something I was never told or knew about myself, and applies to everything from career to love.

        • Her entire speech was the classiest, most inspiring gift that I quite frankly feel like this nation did not deserve that day. What a generous woman. I’ve written that quote on some post it notes that I plan to leave in women’s rest rooms this weekend…. I’ve even seen women getting tattoos of “valuable, powerful, deserving”. Thanks for the love, HRC

          • Alanna Cartier

            I have never wanted a tattoo, but this week all I want is some way to recognize her tenacity and her generosity. The tattoo idea suddenly seemed so appealing. I love this idea and I’m going to take note of it as I plan.

    • E.

      You should be so proud of yourself! Rooting for you.

    • Jess

      I’m so proud of you! You handled that move out with such strength and commitment.

      Good luck moving forward from here!

    • Katherine

      You have already taken some huge steps and shown incredible strength, Oy Vey. I have been here. I know how hard it is not to listen to his words. Lean on your community – they’ve already shown that they’re more than willing to help and they will continue to be there. This is so, so hard, but you will get through this. Sending love.

    • sofar

      It almost would’ve been easier if he’d melted down and been a manipulative jackass, huh?

      But here’s the thing … he had up until yesterday to say all those great things — and chose not to. You leaving made him feel desperate, and so he did what he knew might work — say everything you needed to hear.

      I’ve had friends go through this and the ones who backed out of breaking up saw a few weeks of excellent behavior from their partners, after which they reverted to their old behavior. I’m not saying people don’t change, but not many can change, fundamentally, who they are. And I’m not saying your now-ex is a bad person, but it’s like constantly swimming against the current to change who you are, and I don’t think he or anyone could keep that up beyond a few weeks.

      Wow, what a week for you. Amid a tumultuous election, you have to start your life from scratch.

      • Oy Vey

        “It almost would’ve been easier if he’d melted down and been a manipulative jackass, huh?”

        Yes. And that’s what I was expecting. Instead, he did the only thing I hadn’t planned on… again (I mean, I even had a suicide hotline number in my back pocket just in case!). But this – kindness, compassion – where was that before?

        I told him a while ago that if he was looking for someone to change him, he should find someone else. I meet people where they are – it’s my strategy at work and in my personal life. It’s one of the few things I’m absolutely confident I know about myself.

        So I’m not interested in telling him what I want him to be. If he wants to change his behavior and figure out what he wants out of life, and in a year or two, if he has done that and it aligns with what I want – not because I want it, but because it aligns, then that would be great.

        But I wonder, when this year is up, if I will have outgrown him.

        I’ll find out.

        Thanks for your reply – your words have especially resonated with me as I’ve navigated these difficult waters over the past few weeks.

        … Wow, what a week for me, indeed.

        • sofar

          Wow, you’ve GOT this! Your attitude is so emotionally healthy. The ability to see the big picture isn’t something everyone has, and I’m SO GLAD you have it.

        • Jess

          “I told him a while ago that if he was looking for someone to change him, he should find someone else. I meet people where they are”

          This is SUCH a great attitude!

        • saywhatnow

          “You leaving made him feel desperate, and so he did what he knew might work — say everything you needed to hear.”

          But you see, that move WAS him being a manipulative jackass! Don’t mistake it for 100% kindness.

    • Amy March

      Despite everything, he is still someone who abuses you, not just in the last three weeks, but for a long time. I am a firm believer that you cannot work through things while you are still entangled with them. Which to me means cutting off contact. Or he will be using your vulnerability against you. He already is. Your dog’s toy? Just an excuse to be contacting you. The play? A ploy to make you feel guilty. Talk is cheap. When he had the opportunity to work through this, he was hostile and abusive. It’s easy to say all the right things, but he has proven he is not capable of doing them.

      If you genuinely want it to work out, I think the only way it can, and can be healthy, is for it to end. For you to experience life without abuse. For you to get some serious therapy about it. Spend time with your family and friends on your terms. Become fully and truly yourself again.

      Stay in your new apartment and build yourself a life for you. You’ve taken the hardest step already and you are more than strong enough for the rest.

      • AP

        Yes, this absolutely something I had to learn. My abusive ex tried many tactics to get a response from me. In my case, when he realized I was immune to pleas for forgiveness and I’ll-try-harders, he tried baiting me with promises of paying me back for money he owed me. He knew I was broke (he drained all my money!) so he knew it was likely to get me to call him back. I always called him back, and then he would either push me into conversations I didn’t want to have or start relentlessly contacting me and (surprise!) I never saw any money. It took a good friend pointing out his pattern to me to get me to see that he would say anything just to stay in my life. It took cutting off ALL contact for me to be able to see everything clearly, without the emotions and memories clouding my judgement. I wholeheartedly agree that no contact is best for both of you.

        • Danielle

          Yes. My ex tried to contact me several times with the promise of sending my stuff back (I had moved out and was not able to take all my stuff).

          At first I replied to him, then I realized it threw me into a panic every time he contacted me. So I totally cut him off.

          Guess what? He finally sent a few things back last year… almost 7 years later!!! (Needless to say, I had survived just fine without them.)

          • Alanna Cartier

            My EX still tries to contact me (five years later) with the excuse that he wants to “apologize for how it ended”. He tried this once when he grabbed me as I was getting off a train, when he asked my friends and family for contact, and he’s messaged me. A few months after we broke up he sent me a strange Happy Anniversary text (we broke up, so there’s no more anniversary fool!). In my case, it was all clearly a tactic to get even a small bit of control over my life again.

          • Lisa

            My abusive high school boyfriend tried this tactic for a long time. He’d want to get together to apologize for how he’d treated me, to talk about how things had ended, etc. When that didn’t work and I said I wanted my space, he started using our mutual friends to get in touch with me and would contact me incessantly on AIM. I blocked him on AIM, and he would create new screen names to “talk to me.” I would tell him to leave me alone, and he would say that he hoped I felt guilty for how I’d treated him and that, if he died while deployed (he joined the Marines in college), I would forever regret my actions.

            I eventually got a new AIM name in college after that last incident, blocked him preemptively on all social media when I joined, and stopped talking to the “friends” who would try and intercede for him. It took a year and a half to get any space from him.

          • Danielle

            Oh dear lord. My ex sent me a wierd birthday gift almost a year after we had broken up. It’s like, what am I supposed to do with this?

            You’re right, I think in a lot of these cases, it is their attempt to gain control over us.

            NOPE!

      • Alanna Cartier

        I was in a VERY similar relationship. In the weeks after the breakup, I felt exactly like you are feeling. For me, I needed to cut off contact, because I needed time to be alone with me. He took that chance to be a big time nightmare (things like making me ransom my cat with the engagement ring… for an engagement he broke off. It was yikes).

        What I can say is that giving yourself some time to mourn and some time to get in touch with how you really feel without him manipulating you may give you a lot of clarity. Amy March is right. The hardest step is the step to leave. You are strong enough for the rest.

    • Trillian

      Oy vey I have never posted before but wanted to offer what little support I can over the internet.

      You had posted over the last couple of weeks about how you have worked through what matters to you which is to be in a safe place where you wouldn’t be manipulated.

      This sounds very much like more manipulation to get you to do what he wants so I worry for you.

      Please try to get support from a councillor if you can and certainly if you are going to go back to him make it a precondition that couples counselling must be part of the way forward so you have a structured support process.

      It’s really hard to leave when you are still in love – it’s like strong ropes bind you. But from everything you have said you have made a really good choice for you to leave and now you need to work on cutting the ropes.

      Make sure you have people to talk to so the ‘what if’ conversations don’t just bounce around inside your head and make you feel isolated. You will feel lonely after living with someone now you have moved in by yourself but don’t mistake the loniness for missing him as well. Fill your life with good people who don’t manipulate you and do things which you enjoy.

      We all in this community clearly worry for you and want only the best for you.

      Big hug from an internet stranger

    • G.

      You’ve been so strong, and are in the midst of a smart but hard transition.

      Here’s the thing: he said the right things when he was teetering on the edge of the cliff. He could have said them when he was 10 steps back. He didn’t. That was his choice, and now he has to deal with the consequences.

      Build your life, live your life. It’s possible that he’ll re-enter it at some point, but it will have to be on your terms not his. More likely, you’ll build an awesome life without him, and whatever twists and turns come your way, you’ll navigate them with courage and with the support of your family and friends who are there for you now. Stay in your apartment, make it yours, take care of yourself, reach out to friends, go to the movies, cook for yourself, keep working hard to be and become the person you want to be.

    • anon

      I’ve been following your story and silently cheering you on, but this is my first time to comment on it, because I think you need to hear this. I agree with Amy March, G and few others, who’ve already said it but it bears repeating.
      He only said those wonderful things after you told him you were leaving, because he was desperate. He would’ve said anything if he thought it would keep you from leaving. Now he’s pulling the classic move of trying to get back in your ear, to make you think about him, miss him, feel guilty, and (he hopes) come back to him. But in my experience, it’s very rare for people to change, especially within a short time. You love him still and that’s okay, but that doesn’t make his wellbeing your responsibility and it doesn’t mean you have to get back together.
      Stay strong. Take care of yourself. We’re all rooting for you.

    • toomanybooks

      You did it!!! ???????? Congratulations! I can see it must have been so hard but you’re over the hump. <3

    • AP

      You aren’t stuck, you’re free. Sending you love and strength. This part sucks, I know. It’s confusing and terrible, but you WILL start to feel like yourself again. IT’S OK to trust your own gut and your own voice more than you trust his. You CAN trust yourself.

    • Gaby

      Another voice chiming in to say he’s saying what you want to hear as a last resort. He may not be knowingly trying to manipulate you, but like you said below you can’t be the person to change him. I was in a relationship with many break ups and gas-lighting involved. Every time we had broken up, it was initiated by him because he needed space or didn’t feel like it was “working out” and he’s reel me back in just as I was getting ready to move on every time. When I finally got sick of the pattern and not being appreciated, I ended it. And he suddenly became someone willing to compromise and so willing to do whatever he could to work it out. Luckily, this just finalized to me that the relationship could not continue. I had tried everything I could countless times and deserved to be appreciated and treated better, just as you do now.

    • AmandaBee

      I know it hurts to think about this, but with my ex I really had to cut off contact to move on and heal. It was too easy to fall back into the trap of his emotional dependence.

      You may find that it’s different for you, but keep an eye on your reactions. If it seems hard to move on with him reaching out, it’s OK to ask for him to stop contacting you for a few months. Hopefully he’ll respect that need.

      • Kara

        He may not respect that need. You can block his calls, if you need the space.
        You can block his emails, and if he doesn’t know where your new apartment is, you won’t have to see him.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I’m so happy you’re safe. I’ve been thinking about you this week and hoping things were going well. You’re so strong and brave to do this hard, hard thing, made even harder by nice words that SHOULD be easy to hear, but your gut knew the truth.

      You’ve got this. Hugs to you.

    • emilyg25

      In my experience, breaking up with a long-time, live-in boyfriend is really big and scary and if you stay in contact, it’s super easy to get back together. And then end up breaking up and moving out again in a few weeks. Being friends with exes is cool, but you need a few months of no contact to give yourself space to do the right thing.

    • EF

      so proud of you oy vey. it takes SO MUCH strength to do what you did. and i know it’s confusing, and sucks, and there are doubts — but stay strong.

      also? your sister sounds amazing. so glad you have people in your corner.

    • saywhatnow

      YOU DID THE RIGHT THING!! And it’s all going to be okay. Remember what you wrote: he said what you wanted to hear ONLY when he felt he had to. That’s not something you can believe: he should give willingly, not under pressure. These aren’t claims you can trust, either: he’s still blaming you for the asshole things HE SAID! You’re right: he’s gaslighting you. You deserve sosososososo much better.

      Please remember that. It’s hard now, but the best is to come. You’ve seen who he is. He won’t change, especially if he wouldn’t before. Stay strong.

    • Christy

      This might be weird to say (since so many posters say they’ve been following your posts for a long time) but as someone who hasn’t read any earlier posts of yours, this guy sounds incredibly manipulative and I’m glad you left him. It sounds like he was grasping at anything to get you to stay. It’s not cool.

      Idk if the perspective of a way-outsider is helpful, but here it is. Please stay in the apartment and block his calls.

    • NTB

      I want to share my experience, because I’m in a similar place and it might not be much help – just know you are not alone.

      On February 7, my husband, an alcoholic who’d recently gone back to drinking after months of marijuana abuse (and verbal and emotional abuse against me for months/years on and off) literally packed up his things and left our home. He had nowhere to go except his law office. He lived out of his office and our car for 9 months. During that time, he almost drank himself to death. Also, during that time, I pleaded with him, as I had for the previous months and years, to seek help for his addictive and highly unpredictable behavior. But my boundary was that I would not live with him as long as he chose to use.

      Aside from the substance abuse, which I realize is a mental illness and a serious problem for which medical treatment is needed, he was very difficult to live with and abused me emotionally and verbally for months prior to his relapse. Looking back, it’s very hard to tease apart the effects of substance abuse vs. who someone “is.” This is still something I struggle with as I make the decision to file for divorce vs. go back and try to make it work.

      While he was away, I continued to keep him on my health plan so that he could enter rehab without it costing thousands and thousands of dollars. I paid our premiums. I insured our vehicles. All while he got to live the way he wanted to, without any accountability or responsibility. I met with lawyers, accountants, and eventually hired an attorney. His sister was the only one who was able to get him into rehab. He exited rehab in mid-October. He has been sober for more than 30 days now, and is living with someone he met while in rehab.

      Like you, I feel stuck, and I am living in limbo. I hate it. Thank goodness that I can live with family – otherwise, I would be broke. The rehab bills are rolling in, and our insurance will cover most of it. Keep in mind, my husband has lost his law license and is not working. He is going to meetings and taking good care of himself, but he is not working or providing any income. He has $80k in student loan debt.

      I know what the answer is. After discussions with counselors, friends, and my family members, it is clear to me that he has been abusing me and gaslighting me for YEARS so that I would pay for everything, be responsible for everything, so that he could still live and act like a little boy. He has lied to me about money, taxes, financial information, credit cards, and debt. He has said horrible things to me while drunk and while sober. His promises to change and work on our marriage, in my opinion, are empty. He says all the right things, but he’s not doing the right things. And going through rehab, although a great first step, is not

      As someone who has been living and functioning alone for the last 10 months, I can tell you: it gets easier. Everyone told me this when it first happened, and I didn’t believe it. But it does. IT DOES. I have carved out more time for myself to figure out what I want in life, because there is more to life than babysitting a grown man. Here I am, calling United Healthcare and figuring out what our financial obligations are…is he doing that? no.

      My best advice is the same advice I received from my therapist. The change will be evident by what he DOES, not what he SAYS. Pay attention ONLY to what he does. For YOU. For the relationship.

      On a personal note, I feel more like a mother to him than a partner, an equal, a wife. If you feel like your world is always topsy turvy and like you’re being taken advantage of, lied to, or abused, it means you are and it’s NOT OKAY.

      Wishing you all the best. I know it’s difficult. xoxo

      • Lisa

        I’m so sorry for the situation you and Oy Vey are in. Sending you both love and strength during this difficult time.

    • joanna b.n.

      I’d offer a rephrasing. Either way, you took the necessary steps to draw healthy boundaries for yourself. You may not be stuck so much as free? And now, going forward, you have the opportunity to reevaluate that relationship. You can even try dating him again someday if you get to the point where you feel you would be safe. But instead of doing it on his terms, where you seemed pretty darn stuck, you can do anything going forward on your own terms.

      Wishing you all the best. Healing, hope, happiness, the whole shebang.

  • Ashlah

    Anyone else struggling with feeling like they could have done more? (If only this, if only that…). I feel guilty for not wanting to talk politics, to keep the peace. I read this morning that if just 1 in 100 voters had switched from Trump to Clinton, she would have won by a large margin. That’s sounds so small. Such a tiny change would have made such a gigantic difference. How could we have missed it by that little?

    A small part of me, trying to see something positive in all the shit, takes solace in this meaning that maybe this election isn’t as indicative of massive bigotry in our electorate as it seems, since a small change would have had us celebrating massive progress. But it’s hard.

    • CP2011

      I tend to think in “what-if” patterns, but in this case I really don’t. My family worked hard — donating, calling, my mom was even a voter deputy and registered a bunch of people to vote. What we can’t change is that fact that people are just stupid and prefer to be entrenched in their own opinions. I have to believe that the vast majority of Trump supporters (and “Republican no matter whats”) made up their mind long ago and wouldn’t have been open to change. Hillary ran the best campaign she could have (in my opinion, it was fabulous) but her 30 years of baggage were just too much for the people who may have voted for a different Dem. but instead opted not to vote.

    • Ashlah

      Oh, also struggling with a lot of hatred for James Comey, whether or not that’s rational.

      • MC

        I don’t think it’s irrational – regardless of whether or not the outcome of the election would have changed, his actions fueled a narrative about Hillary that the GOP has been pushing for 25 years, all for the news to be literally NOTHING. Fuck that guy.

      • Rose

        Ugh, I’m so incredigly angry at him right now. It’s not just you.

        • Doubleblue

          I’m saving some of my wrath for Anthony Weiner. And even a smidgeon for Huma Abedin. You know your husband has a few “issues” with inappropriate electronic communications and you use his laptop to check email from your boss who, oh, by the way, has had a presidential run in the plans for like 15 years? Why? Why be so careless? WTF?

    • Eenie

      I felt like this. But then last night at dinner, one of my friends thanked me. She said she’s never cast her ballot being more informed than she was this year. She felt great about voting for Clinton.

    • CP2011

      Separate thought from my response below, but in the same vein. Not that I could have done more, but I realize now I shortsighted I was during the primaries. I was convinced, absolutely convinced, that Sanders was un-electable. I was sure he, a self-declared democratic socialist, would have been squashed like a bug. Now, I’m not so sure. I still have a ton of issues with how he ran his campaign and the (in my mind, impossible & irresponsible) promises he made, but I would have gladly voted for him had I known how this would end.

      • flashphase

        I know the feeling – of COURSE if me from today had a time machine, I would have voted for Sanders or really anyone over a KKK-endorsed bigot. But I made the best decision with the information that I had, and many many many of us up until a few days ago thought that Hillary was electable.

      • toomanybooks

        I think the main thing that would’ve made him more electable was that he was a man. And hasn’t had enough experience to do anything people found disagreeable. (coming from someone who really liked Bernie and was undecided right up until the moment I got to the primary and knew in my bones I was voting for Hillary)

        • CP2011

          Definitely. And I know I underestimated populist anger, probably because the way I see it, we are so much better off than we were 8 years ago when it comes to domestic issues.

      • MC

        I dunno – obviously we can’t know what would have happened if Sanders was the nominee, but I have a very hard time imagining that Trump voters would have instead voted to elect the first Jewish president. I think we would have seen way more Antisemitism than was already present during this campaign. Maybe fewer Dems would have come out to vote if Hillary or another woman wasn’t on the top of the ticket… but does that mean we just keep nominating white men? That’s not the Democratic party I want either.

        Also, the idea that most Trump voters are disenfranchised working-class whites is untrue; most working-class folks voted for Hillary: http://jezebel.com/please-stop-saying-poor-people-did-this-1788813761

        • BSM

          Completely agree.

        • joanna b.n.

          I just think that maybe more people would have come out (any of that 49% who stayed home) for Bernie, than they did for Hillary. But hindsight is 20/20…

    • JC

      Yes, I didn’t do enough.

    • MrsRalphWaldo

      I feel that way a lot. “If only I had tried to educate my brothers more.” “If only I had been able to connect with them and change their minds” “they can’t all possibly understand the implications” It’s hard to move past the fact that I could have campaigned. I could have had a stronger voice. I could have had signs, and made calls, and convinced people. Now I’ve volunteered for about 6 or 7 non profits and looked into the process of running for office. Too little too late.

    • toomanybooks

      I know. I donated, I was vocal about my support for her, I talked to people, I posted a LOT on social media. But I was sure she was going to win. What would I have done if I had thought that it would’ve even been close?

      But could we have changed the electoral college vote?

    • emmers

      I’m trying not to get weighed down by what ifs, and trying to figure out what I do now.

    • Liz

      You are not alone in the “I should have done more” camp. I should have. And I am incredibly humbled by my own shortsightedness in this and assuming that HRC would win. I didn’t listen – on a lot of sides. I didn’t listen to the communities of color that said this was possible. And I didn’t listen or take Trump supporters seriously either. I am realizing that I need to bring myself back to this every single day – there is not time to get complacent. I’m trying not to wallow in shame but I am trying to get out of the bubble that I’ve been living in and focus on taking action.

      • LizGB

        I’m with you, fellow Liz. I identify with your post 100%. Shame is an appropriate reaction, I think. It means we have empathy and self-awareness. And it motivates us not to be complacent. We screwed up but we can and WILL do better!

    • Doubleblue

      In 2012, Obama lost NC by just an average of two votes per precinct. Per precinct! It does not take a lot to sway an election. I did donate a lot and volunteer this year. I had a terrible sense of foreboding on Tuesday and cancelled my meetings and raced into the office to pick up a canvassing shift. I knocked on over 50 doors in the hours before the polls closed to get out the vote. My candidates mostly lost in NC, and I am devastated, but I have less of a feeling of nagging guilt because I really did do almost everything I could.

    • LizGB

      I am feeling the exact same way. I should have done more. I should have campaigned. One of my close friends didn’t vote because she wasn’t registered. WHAT??? I should have been talking to all my friends and making sure they were all ready! I should have been driving people to the polls and making sure every single liberal I know got their vote in. I should have called up my uncle and convinced him not to vote for Trump. I should have… just done anything more than I did. I am struggling a massive amount of guilt.

      I am not going to make this mistake again. I will put my money and time into organizations that protect the rights of people who are threatened by this. I will do everything in my power to turn my state (a swing state) blue in 2018 and 2020. I am hoping that enough complacent liberals like me have been shocked awake that we can finally get people on the right side of this next time.

  • Kelly

    Feeling better than Tuesday but still in disbelief. My mom, who is half Mexican and is identifiably Hispanic, is scared. I’m 1/4 so I appear very white yet this election was always deeply personal given my background. Not that you have to be a minority to be effected, anyone with an ounce of empathy should have seen through Trump. Maybe that’s one of the toughest parts- seeing that people you know were complicit in his racism even though “that’s not why they voted for him”.

  • emmers

    This election woke me up from my white girl complacency. I had thought our country was moving in the right direction, so I hadn’t been organizing like I used to. I was wrong. There’s still work to do, and I need to be a part of it. I’ve been looking at places to volunteer & give $$.

    I’ve also been heartened by my husband who didn’t like Hillary but voted for her anyways as an anti-trump action. I’ve also been seeing him use his white male privilege in conversations with family and colleagues in ways I hadn’t before, in a good way. So that’s been encouraging.

  • KK

    Wednesday, in the rain, was moving day for us (well, at least loading day. It will take over a week for our stuff and us to get to Colorado from Pennsylvania). The rain mingled with my tears. It feels slightly encouraging that our new home state voted for Hillary, but this also means my blue vote is leaving Pennsylvania.
    We are in the middle of selecting health insurance for 2017… and now wondering how the likely repeal of the ACA will affect our future.
    I have so many concerns… about the safety of my fellow citizens, the future of our warming planet, availability of health care and a woman’s right to choose. I am privileged to feel that my life, and my way of life, is not in real danger, but my heart breaks that others do not have that privilege. I am so disappointed that so many Americans could vote for someone who said so many terrible things and simply has no qualifications.
    I dread Thanksgiving with my husband’s parents, who were not big Trump supporters initially (Ted Cruz supporters instead, which isn’t much of a consolation to me), but voted for him nonetheless because they are staunch Republicans and see Hillary and Democrats as the enemy. I can’t help but feel it was a vote against me personally in many ways.
    I desperately hope that the American people and our governmental institutions will prevent catastrophe, but I worry that Trump’s terrifying authoritarianism will be stronger than we expect.

    A fresh start in a new state seems like a good time for me to personally get more involved in social justice issues and politics. I certainly feel called to act and can no longer expect others to do it for me. My husband said the best part of this election might be that people do get more involved in local politics and such. I hope that is the silver lining, but a Trump presidency seems to be an extremely terrible price to pay.

    UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH

  • Danielle

    One article I’ve found very helpful for framing this insanity is “Autocracy: Rules for Survival” http://www2.nybooks.com/daily/s3/nov/10/trump-election-autocracy-rules-for-survival.html

    The standout point to me is that there will be calls to normalize the results, and we should not do so. We can express our grief, fear, rage and shock — in fact, it is necessary to do so.

    Nothing about this is normal, and we don’t have to “get over it” or accept it.

    • Ashlah

      That’s a scary, and necessary, article. I’m hoping as hard as I can that I’m overreacting, but, as I’ve discussed with so many people in the last few days, bad things DO happen due to bad leaders. Bad things have happened, and they will happen again, and we cannot assume that everything is fine just because they’ve been fine for a while. It is important to acknowledge that Trump’s rhetoric places him squarely in line with historically horrifying leaders, and to be aware of what may come of it. Complacency is dangerous.

      • Danielle

        It is scary, but honestly it gives me a framework for the fears I already had.

        (Personal background: I am Jewish and was raised in a Jewish community with many Holocaust survivors, and a few of my relatives did NOT survive. From a young age I was aware this sort of thing was possible. It is a terrifying sense of deja vu. Like, oh yeah, it’s happening again.)

        • flashphase

          I feel this exactly as a descedent of Holocaust survivors and non-survivors. It feels like trauma I’ve experienced and brings to the forefront of my mind what was always in the back of it.
          I’m happy to talk if you need someone to talk to.

          • Danielle

            Thank you, flashphase. I am also happy to talk :)

            Many of my Jewish friends are feeling the same way. Makes me think of the idea of cultural memory: something we did not directly experience, but it affects us so much.

            This article about being gay and Jewish summed it up for me really well: http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2016/11/09/i_am_a_gay_jew_in_trump_s_america_and_i_am_terrified.html He says that we were raised with two conflicting ideas: America is safe, and violence can happen at any moment. That really resonated with me. It’s an interesting and wierd place to be.

          • flashphase

            In therapy, I learned about generational trauma – the idea that when something like the Holocaust happens, it’s actually passed down 3 generations in our DNA (!!!).

            I will now work to protect Muslim Americans so they don’t have to turn this election trauma into generational trauma.

          • Danielle

            Wow, that is amazing!!

            My family history is interesting: most relatives emigrated to the US before the war. But then two cousins went back to Europe (!) and as my mom says, “never came back.” I feel that we talk about it in a way that evades what really happened.

            Yes. I want to connect with local immigrant groups in my area; we have large Somali and Ethiopian populations here and I am afraid for what they may be experiencing right now.

    • BSM

      Thank you for sharing that and for refusing to normalize this.

  • Anon

    Hi all,
    It’s been a rough week. I have just started feeling like I can start channeling my emotions into actions.

    This is what I’ve done.
    Started paying subscriptions to a few local and national media organizations (in addition to our NPR and PBS donations). Independent journalism is going to be incredibly important and I want to do my part to support it. We cancelled our spotify premium and hulu add free add on to help offset the costs.

    I’ve started taking some steps to get out of my echo chamber. I am coming to terms with the fact that I haven’t done enough to engage my friends and family on both sides of the aisle in the name of being polite. I am personally wrestling with the conflict between how to hear and try to understand other points of view while not tacitly endorsing many isms. How to say my message and my beliefs with the passion and emotion I feel behind them, without shutting down the conversation.

    I have put the contact information for all of my representatives into my phone. I’m in the process of writing a letter to them.

    I’m also looking into running for local office.

    If you are at the action stage, what are you doing/thinking of doing?

    • Kelly

      I’m interested in joining a national feminist organization. I tried going on the NOW site but it’s crashed with all the web traffic

      • MC

        That gives me so much hope – I hope that NOW, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, and others are FLOODED with donations and can keep everything from going to shit.

        • Doubleblue

          Don’t forget the Center for Reproductive Rights. They are awesome!

    • touchdownton abbey

      I’ve donated to my causes and emailed my representatives.
      I’m mostly lost. I’m trying to not feel hopeless, and funnel my frustration for the next four years into making sure this is a 1 term presidency.

    • Olive

      I recently downloaded an app called Countable, which shows you bills and background info and lets you tell your reps your opinion in one click! I’ve been wanting to get more involved with making my voice heard, and I received automated email replies from my reps commenting on the issue and their stance. I’m excited about it.

      • Gaby

        this sounds incredibly helpful, thank you.

      • MrsRalphWaldo

        Thank you for sharing!

    • Just Me

      I’m just starting to get out of the shock/sadness/anger and feeling glimpses of resolve and action. I live in the bay area in CA so….super blue part of a super blue state and all my family/co-workers/friends are just as upset as I am.

      I have realized that I need to get out of my bubble and doing things to make the world a better place. I’m hopefully moving to a different part of the state within the next 6-9 months but in that time frame I am committed to learning Spanish (I took French in high school) so I can communicate with many more of my fellow citizens in their native language. Then, when I’m settled in a new place, I am committed to joining some advocacy groups that help people fight the (unjust) system. I definitely want to sign up for the free tax advice programs and if possible, I’d like to get involved with legal or housing groups as well. I don’t think getting involved with political machinery is in my immediate future because the system just feels so broken and I’m so devastated by politics. So I’m going to start small, start with individuals, and do my part to use my privilege for something positive.

    • Katherine

      Seconding monthly donations! I just set up one for my state’s outdoor council, which helps protect public lands.

    • ART

      I took the day off Wednesday, and my husband and I went to breakfast and talked about what changes we could make in our own lives to, you know, Be the Change. We went and sat in a Tesla (har har, maybe the “cheap one,” someday). We researched credit unions to get our money out of shitty Wells Fargo. We talked about our purchasing…groceries, clothes, etc. We thought about ways to leverage our everyday transactions for better. We decided that even though this feels like hell, to eat the pomegranate seeds, you know…put down real roots and engage in our community, have babies sooner than we thought we would, lean way in.

      • anachronismsarah

        Looking forward to some of these conversations myself!

    • Emily

      I SO agree with supporting independent journalism! I put money towards that and upped my monthly contribution to Planned Parenthood. I joined the Progressive Woman’s League in my town. I have decided to start volunteering regularly at a women and children crisis center. Doing something is really making me feel like I have some level of control on what’s happening

    • MC

      Husband and I are also setting up monthly donations to important organizations (so far we have PP, ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, and some climate change org).

      Practicing having conversations about why Trump is so deeply upsetting for when we have Thanksgiving with his family members, some of whom we know voted for Trump.

      I’m telling everyone I know, especially those who are members of marginalized communities, that I love them & will work hard to protect them. I’ve been sharing this Google doc far & wide that has concrete suggestions on what to do before January: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rl6h6If4HllNoZmRF3cOl-JGO5Tt3YHE7tZTEhBOkvc/pub

      I’m also going to buy a bunch of Plan B to have & give away for free to anyone who needs it.

    • Gaby

      I love the suggestion about supporting independent media! I’ll probably become a member for NPR and my friend is discussing subscribing to TYT. I like them but they can be a bit aggressive and anxiety-inducing for me. I read somewhere else a suggestion to buckle down on taking energy efficient steps; something we always try to adhere to but it really makes me want to postpone getting new appliances until we can afford energy star ones. I’m also mentally preparing for Thanksgiving at my husband’s trump-supporter sister’s house and how I can express my disagreement productively and try to hide my very real anger. These steps towards a sense of productivity help so much in a time when I want to give in to despair.

      • LadyMe

        PEN America helps defend freedom of expression for writers if you are interested in helping to support that. https://pen.org/

      • saywhatnow

        Please, all, consider DemocracyNow! Truthfully, they report on matters that no other major media source does: they broke Blackwater some years ago *months* before anyone else, and have been covering the Dakota Access Pipeline for MUCH longer than anyone else.

        Seriously, they are the most forward-thinking and creative news source I know, ans I’m inspired by Amy Goodman.

        democracynow.org

    • ScoutAbout

      Today, I picked up two other people’s bags of dog poop while walking my dog (why do people bag up the poop, then leave the bag on the ground?) because it felt like literally the least I could do to make my neighborhood better.

      Now I’m looking into organizations that support vulnerable groups of people, scientific research, reproductive rights, and women and minorities in politics and finding a way to fit these causes into my budget. Very open to suggestions for organizations to donate to as well as local places to volunteer (in Chicago, specifically in Uptown where I live)

      • emmers
      • TrueGrit

        This is so off-topic, but to answer your question, I am a runner and if my dog poops when running in public woods/parks with no trashcans, I often bag up her poop, try to hide it in a discreet but memorable place (like behind an unusual tree) and then pick up the bag when I loop around and leave the woods so that I am running with a bag of poop in my hand for as little time as possible. I don’t think I would do this in a neighborhood, though, because leaving a little bag of poop on someone’s lawn, even if for less than 30 minutes, is kind of weird/rude.

    • BSM

      Please donate to Foster Campbell’s campaign for Senate! He’s a Dem in a runoff in Louisiana, and we’re going to need all the help we can get in Congress!!

      https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/fostercampellforsenatedonate

    • Doubleblue

      People! There is a GREAT opportunity to make a difference. The ***US Senate*** race in Louisiana is headed for a run-off! If you are so inclined, here’s some information:

      The US Senate seat is Louisiana is still up for grabs, as no candidate got more than 50% of the vote. There’s a runoff election December 10. Right now, Republicans have 51 seats and Democrats have 48. The run off is the difference between 51-49, or 52-48. That could be a big difference in practice, as it means only a couple of Republicans have to side with Democrats to change the vote on key issues. We can all help by donating RIGHT NOW to Foster Campbell, the Democratic candidate. Here’s the link. Pass it on.

      https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/fostercampellforsenatedonate

    • LizGB

      Love this thread! Here is what I have done this week.

      – Set up a recurring monthly donation to the ACLU.
      – Reached out to a local women’s shelter for volunteer opportunities. Waiting to hear back, hoping this will pan out.
      – Am in the process of organizing a group volunteer day for a group of my friends with a local LBGT organization. This is just a one-off event but it’s an attempt to get my “politically apathetic” white women friends involved in this stuff and less complacent. Hoping it leads to more…
      – Am currently searching for a way to contribute (either financially or in volunteer hours) to a local county- or state-level organization that supports black rights, immigrant rights, and/or Muslim rights. Still working on this.

      I am really struggling with a lot of anger and disgust towards people who supported Trump or who didn’t vote at all (I mean, come on, we live in a swing state!!). I’m also 100% DONE with white people who are on this, “Whatever, it’s just politics” or “Everything will be okay! America is great!” bullshit… basically the people who don’t care because it doesn’t effect them. I know that as a white woman, I gotta do the work of getting my people in line. It’s just so hard for me to set aside my fury long enough to have a conversation and try to change hearts. I guess I gotta learn to do it.

  • Kaitlyn

    Any advice on getting one of your work directors to stop referring to you as a “girl”? I have a woman director who’s probably in her late 30s and I’m 26. Rather than addressing a group of us as “ladies” (as in “Can you ladies take care of this?”), she always uses “girls”. I just got an email right now from her saying “Can you girls take care of this?” and it’s so infuriating. I myself use the term “girls” in a more casual way (ex “Girl’s Night” or “hanging with my girlies”, etc.) but I don’t use it in a professional context. I think it’s even more frustrating as her boss (a man) will actively correct people when using girl (“This girl is coming in for an interview next week” “You really should say woman”, etc) which I appreciate. Any thoughts?

    • How’s your relationship with her? Hopefully you can have a quick convo with her and explain how you feel about it. If she’s reasonable, she’ll take it well.

      • Kaitlyn

        I actually can’t stand her hahaha She drives me up a wall working with her haha But our relationship is friendly enough. She’s located in a different office and pops in every once in a while. I did bring up something prior that she did that bothered me via email. She called me and she was like “Oh nooo why did you think that”, it reminded me of a way a mom speaks to her daughter. We’re not that far apart in age, but I think part of the “girls” thinks comes from that she doesn’t see me as an adult.

        I did want to bring this up to her, but I didn’t know if I should do it in the moment, or separately, etc. I’m also not great at speaking up (something I’m working on) so I’m nervous to also say anything.

        • emmers

          One of my fave strategies is to say that you’re sure she didn’t realize, but xyz makes you uncomfortable for xyz reason. And you didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but it’s something you wanted to mention

          • Kaitlyn

            Ooh that’s good wording, thank you!

          • emmers

            And also, “I totally know there’s no way you would have known that I felt this way, cuz I know you’d never have kept using that term if you did, cuz you’re just so cool…”

          • StevenPortland

            and add “…, and I’ve noticed your boss has even mentioned this same thing.”

  • Mary Jo TC

    I wrote a blog post yesterday that I thought you all might appreciate. Hope this is ok to share. https://mereader.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/how-im-dealing-with-this-terrible-election/

    It’s already been shared on facebook and the good thing is I’ve bonded with my sister (with whom I have a strained relationship) and sister-in-law over our sadness over the election. The bad part was that my sister’s mother-in-law is a Trump supporter who wrote a long self-righteous comment. I had fun writing an even longer, extra pointed reply to that. Then she wrote a smug reply about being positive instead of negative. Then this morning my sister-in-law texted me that she hoped I wasn’t upset about a reply she had posted that had disappeared and she assumed I deleted it. I didn’t delete anything, and had never seen her reply. Is it possible that my antagonist reported her on facebook or something, to make it disappear?

    • Amy March

      Equally possible she didn’t actually hit post.

    • Eenie

      As someone who has tried to report stuff that I just don’t want to see (mostly sexist content), I can tell you that I have been unsuccessful thus far.

    • Not Sarah

      It’s also possible her reply was caught by spam – go check your spam comments section.

  • Unhip in Brooklyn

    My childhood bestie– whom I had drifted from but was still hugely important to me during the elementary school years– died of cancer a few days before the election. One of my beloved church community members died yesterday. My heart keeps getting punched and I’m just letting myself live through all this grief. I can barely bear to look at wedding pictures– it feels like four weeks and a lifetime ago. Strength to everyone out there who needs it.

    • Kaitlyn

      I’m so sorry to hear of your losses, definitely take some time to take care of yourself. And check out those wedding pictures! Might be a good lift <3

    • AGCourtney

      I’m so sorry. My childhood best friend passed away, too. It’s such a huge blow. Wishing you peace during this really, really difficult time. <3

    • So sorry for your losses… Hang in there <3

    • MC

      Take care of yourself – that’s a lot to handle at once. Sending lots of love during this hard time.

  • Anon, FWIW

    I’m really disappointed with my mom right now, and I’m having a hard time dealing with that. In the days after the election, she has been pointing people (at least my brother) to a website that her husband has been reading as probably his only news source for years. It’s basically the Fox News of socialists. I have no problem with socialists, but it smacks of self important white men who can’t go two sentences without using the term “petty bourgeois.” I forced myself to read a few of their articles and while I sympathize with some of their thoughts on economics, I do not sympathize with their latest diatribe against Black Lives Matter and how it’s just a big corporate-funded bureaucracy engaging in bourgeois identity politics (like, what?) The rhetoric they use, and that my mom’s husband has adopted as his only way of communicating with others, is so incredibly alienating that it’s hard to even hear their message because you just want to roll your eyes till they fall out of your head. And now I suddenly have this suspicion that she might have voted for their candidate? That seems crazy to me, and frankly her vote is not my business. But I just feel like I lost my stepdad entirely to that shit (I don’t consider him my parent anymore) and I don’t want that to happen with my mom. I’m trying to see past this horrible week and understand that it is fucking with people’s minds. But it’s hard.

    • Jess

      The amount of misinformation and super divisive rhetoric in the world is just… intense right now. That sounds really hard to put up with.

    • raccooncity

      Also, just to womansplain to them for a second, it’s petite bourgeoisie, not “petty” bourgeoisie. If they don’t know that, they don’t know their shit.

      #womansplaining (from someone who did their undergrad focus on marxism and agrarian societies)

      ETA: maybe this is a thing in the USA where they anglicize words with wild abandon?

  • AGCourtney

    Ughhhh Disqus ate my post just as I was about to submit it. Okay, I’ll just quickly summarize the last part.

    One of the central things I’ve personally noticed in the last few days are the starkly different narratives that are emerging.

    There’s the one we know, and there’s the “whatever, a candidate lost, it happens all the time, get over it and stop whining.” So while I understand the calls for unity I’m seeing on Facebook, it seems really unlikely given the huge chasm between those narratives. Yes, I understand that a lot of people who voted for Trump were motivated by political/economic disenfranchisement and wouldn’t identify as racists, and because of that, they’re rolling their eyes and/or even offended at being called racists. But regardless of motivation, his campaign was running on hate speech, and voting for him is cosigning that. At the very least, it’s saying, “I don’t care.” And that’s still a problem. There’s a world of difference between “sure he’s kind of an asshole but it’ll be fine” and “this vote, regardless of intention, indicates tolerance of racism [and myriad other problems]”. I was thinking about this huge chasm last night. It’s frustrating.

    • My least favorite response is “I’m just praying for the country to heal.” Like, it’s great that you’re praying, but how about you get off your butt and prove that you’re a “loving Christian” and stand up for love and inclusion like your “Jesus the King” would want?

      Can you tell I’m a bit disenfranchised with religion right now? :(

      • flashphase

        I am beyond despondent, but we (and several of our friends) have decided to return to inclusive, social justice-oriented places of worship. This is good! Faith can be a way to mend, find community, and organize. Don’t let other peoples’ ideas about what a “Christian” or a religious person is turn you away from finding solace and building places to promote tolerance and acceptance.

      • Amy March

        Religion is a big tent. The responses I am seeing that are the most militantly pro love for all of those most at risk under Trump are from my minister and members of the faith community.

        • Truth, and I should say that, like you, I have friends who are religious and have been outraged. But the ones that bother me are the ones who I know voted Republican (because they always have, or because it’s the Christian Values Party), and then don’t understand why they can’t just pray our nation to a safer, more inclusive place. :(

          • toomanybooks

            That’s what I don’t understand, because Trump is further from Christian values of any kind than any other candidate, ever. I don’t see how one could vote for Trump because of Christian Values.

          • emmers

            My husband called his mom out for this. Religious freedom is always her stated issue, but she voted for trump.

          • Jess

            The Religious Freedom thing bothers me (and I hear it not-infrequently).

            There seems to be this prevalent thought that if the laws don’t reflect your personal beliefs about what people should and shouldn’t do, you aren’t free to believe them.

            It makes me very angry.

          • Jess

            Because Christian Values is code for Anti-Non-Christian, Anti-Abortion and Anti-Gay.

            At least, that’s what I’ve read from the FB posts people have put up and “tough decisions” they’ve made and preachers I’ve had the misfortune of hearing.

            I have a really hard time knowing that a few of the people I play soccer with and the R plays softball with truly believe there is a war on Christianity and unless they voted for Trump, they would lose.

          • RNLindsay

            That’s where I have the most trouble understanding too. It’s all about abortion though. People are apparently willing to vote solely based on that issue, despite the fact that trump is the furthest thing from Jesus’ teachings. And despite the fact that current law lets them practice whatever their religious belief towards abortion may be.

          • I can’t either, but I think it’s a strange logic that:

            Trump = Republican
            Republican = Christian Values

      • AGCourtney

        I completely understand. I’ve thought of my church as being pretty progressive, but the service the Sunday before the election left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I’m in the nursery on Sunday and that’s probably a good thing, haha.

      • Jess

        I know a large number of people in the evangelical church, and I am just *so* pissed by the number of “vote for values” memes I saw before the election being followed by “Remember: God’s plan is perfect” memes now.

        So. Pissed. You can’t vote for hate and then talk about how it’s all part of a loving god’s plan, guys. This is on you.

      • AGCourtney

        Hey, right on time! Someone from my church just posted this long rambling thing about how this election is like her marriage and sometimes we all get selfish and want our way but what’s the point of getting angry and protesting? So she’s not going to be selfish in her marriage, we shouldn’t be selfish about the election, and people should just pray and serve others.

        that’s the gist of it…

    • Nikki

      Ugh, YES. Feeling all this. It’s taken everything in me to not snarkily respond to every one of those “move on” posts.

    • Anon

      I have written this in response to a similar post.

      What did I do to prevent this?

      I gave money, multiple times. I displayed my Hilary stickers, and wore muliple hillary shirts. I had conversations with people. I made calls, and offered rides for voters. I voted. I posted to social media. I brought snacks to headquarters since I couldn’t volunteer as much I wanted. I stayed up until 2 am to attend a rally. And I did it all in a swing state. I’m surprised, not shocked though.

      I will continue to be involved, and I hope this will encourage others to do so as well. I think there is space to protest hate (I will be attending a gathering of love to counteract the rally the KKK is planning in NC to celebrate trump’s win). I think i’m allowed to feel a little punched in the gut that this election has shown that half the country doesn’t care enough about my value as a woman to even show up to vote, and a quarter of the population actively voted in a way that (viewed in the best light) says that their own personal interests are more important than my life and worth.

      I’ve accepted the results. I desperately want to find a way to bridge from my closed groups to other closed groups, try to cross the increasingly widening social divides, but I need people to meet me half way, or a quarter of the way. I can’t keep showing empathy and understanding for a point of view to a side that is showing no willingness to do the same.

    • lildutchgrrl

      My worldview is stretching (and tearing?) in the post-election aftermath. I read the http://waitbutwhy.com/2016/11/its-going-to-be-okay.html post, some of which I am not emotionally ready for yet, but this bit (emphasis mine) stuck out as reverberating truth that was somehow new to me:

      America didn’t die. In fact, what happened last night is America being very much alive. Half the country felt ignored and angry and disenfranchised and they wrested control of the government from the people they felt ignored by. That’s how democracy works. It’s an uncomfortable compromise where half the country is appalled by who the president is at all times. Obama’s elections made tens of millions of people feel the same way.
      Now granted, this is an unusual case. Trump is extra appalling. So much so that much of his own party is appalled by him. That’s unusual. But it’s not unusual where it counts—he got about the same number of votes as Hillary and ended up winning pretty big in the electoral college. That makes him no less legit a president than anyone in the past.

      • Rebekah

        I actually really hated that post. I get that he was trying to make people feel better, but it felt like so much white mansplaining. Maybe it was the state I was in when I read it, but it just felt patronizing.

        • Danielle

          100% mansplaining, The tone was so condescending, I can’t even take it. Some things that really pissed me off in particular:

          – Yeah, it might not be that bad for him – he’s a white man! Who is he to tell us that it will be ok.
          – People can move out of the country if they want to, or if they feel they *need* to, for their family’s safety and survival.
          – “This country had your back yesterday and it’ll have your back tomorrow.” = no. no fucking way should he say that to Native Americans, descendents of slaves, any person of color, or any LGBT person. We know from straightforward experience that this country did NOT always have our back.

          This is the perfect example of normalizing shit people are trying to do. Our president-elect said he would start a registry for Muslims! He said he would deport immigrants! Is the author not listening, doesn’t believe him, or simply not care?

          Not here for the mansplaining. Not today, sir.

          • Jennifer

            I mean – I am white! But I am also Deaf.

            I could move out of the country but my Deafness means that I am pretty much in the exact same position elsewhere. (A nonentity) And I don’t know what exactly will happen to the disabled in this country but we’ve definitely already been told ‘Go away retard, you don’t belong here anymore.’ (Not me specifically but a friend of a friend who is Deaf had this happen and I am afraid for us).

            I have NEVER wanted to be involved in politics. But I am working on figuring out how to actually get involved with legislation now because it matters that much to me.

          • Danielle

            Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry that happened to your friend. I have heard of similar stories lately and it’s really disconcerting. Especially now.

            This situation sucks but it’s inspiring that you want to get involved. I’m sure many people would benefit from your perspective. I am also not super politically engaged at this point, but this recent turn of events is making think how I could be most useful.

            Best of luck in your next steps!

        • toomanybooks

          Yeah. A lot of it was like “ok I can see how in a certain light this would be comforting to read.” UP UNTIL the part where he said that America is totally ready to elect a woman, and being a woman had nothing to do with it, Hillary was just really bad at campaigning. NOPE.

      • emilyofnewmoon

        He did not get “about the same number” of votes as Hillary. She won the popular vote. We need to keep saying this.
        Not here for any white dudes telling me how to feel right now, whether they are “woke” or not.
        (this is in response to article, I know you are not saying these things)

      • Jess

        (Disclaimer: I acknowledge that the point I’m arguing is probably not your true sentiment)

        I agree that this is a legitimate presidency, and that there are always large groups of people that do not like the president or his opinions, policies, or values. I also agree that there are a large number of people (upper to middle class, rural-ish white people, based on the voting statistics I’ve seen) who voted for Trump because they feel ignored by the Democratic party and the media as focus has shifted to racial tension, or the very poor, or refugees.

        What I really disagree with is that Obama’s elections (or GW Bush, or Bill Clinton) made people feel the same way. I don’t remember Obama’s supporters hanging effigies or lighting people on fire. I don’t remember Obama’s supporters saying they wanted to repeal half the population’s right to vote. I don’t remember Obama threatening to round up people of a certain religion, make them register or completely throw them out of the country.

        Trump’s speeches and his supporters have incited a very different kind of fear in people than a dislike of policies.

        I refuse to accept that this is the same level of fear as when people thought Obama would take their guns.

    • toomanybooks

      Luckily for me and my bubble, I’m strictly seeing the posts of support. It’s all of what my Facebook is. My whole weekend is going to be spent with gatherings of friends just trying to take care of each other after the election.

    • LT

      Exactly. This has been bothering me as well. It’s like, great, you didn’t vote for him because you’re racist, but what are you doing to stop all the people who think the election gives them license to be openly racist? What are you doing to protect the people who are fearing for their safety and the loss of their rights given the stated Trump campaign agenda? Ugh, this week. I go back and forth between feeling so fearful about the future and gearing up to fight.

      • AGCourtney

        …apparently, they’re praying. And lecturing.

    • Jess

      Yes. This. Exactly this. You were able to look past all that calling for violence, and all those people actually physically attacking other people, and say… “Yeah, This is OK with me.”

      You don’t get to say “let’s all come together” when your tacit approval is what drove us apart.

    • ScoutAbout

      In a similar vein to the “Get over it, you whiny liberal sissies” commentary, I’m also frustrated by the “We just need to come together and respect the office of the president” people. Because that’s exactly what happened to Obama, and not one person vowed to destroy his presidency the day after he was elected.

      • Amy March

        Exactly. Tell me more about how the Tea Party was such a gracious acceptance of Obama’s presidency at all and the birther movement wasn’t at all a racist attempt to delegitimatize the office of the president.

  • Arie

    LEONARD COHEN. What in the fuck else could possibly happen between now and the end of 2016? I’m so done.

  • Angela

    1 week to the wedding! Hens night tonight (and the stag do). My sister has calmed down about the bridesmaid dress and taken it to be successfully altered. Aside from a kerfuffle between some of fiance’s friends re stag do that seems to have resolved somewhat (but did necessitate having to redo the seating chart for the wedding), most of the drama seems to be behind us. Any tips for the one week countdown?

    • AGCourtney

      Hmm….Try to relax. If there are still projects to be done, take a critical look at them and you’ll probably let them go. Make sure you know who’s in charge of what the day of and how stuff is getting from point A to point B and back again at the end of the night. Those are the main things I can think of.

    • HannahB25

      Yeah, let go of as much unfinished stuff as you can because now isn’t the time to stress or exhaust all your energy. Relax and pamper yourself. Have a plan in place for your best chance at getting a good night’s sleep the night before. I was really busy the day before and slept away from my fiance that night, which was unusual for us. As a result, I couldn’t sleep at all and was so exhausted/frazzled that next morning. The day was still wonderful and I found energy somehow but looking back I should have put more thought into how to wind down and sleep well the night before. Congrats!

    • emilyg25

      Start beginning to let it all go. You’ve done your best and now it’s time to just enjoy the day, however it turns out.

  • Katherine

    I couldn’t go into work or get on the internet at all on Wednesday. My husband and I both spent the day together at home, mourning and talking about our next steps. I’m gender non-conforming and pretty terrified. Even before the election, I was shouted at by assholes at one of our local parks.

    At the very least, it was reassuring to go into work on Thursday and see a note on my supervisor’s door that said “Despair. Back 11/10.” Also, thank you for your service to all you veterans (or spouses of veterans) in the comments section.

  • ART

    Small action for today and the coming weeks is to keep my phone in my purse when I’m commuting/walking around town, rather than using my train time to look at facebook or whatever. Looking around at the people in my community. Imagining what their days are like. And being aware of aggressive behavior that others might be experiencing. We’re hearing stories of people being harassed on trains, buses, in the street…and how is anyone going to notice and stand up to that if we’re glues to our screens? Plus I’ll save hella data.

    • idkmybffjill

      This is a great idea. Thank you for suggesting.

    • emilyg25

      I’ve started saying Good Morning! to people, which is super weird for me as a socially anxious New Englander. But it’s awesome and you can see it really does make people’s day better.

  • JC

    We found the most beautiful apartment last Friday, got the call on Sunday, and signed the papers last night. In just a few weeks, it’s ours. Not only is it the home we’ve been wanting, and not only do I get to move with him, (which despite the actual moving feels great because I love making a home with him after our years of long distance) but we now each save almost ten hours a week of commute time, and we’re looking into local and national groups that we can volunteer with. As white people and climate-conscious folks, we didn’t do enough, but we won’t be caught relaxing again.

    • AGCourtney

      Congrats!

      • JC

        Thanks! We’re already planning where we’re going to put up all our pictures!

    • JC

      Oh! Also, after we learned that we got the apartment and that our rent is now going up quite a lot, the boyfriend asked me about how I do my budgeting (shout out to YNAB!) and mentioned wanting to keep better track of his spending. A win!

  • I definitely want to share some good things.

    *This Fireside Chat from Travis McElroy helped me on Wednesday. https://t.co/4yB79KgHEa

    *My co-worker, friend, and awesome Women’s History Month co-chair put together an awesome programs for girls 7-17 to see leaders around the world to address some of the struggle they’ve been feeling since Wednesday. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/05738801cc6a9ca2259dbf2376416798e876c60ec7dfd9b2cd04ff80d3491af1.jpg

    *Of the podcasts I’ve listened today addressing the election I have to recommend Call Your Girlfriend: Rage Phase. I will be revisiting this one again and again to make sure I’m doing the work.

    *Another amazing co-worker and friend has brought safety pins in and we have them at our desks available to others and ourselves to show support equity.

    • MC

      I really, really appreciated this week’s Still Processing podcast as well.

  • Gaby

    I’ve always felt nervous walking alone at night, but this week I got to feel twice as nervous for being Hispanic as well as a woman. It was a well-lit busy area, but I walked past an outdoor patio of a bar filled with older biker white men and felt such doubt. Everything went fine but it was a defining moment.

    On a positive note, The Hamilton Mixtape released the song “Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)” last night and it made me feel proud and hopeful and also made me sob in the car. It’s so good!

  • Claire

    I just listened to this episode of Science Friday about productive ways to deal with election-related stress. Kelly McGonigal, with Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism, explained how social mistrust is a uniquely damaging form of stress that often triggers a threat response. What resonated with me was the idea of taking actions that create hope and a sense of common humanity and that strengthen the sense that I’m not alone and have something to offer.

    http://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/the-cure-for-election-related-stress-believe-in-your-political-adversaries/

  • toomanybooks

    It’s been tough. Really scary. But it actually felt good to get out of my head and be at work on Wednesday, and on Wednesday night – because I knew I needed to feel better and I knew I would lose the motivation if I waited – I cleaned up my living room, took a shower, dimmed the lights, lit all my fanciest scented candles, put on some music, and got to work on wedding invitations. It calmed me down a lot. I ate dinner with my fiancée, veggie burgers and onion rings, and we finalized our plans for what we wanted to order from Minted. Last night I started again and stayed up until 1 am making sure I had everything in. I’ve finally ordered my invitations (and a number of other items) and it’s a bright spot for me – something to be excited about.

    Now I kind of want to complete more wedding tasks as distraction. My fiancée had the day off today and it’s the first time she’s had to really relax and process, and she’s been really sad. I’m on my way home to her right now.

  • lildutchgrrl

    I found out on Tuesday that my dad didn’t vote for Trump. I didn’t dare ask before then. I mean, he’s a native Californian married to a woman of mixed race, with two daughters, one of whom is married to a Mexican-American woman… so you’d think the answer would be obvious. But he’s also a white man in his late sixties who hunts, stockpiles for environmental or civil disasters (and doesn’t call it a “zombie apocalypse plan” like the rest of us), goes to “gun camp” and “bomb school” for fun, and hangs out with lots of similar guys. In fact, he was at a remote hunting camp in Colorado with a handful of said guys while the results were rolling in. Which, to me, would have been super intimidating and awful: firearms, alcohol, and politics are a nasty combination. But apparently he has the guts (and, yes, the privilege) to be clear with them that he was the “only blue in hunt camp” and not fear anything more than gloating. I am… so relieved. And concerned that there should even be a question, much less doubts enough to keep me quiet with the relative I love the most.

    • I’m in the Pantsuit Nation group on Facebook and a lot of burly, gun-loving men have been posting and sharing their support of HRC. Not to applaud and give the spotlight to white men more than they already have, but it definitely was a reminder to me that you can’t always judge a book by its cover. Glad to hear your dad was a blue spot :)

  • Claire

    As a Latina woman and the daughter of an immigrant mother, this election felt personally hurtful. I felt compelled to watch the results until the bitter end, called off from work and spent Wednesday literally under the covers sobbing (and I’m not usually a crier) and feeling like this was a giant fuck you to me personally and to all the values I hold.

    At the same time, I also recognize the privilege and obligation I have as a straight, cis, able-bodied, lighter-skinned, educated, middle class person living in a progressive, urban area. I want to be one of those “helpers” that are supposedly around every crisis. And I want to channel All The Feelings into action.

    So far these actions have started with setting up monthly donations to Planned Parenthood, ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center, and starting to draft a letter to all my representatives (special shout out to Ilhan Omar!). I’ve also started looking for local organizations that assist refugees and immigrants (super relevant in my area of Minneapolis), but haven’t yet settled on one. Next on my list is finding an organization to commit one day of volunteering a month.

    And I want to start a local group of like-minded people so we can hold each other accountable and ensure this motivation doesn’t lapse back into complacency. I’m calling it the Do Better Brigade.

    • local do-betterer here :) and there’s a whole thread of Minneapolis folks above. Just a side note regarding donations: MN Give to the Max day is Nov 17th! A lot of organizations have matching funds so your $ can go further!

      • AGCourtney

        We Minneapolis folks really should start an rl meetup, haha.

        • Yes we should! I’d totally help organize. I feel like we should all meet in person, since we chat so much :-)

          • Claire

            Alright, I’ve messaged you on FB.

    • AGCourtney

      Which area of Minneapolis are you in? I might be able to make some recommendations.

      • Claire

        I’m the Seward/Prospect Park area.

        • AGCourtney

          Nice~ I went to Augsburg. Brian Coyle Center would for sure be a great option to look into, then. Both the center itself as well as the organizations that lease space within the building do a ton with the immigrant and refugee community – EMERGE and the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood Revitalization Program come to mind.

  • I’m finding myself in the stunned position of having gone, overnight, from planning to be pregnant by this time next year to seriously contemplating getting a new IUD (my current one would be due to come out in the next year or so), because the idea of being pregnant in Trump’s America is terrifying to me. My husband is having a hard time understanding this–his logic has come from a place of, “but Jews had babies in the ghetto, love,” which I’m sure, to him, is a message of “we carry on no matter what,” but to me is a) NOT REASSURING, BRO, HOLY SHIT??, and b) speaks pretty clearly to his place in the relationship as not the one who would potentially die if something went wrong.

    I can’t be the only one feeling like this, or having these conversations. Where do we go from here?

    • Babywho?

      I’m really struggling with the baby thing too. Having a baby was in our 2-3 year plan and now, I just don’t know. For me the fact that this presidency is probably pushing us over the edge into a future climate that will only increase suffering across the planet makes it hard to feel like this is the right choice right now. And yet, only with good people in this world will we be able to get ourselves out of this mess.

      • Rebekah

        Yep, same here. So much uncertainty.

        • Babywho?

          At the same time, I grew up with an extremely liberal mom who deeply felt the darkness and injustice in the world, and would (and does) apologize for bringing me in to such a tough world on a semi regular basis. And I always get pissed. Because how could I not want to live on this beautiful planet in spite of everything. But, climate change, man. I just don’ tknow.

          • LikeaBell

            “Because how could I not want to live on this beautiful planet in spite of everything.” <3

            Climate change is a big factor we're thinking about too, though. :(

    • Poppy

      Solidarity up-vote. We are having the same conversations.

    • I struggled with the baby thing beginning when Philando Castile was murdered just 10 miles from my home. By then I was almost 20wks pregnant, and now I’m 33wks pregnant. This week has made me question the wisdom of bringing a little Black girl until this world and how I could raise her with so many chips stacked against her….and then someone reminded me that my parents, and my grandparents, and my great-grandparents had the same thoughts and they faced harder obstacles. And they survived, and their kids survived, just like my baby girl will survive and thrive.

      Only you know when you’re ready but keep in mind that there’s never a “perfect” time, whether it’s in your life or in the world. All we can do is give our best to our children, to raise them with love and wisdom and shape them into the type of people we want to see in the world.

      • Olive

        Thank you for sharing this.

      • Jennifer

        Thank you for sharing this.

        (also to Shelly. I had the same reaction).

    • guest

      I was in the same position. I think I have decided to stick with the plan for a baby. My reasoning is that we need more kind, open-minded people in the world and I am going to do my part in producing them. However, I will now be hoping for a son, whereas before I would have hoped for a daughter.

    • Jess

      My friend, who gave birth last week, shared this thought, “We don’t bring children into this world because it is perfect. We bring them into this world to give them the chance to make it better.”

      It’s a little cliched, but it was really meaningful to her and it’s stuck with me a bit.

      • anachronismsarah

        I needed to read that statement like whoa. Thank you.

        • Jess

          :) I thought it was a nice one.

    • Danielle

      Hi. I’m 11 weeks pregnant, with a baby we very much wanted and planned for and dreamed about. Then Tuesday happened, and there’s a whole new sense of gravity: Holy sh*t, what kind of world will we be bringing our child into?

      Obviously *being* pregnant is a whole different ball of wax than *choosing to become* pregnant. I’m envisioning many more deep conversations with your husband in your future, and lots of internal reflection for yourself.

      I am also Jewish, and the knowledge that we have survived through a sh*t-ton of stuff makes me feel that I am continuing on our traditional of absolute strength and resistance. (At the same time, do I wish we were beyond worries of survival? HELL YES.)

      One more point: we will do genetic testing soon, to see if our baby has any chromosomal abnormalities, like Down Syndrome. If they do, we will have options to continue with the pregnancy or not. In a post-Trump America, I don’t know what that will look like. Not to scare you, but you may want to consider all possibilities with your husband, when discussing what a pregnancy or baby could involve.

    • emilyg25

      It was really, really hard to look at my son on Wednesday morning. Fortunately, he’s not quite 2 and has no idea what’s going on. I’m worried about his future, but I also think it’s so very important to raise him to make the world a better place. Also, the nice thing about having a kid is that you are required to pick yourself up and keep going every day.

      On another note, I think a lot of people, guys especially, have no idea how dangerous pregnancy and childbirth can be.

      • Danielle

        Even more generally, I had no idea how *shitty* pregnancy could be. Beforehand, I thought it would be a lovely, magical time in which I would feel sprinkled in glitter and full of love for the tiny being created inside of me through a wonderful, magical, life-giving process.

        The reality for me is like: sick every day, almost all day. Difficulty sleeping lying down. Aching and tired, and even simple tasks seem difficult. Feeling ugly as my body changes in unexpected ways. Uncomfortable in most clothes.

        This has become slightly better as I near the end of my 1st trimester. But I seriously had *no idea* about how much this would suck. (Still happy for the baby! Not enjoying the process, at all.)

    • Marcela

      I went yesterday to my GYN and put things in place to get an IUD in the next few weeks. My husband and I were trying and had been praying to have a baby next summer. I can’t do it. I can’t bring myself to think about bringing a child into the world like this. You know the photo Shaun King posted of the bathroom graffiti saying to get your slave numbers? That was at my rival high school.
      This is hard and heartbreaking.

    • LikeaBell

      Ugh. Yes. We were planning on starting TTC in February. And now…? I don’t know. Part of me thinks that I should just stop worrying about it for now and wait to see what’s going on and how I/we feel when Feb actually rolls around. But another part of me CAN’T stop thinking about it. Partially because I absolutely want children, but my husband has always been ambivalent, and this feels like it tips the scales big time to the other side. Which I don’t want. But then again, as so many news sources keep reminding us, part of what’s so scary about Trump is that we have NO IDEA what he’s going to do, and what America is going to look like under his presidency. I know this sounds a little melodramatic, but as a future mama bear, what if the best/most protective thing I can do for my potential children is…not to bring them into this mess?

    • raccooncity

      I just had a chat with my husband this morning. We recently found out that we’re having a son. While I do keep an open mind about his future gender and sexuality identities, after the American election I was struck with the gravity of bringing another white male (who might also end up being cisgender and straight) into the world. I had a lot of feelings about it.

      It’s a deeply complicated thing. I want him to grow up carrying his rightful share of the responsibility to make the world a better place by ceding unearned power that he will have. However, I am also aware that he could someday choose to find that annoying or tiring or just choose to rebel against mom and dad and just decide to be whatever that day’s equivalent of a Trump supporter is.

      I hope we help him to become a good citizen of the world.

      • We haven’t found out our baby’s gender, but when the whole pussy thing happened, I really was thinking about having a boy or a girl, and what that meant. I was thinking about how maybe I wanted to have a girl, so I could raise her to be a strong, feminist woman who will take on the Trumps of this world. But I realized that having a (potentially white, cisgender, straight) boy and raising him to be a compassionate, feminist man who will be kind and take on the Trumps of the world might be just as important. Still mulling this one over, but I want to say: you’re not alone.

  • LadyMe

    Ugh, I’m struggling with the fact that I HATE Trump and everything he’s done in this campaign and I expect things to be awful… but at the same time I keep thinking of all those children’s tv shows I watched and whatever that show us when you expect the worst of someone, they will fulfill your worst expectations. At the same time, taking the position of “I will give you the benefit of the doubt while watching you like a hawk for you to slip up” seems to be insulting to the people who have the most to fear from Trump. I’m worried about the country slipping further into a vicious cycle of retaliation but I don’t see how we could reconcile. My head and my heart hurt, and I don’t know what to do besides continuing to donate to causes.

  • MC

    Just wanted to give a shout-out to everyone who feels like they’re barely hanging in there – I have been in tears every morning upon waking up and re-realizing that Trump won the election. I am so scared for all the youth I know who are immigrants or come from immigrant families and are afraid because of the election. Seeing pictures of Obama having to be civil to that fucking racist asshole made me sick. I’ve hardly eaten a full meal because every time I think about the election I feel nauseous. Today I feel like I can move forward a bit, and I know I will feel more active as time goes on. But I want some of this feeling to stay with me. We are not overreacting. We are not hyperbolizing. This election will have very real consequences for marginalized communities and we cannot let everything about this election become normalized.

    I’m also feeling so, so grateful for community in person and online (thanks, APW!) where people can process shock and grief and anger together. All Wednesday & Thursday friends were texting and e-mailing each other with words of support. My boss (shoutout to rad female bosses!) has been so supportive, and we just had a meeting where we cried together. I’m feeling the tiniest bit of hope that we can work our asses off to minimize the damage that this administration will attempt.

    • Danielle

      Hi, I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time. It sucks and should definitely not become normalized.

      I do hope you find ways to take care of yourself, and that you keep reaching out to connect with your people. Sending hugs and strength and solidarity and hope that your appetite returns soon <3

  • emilyofnewmoon

    After fiance and I woke up Wednesday, heartbroken, we talked about maybe eloping. The thought of planning a wedding, however small and scrappy, in this climate just sounds exhausting, and it feels like there are so many other more pressing things to focus on. I’ve gotten a little less dramatic about it as the days have gone by, but we’ll see.

    • JC

      We had the same conversation. I think the urgency has died down, but not the consideration of what kind of legal situation/insurance/financial situation we’re both in, and how that would be aided by getting married.

      • emilyofnewmoon

        Yes. Fiance and I are both white/cis gendered/don’t have immigration issues so we are in a “better’ (gross, but hopefully people know what I mean) situation than a lot of others worried about the future…but we’re also both visual artists with ACA insurance plans. Seriously considering getting secret legal married and then just having a small party for our fam and close friends in the next year.

    • Hannah

      Ugh, yes. Everything feels upended, and I don’t know how to proceed with planning in light of that. We’ve been feeling pretty good about our decision-making so far: good communication, supportive family, healthy budget, vendors/friendors who share our values…

      But now it’s like: maybe we shouldn’t proceed with this. Maybe we’ll need that money to pay for my partner’s health insurance when Obamacare gets repealed. Maybe we’ll need to devote our energies to moving somewhere more tolerable. Maybe we’ll need to take care of others in our community who are vulnerable to persecution.

      My partner isn’t ready to talk about this: she’s been pretty inconsolable since Tuesday night, losing sleep and her appetite. I got her to eat dinner last night, and she was able to articulate her fears a bit more precisely, so we’re making progress. But I can’t imagine asking her to focus on wedding planning right now.

      So, do we keep moving forward with plans for a biggish wedding? Do we scale back somewhat? Do we elope in two weeks when we’re with family for Thanksgiving? I just don’t know what direction to head in.

  • LP

    So, completely unrelated to the election and good news! I’ve been working for the organization that I do for about two years knowing that we were building a new building and that the new building could result in promotion for me. I’ve been trying to make it known while not being obnoxious that I want the position. I talked to my boss’ boss about the new position (who would be my boss) and he told me that I “have his full support.” Our CEO told a coworker that I am “obviously the most qualified and the front runner,” and another important director told me “I would be VERY comfortable with that; it would make me so happy.” There is only one director whose feelings of me for that specific position I do not know, but she has said that I am a huge asset to the organization. This all happened over about the last week!

    Long story short, fuck you, Trump. I am young and I am a woman and I am likely going to be in a leadership role in the near future. And I am going to be a role model for all of the other women out there who are too scared or shy or have been told that women don’t do this kind of work. I am going to prove everyone that has either directly or indirectly told me that I couldn’t do this because I’m a woman wrong. And that is what I’m focusing on in all of this mess.

    • Rebekah

      Ahaha yes! Fuck Trump! Fuck Hate! Go LP!!!

    • AGCourtney

      Congrats! I’m so excited for you.

  • Eh

    I wrote a few weeks ago about unfriending my husband’s uncle over his bigoted views. After the events this week I am very glad I did. I don’t even want to imagine the things he has been posting based on something he posted on his nieces post about the election results. I am very disturbed by people who seem to be justifying voicing their bigoted views more publicly because Trump won. Oh and all the white men who are claiming that progressives are prejudiced against them so they are worse off than minorities.

    In much happier news, I am going to be a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding next May. I wasn’t even sure I would be able to go to her wedding. I have been friends with her for 25 years and she is getting married on my birthday (long) weekend. I normally have veto rights over that weekend but my husband’s cousin is getting married that same day, 8 hours from my friend’s wedding, so we couldn’t go to both. After my friend asked me and I told my husband he said ‘well that makes the decision easy. You are in the wedding party so you go to your friend’s wedding. Our daughter goes with you and she needs someone to watch her so I go with her.’ To him it was a no brainer that we go to her wedding.

    • Lisa

      I missed my cousin’s wedding to go to my husband’s best friend’s wedding, and honestly I’m glad we chose the way we did. My MIL said, when I mentioned the issue to her, “As awful as it might sound, your friends are going to be more in your life than that cousin is. Preserve the relationships with your close friends, and don’t give a second thought to your cousin’s wedding.” She was totally right. We’re much closer with the friends than my super-right-wing, lives-across-the-country cousin, and I’m glad we made their wedding a priority. (Also my cousin planned her military wedding in about 5 months, whereas my husband had accepted his position in the wedding party a year in advance. That technicality made it much easier to turn down the cousin’s invite.)

      • Eh

        My husband’s original plan was to go with who ever sent us an invitation first lol

        My husband is very close to one of his cousins. They grew up together and are more like brothers. The cousin who is getting married is the youngest sister of that cousin. The cousin that he is close to lives 5 hours from us (and is married to another one of my close friends) so going to the wedding would allow us to spend time with him. When we mentioned that we had two weddings that day, the cousin said that we should go to my friend’s wedding instead of his sister’s because it probably means more to me to go to my friend’s wedding than it does for my husband to go to his cousin’s wedding.

        My friend just recently got engaged and his cousin got engaged last Christmas. So there has been lots of talking about the cousin’s wedding when we see her or her parents (or other relatives for that matter). If it was the other way around it would have been an easier decision.

  • Marcela

    I want to thank APW for their response to a comment a Trump supporter made on a facebook post earlier in the week. It made me weep and reaffirmed why I’m still here 3.5 years post wedding.

  • Samantha

    My family (including my parents) keep saying terrible things on facebook to me post-election, implying if I’m so upset about it, I should just up and leave the country. I’m currently drafting a tentative wedding guest list that has no one I’m related to on it and I’m not quite sure how I feel.

    Also it’s making me (totally unfairly) bitter whenever I see a ‘how we did our budget wedding!’ story because 9/10 it’s something like ‘my mom paid for the catering and my aunt did the flowers!’ and I don’t have anyone like that.

    • JC

      I’m so sorry.

      • Samantha

        I appreciate it. I was mentally getting ready for this, anyway. When I got engaged, my dad told me that he and my stepmother would “make it down if we have time”. I understand traveling is expensive/can be difficult, but I was telling them of a wedding almost two years in advanced. And now with him implying I should just leave the country… well.

        • Jane

          That’s awful. I hope the people who do go to your wedding are able to celebrate you and your fiancé and make the day great.

        • JC

          Yeah, that’s neither helpful nor supportive. But now your wedding is going to be 100% about you and your partner and those who can bring something gracious to the table, and that is absolutely something worth celebrating!

    • Cdn icecube

      I just want to validate your feelings on the last part. It can be so frustrating to hear on APW (and other websites) that “so-and-so had a $<10,000 wedding" when in fact they had a $30,000 wedding but only had to pay for $6,000 of it. My guess is that the reason that we don't see a lot of weddings that are low budget is probably because one of the things that people can save on is having a less expensive photographer and perhaps because of that people may not want to show off their weddings because every picture isn't super artistic and stylized. I don't know if that helps at all though.

      • Samantha

        Thank you! Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that those people have family that are willing to help, it’s just…. I feel like things that are gifted to you like that really ought to be taken into account when they post their wedding budget. But I do think you’re right- a really nice photographer is something that will inflate the price. I get the want for one, but I am feeling like we might rely on friends/family to get most of our wedding photos and using a less expensive photographer for the big stuff. I totally understand why people put so much money into photography- but I also don’t see the point for me if I have a fancy photographer but nothing that’s actually worth taking a picture of!

        • Jane

          Your wedding will have so many things worth taking a picture of even if you’re not having expensive things.

          I really hope APW real weddings won’t make you feel like you’re wedding has to be fancy to be meaningful and special.

        • Ashlah

          Oh my goodness, you and your guests are worth taking photos of!! That’s not to say you have to hire an expensive photographer if you don’t want one/can’t justify the cost, but all of my favorite wedding photos are of people, not things.

        • Marcela

          Our photographer was around $1,000 and included 4 hours of shooting, an engagement shoot and a set of prints/thank you cards post wedding. We have some detail shots of decor and the venue..etc, but the best shots are all of the love in the people who surrounded us on our wedding day. Whether that showed up in tight hugs after the ceremony, conversations during dinner or some badass dance moves, I look at my photos and treasure them.
          Caveat on the having friends/family take photos for you. I entrusted my brother to do our video since I didn’t want to add another $500-$1,000 to our budget. I regret it so much. I had no audio of our vows and no video of our first dances. My in-laws practically do not appear. I ended up with a 3 minute video and while I love the final product, I wish I could go back in time and get a professional. My brother was there to celebrate, not work.

        • Lisa

          There are several APW posts where they had less expensive or not photography! If you go to the Real Weddings section, there is a filter Various -> DIY Photography. I even remember one where the guests took all of the pictures of the day.

          But if photography is important to you, then it is worth spending the money on. A good photographer isn’t about capturing all of the beautiful Pinterest-worthy details; she’s there to document the love and happiness of your community. You and your partner, your friends and your family are all special and deserving of being beautifully memorialized if that is something you want.

    • Marcela

      I feel you on the budget wedding thing. Ours ended up totalling around 12k for 75 guests, but that doesn’t include flowers since my MIL “gave” us those and refused to share how much it cost. The biggest thing for us was finding a venue that had everything kinda baked into the price. I can share the details of how we did the rest if it would be helpful!

      • Samantha

        I would love any tips that you might have! My fiancee and I are planning for a cake and punch reception for about 100 (obviously timing it so guests don’t end up hungry/making sure they know to eat beforehand)

        • emilyg25

          Instead of a big wedding cake, do lots of regular cakes from Costco or similar! And you can get veggie trays and such to round things out. For venue, check out community centers, VFWs, etc. When my mom hosted a memorial for her mother, she just googled “[city] community center” and found a nice little Quaker meeting house that supplied tables, chairs and a kitchen for like $200.

          • Samantha

            That was what we were planning on- my fiancee really wants a pretty little cake from a local bakery to be the cake we cut, but I was planning to get nice grocery store cakes for guests/maybe a mix of desserts? We found a nice little venue that does come with tables and chairs so we’re pretty relieved about that. Now we’re just figuring out the logistics of everything else!

          • ART

            We did grocery store cakes. I think we had 6 or 8 different regular-sized, 1-layer cakes. They were awesome! We just cut whatever one looked the best in the moment. And I don’t know where you’re located, but I recently realized that my Safeway makes really good plain chocolate and white cupcakes, and I have decided that next time I need a party dessert, I’m going to go order a bunch of them unfrosted and just dollop on my own frosting. Or skip frosting, who needs frosting :)

        • Eh

          This may not help you at all but we had three choices on where to get married: the city we live, the area where I grew up, or the town where my husband grew up. For logistics, where I grew up made no sense (we live 8 hours away and 75+% of our guest would have to travel) so we priced out venues where we live and where my husband grew up (an hour away). We decided to go with a venue and mostly vendors from the town he grew up in (or nearby) and we saved tons of money. Our wedding was $12k (which includes the money from our parents) for 80 guests. We ‘splurged’ on the ceremony venue (instead of having it at the reception venue), our officiant, and the photographer (both of which where from the city). We paid $20 a person for supper. It would have been at least $60 a person at a venue where we live. My BIL/SIL got married in the city we live at a all-in-one venue the year before us and spent double what we did. Another thing we saved money on was having minimal flowers and decorations.

        • Marcela

          Ok, My wedding was a bit more traditional with the ceremony, buffer dinner and dancing. Here’s some of my suggestions based on the cake and punch reception you mentioned:
          If you are in the Southeast, I would recommend Publix for your cake. They did an AMAZING job recreating exactly what I wanted and it was super delicious and they delivered. It was around $300. It was so much more cake than we needed, but the scale worked for the setting.
          We served beer, wine and a champagne sangria that is a staple at all family events. The sangria was served out of these big beverage dispensers we got at Sam’s Club for around $40. We pre-mixed the fruit and juice in gallon jugs(very well cleaned milk jugs) and would refill as needed. Put a call out to your community, you would be amazed how many people have the beverage dispensers hanging out in their garages and would be willing to lend them out. Mine have shown up at 2 bridal showers, one baby shower and three holiday parties.
          How does the rest of your wedding day look? Are you doing the ceremony at the same place? Ours was and this saved us beaucoup bucks on renting chairs, the staff at the venue took chairs from the ceremony and moved them to the reception area. If you have tables, you can save on linens by doing a basic tablecloth with a runner in a fun print/color. I made some for my sister’s baby shower earlier this year and it made a big impact for not much price.
          I love planning parties(and am procrastinating writing a paper) so feel free to ask more. :D

    • Eenie

      We paid for our own wedding! All of it. Very doable, and the best part is you have zero strings attached money!

      Put away your guest list for a week or two. Give yourself some space.

    • EF

      hey, samantha. i just want to say, my family didn’t come to my wedding (nearly 2 years ago) — they didn’t even bother to rsvp or send a card. my partner and i paid for things ourselves for the wedding, and a honeymoon registry paid for that.

      if you ever wanna talk super budget options, let me know. and if a size 14 jcrew halter top dress would fit you, i’m happy to send it to you.

    • Jess

      I’m so sorry that your family is taking this out on you so hard. Family stuff hits the hardest, especially during wedding planning where there is so much “my family is the greatest! They helped so much!” and you’re just not feeling that.

      In this case, it’s ok to block family, even if just for a week or so. Or turn off their ability to post on your wall. Or just… Walk away.

      There are lots of people below that have budget wedding ideas, but I just wanted to say I’m sorry for the pain your family is causing you.

    • HaleyCB

      Hi Samantha. I’m going through the exact same thing with my family post-election (though, luckily, I’ve already expatriated to the UK and can therefore slightly remove myself from the situation). So, just know that you aren’t alone.

      Also, my husband and I got married in July here in the UK, and our 50-person wedding cost us £2,500, with £1,500 of that being photography (and even though it was dirt cheap and untraditional, I know the wedding ended up looking decent, because we’re being featured on Love My Dress in January). We did *everything* on our own–flowers, self-catered bbq, held the reception in our back garden. And, my family refused to come over for it. So. My point is, if you want any help or advice, let me know and we can email or Facebook message or something! xx

      Haley

    • Sarah

      I know it’s not really the point of your post, but I’m having a not-exactly-budget-but-certainly-affordable wedding and while we do have some help from our families, that’s not what’s making it affordable. I found a good photographer that’s much cheaper than the others I liked, then negotiated a free engagement shoot and a few extra hours of coverage too. We’re getting a simple cake from a non-fancy bakery and putting a $2 Kmart cake topper on it. My dress was 90% off at a Karen Willis Holmes sample sale. I get annoyed too when the secret to a $50 wedding for 200 people turns out to be “pay your wedding website fees and get your parents to handle the rest!”, but that truly isn’t the only way to reduce the cost of your wedding.

  • Alyssa

    My fiancé and I, after finding out that what we can afford house-wise is less than half the median price of our county and all neighboring counties, finally decided that we need to seriously consider moving out of CA. We just got tickets to fly up to Seattle next weekend to see if we can see ourselves living there and if we think “yes”, then we’ll be moving up there in July next year, after we get married. It feels so good to at least have a hypothesized plan to put in motion! I’ve always thought I could live in Seattle long-term so I’m hopeful for this trip.

    Election-wise, it’s been a hard week (obviously). I have never felt so fundamentally disempowered, and I feel especially worried for a good friend of mine and her trans partner who got married this summer, as well as the families of the kids I work with, many of whom have immigrant family members. We are determined to stay at this point and I’m currently looking into organizations I want to volunteer with, provide volunteer counseling services to (since I’m a therapist) or donate to (PP is at the top of my list). Somehow contributing in these ways feels like a better way for me to fight than protesting, which my city is doing a lot of this week. My fiancé and I decided that if it gets “that bad” that we will leave the country, and we talked about what “that bad” means for us, so I feel good about having an exit plan if we find ourselves needing to use one.

    • BSM

      Just had some friends sell their home in Berkeley and move to Seattle. They’re super happy about it!

      • Alyssa

        Yay! That’s encouraging, thank you!

    • Samantha

      not Seattle, but one of my best friends was living in Portland for a while before she started law school, and just from her facebook, I was really daydreaming about moving to the north west!

    • Alynae

      I just moved from Northern California to Portland. Mostly because of housing prices! We love it here. Great lifestyle, much more outdoors time and we just bought a house!

      • Alyssa

        Yes! We live in a great area for outdoor activities now, but one of our top priorities is easier access to outdoor time.

    • Hannah

      Best of luck with the potential move! Housing prices are out of control here in Seattle, too, but hopefully it will feel manageable in comparison with your current surroundings. It is a lovely place to live.

      • Alyssa

        According to what we’re seeing, it’s WAY more manageable. We can’t find anything live-able in our area for less than 600K right now…

    • Former Seattle-dweller here, now I live in Spokane and it’s CRAZY CHEAP compared to Seattle and CA.

      • Alyssa

        How do you like Spokane? It came up in our conversation but we currently love living in our blatantly hippy community and we were worried that Spokane might be too conservative for us, but I’d love to actually hear from someone who lives there what their experience is!

        • Both my husband and I went to Gonzaga, which made it really easy to love Spokane. There are pros and cons to living here.

          It’s conservative, really conservative, for the most part. I swear, there are like 6 churches within a mile of my house. We live in a pretty darn blue/hippy pocket of the city (South Perry neighborhood) and I love it. There’s a lot of community involvement, we’ve got fun businesses within walking distance, a farmer’s market, etc. I walk to my yoga studio and favorite coffeeshop. That said, there are more conservative neighborhoods and more liberal ones. Spokane is very neighborhood oriented, unless you get out in the suburbs. The cost of living is lower than most everywhere, but the pay rates are usually lower too. I don’t think you need to make a ton of money to live comfortably in Spokane, and I know people who live off of less than $40-50k for a family of 4. Schools are hit or miss, if that’s an issue for you. You can’t really get around without a car, but there’s little to no traffic. In fact, I was whining the other day because I was *only* driving the speed limit during the afternoon commute on I90. It can be a bit of a drag, if you’re used to having more cultural/artsy stuff and things to do, but the slower pace of life is pretty awesome. I used to work for a private school in the Seattle area, and there, every kid in elementary school is in like a handful of activities all the time (soccer, swimming, football, ballet, etc.), whereas here, it’s more about kids relaxing. Again, that could be my neighborhood. I think it can be hard to be more liberal/progressive and live here, but I also think it’s important to live here and push that out, to show that we’re not just a “hick town” in Eastern Washington.

          Things I miss about Seattle: public transit, all the food (Indian, Thai, Chinese, etc) that I could get at any time, not being judged for not going to church (Spokane residents are pretty regular church goers), IKEA, and other shopping, living near a major airport.

          Things I love about Spokane: less traffic, our income vs cost of living is better (our 3 bed house mortgage is lower than our 1 bed apt in Seattle), people are more relaxed and nicer, my husband’s job is much less stressful, there are a lot of small businesses/shops/restaurants, the weather!!

          Seriously, the weather. We have four, beautiful and different seasons. We have a warm/hot and sunny summer, a crisp fall, a cold (and usually snowy) winter, and a wet/warm spring.

          • Alyssa

            Wow, thank you SO much for this feedback! Slower-paced life, more downtime, 4 seasons, cost of living — it’s all up our alley. Thank you!

          • Yes! It’s definitely not for everyone, but for us, it’s been a great change. I’m a bit nervous about how things will pan out with the election, but I’m trying to stay positive. If you make it over here for a visit, or want to chat more about Spokane, feel free to reach out again. You can email me too (if I can put that out here??) emily@emilywenzel.com if you want more details/specifics…I’m all for inundating Spokane with more liberals. ;)

    • CMT

      Eek. Best of luck, but Seattle is *expensive*.

      • Alyssa

        Thanks! We’re looking outside of Seattle proper so hopefully that will help a bit but honestly, seeing WA prices compared to where we live now in CA (which is being inundated with Silicon Valley people), Seattle housing prices are like a breath of fresh air!

  • Amy

    I ordered my wedding cake this weekend. I was so excited about it, doubly excited that it was cheaper than expected and showed my mom as soon as I got home. She had nothing nice to say about it. She first took issue with the sugar peony looking more like a chrysanthemum. It didn’t look like a chrysanthemum and looked better than the other bakeries’ flowers. (Plus i like both kinds of flowers) Then she took issue with the cake being chocolate. From the beginning she said my fiance gets to pick the inside. When I pointed this out she yelled “not the whole thing” now she’s saying that the cake “isn’t quite as awful” as she first thought, but is now complaining the peony being lavender looks awful and stands out too much with the pink rose and buds surrounding it.

    • It sounds like she’s realised what she said was hurtful and is trying to backtrack without losing ground, but frankly, if she’s that offended by the fact you didn’t read her mind and bought her perfect wedding cake she’s perfectly welcome to not sample it’s chocolatey goodness. It sounds super cute to me; sugarwork flowers are adorable and so delicate. You’ll have to make sure you tuck a few away as soon as you’re done cutting the cake, because your guests will eat the lot.

    • Jess

      Hey Amy! I had really similar experiences with my mom throughout planning. Anything I liked or was a little excited about was met with nothing but disapproval and negative comments (up to and including the way our beautiful and very us engagement photos turned out). I really struggled with keeping myself excited and motivated.

      I’m really sorry that she’s behaving like this because of your (frankly awesome sounding) cake. I hope you can get back to being super excited about your cake! It sounds delicious and beautiful!

    • Ashlah

      I’m so sorry your mom is acting out this way. It’s ridiculous and rude and not helpful. Does she often react this way to your wedding plans? If so, it might be time to place her on an information diet. It’s really hard when people seem incapable of just being supportive and excited for us, but sometimes it’s best to not even give them a chance to share their negativity by cutting them out of the process altogether. If it’s out of character, consider letting her know that you were hurt by her reaction, and that her criticism (particularly after you’ve already ordered it!) is not helpful.

      And seriously, chocolate cake is delicious and flowers are pretty and will also be eaten, not placed in a museum, sooooo can I have some of your cake please? And please feel free to share a photo here, if you’re so inclined! We’re always happy to gush over beautiful, delicious cake!

      • Amy

        She was like this earlier in the planning but has been less so as fewer and fewer decisions needed to be made. After this we basically just need the tuxes and we’re done with all the planning aspects. I can’t keep her out of things since she’s contributing money and I live with her. It was a huge shock for her to hate the cake so much since she also loves flowers and purple is her favorite color.

        I adore my cake. It’s nice to be at work and away from my mom. I was also able to show a couple coworkers the cake which made me feel better. I just hope she doesn’t start on me again when I get home since she insisted on going to the mall together later.

    • Sarah

      Man, I’m sorry you’re dealing with that. Often when people act like that it’s because of something else they’re struggling with that has nothing to do with you – maybe it’s hard for her to see you “growing up” (especially if you’re planning on moving out of her place after the wedding), maybe it’s got her thinking about how she’s getting older, maybe someone at work is being a dick to her and she’s taking it out on you. Other times people don’t realise they have a vision or a preference until you choose something that doesn’t fit with it – “you’ll look lovely in any dress [assuming it’s a white wedding gown with a matching veil]”, “we don’t mind what kind of venue you choose [gardens are pretty but a hotel ballroom works too]”, “your fiance should pick the cake [from vanilla sponge, white chocolate mud and traditional fruitcake]”. Next minute you’re at a bowling alley wearing pink sequins and eating chocolate cake and they’re like WHAT. Aaaaand sometimes people are just buttheads.

      For what it’s worth, your cake sounds beautiful, chocolate is delicious, and “well I don’t think it will be that bad but if you really don’t like it you don’t have to come” is a totally fair thing to say, even to your mother.

    • AGCourtney

      You’ve received some great consolation/advice, so I’ll just say: we had a lavender-colored chocolate cake and it was an excellent, delicious decision. We had 0 complaints. One tier was vanilla just in case, and that’s the one we had the leftovers from. :P

  • nyc_to_ma

    Help! We need to send out Save the Dates relatively soon and I can’t find ANYTHING I like. I’ve looked at everyone who advertises here, poked around a lot on Etsy, and also look at all of the bigger websites I know about (Minted, Wedding Paper Divas, Zazzle, etc) and can’t find anything my fiance and I both like.

    Does anyone have any ideas for modern, yet still fun / colorful save the dates that aren’t CRAZY expensive? I kind of want to do postcards, but I’m not totally tied to that.

    Thanks!!

    • Sarah

      I got my save-the-dates on clearance at a cheap stationery chain – they were $3 for a pack of 10 so I bought all 5 packs that were left. They had a rustic/hipster typewriter design. Not my style but they were there and they were cheap, and it turns out beautiful save-the-dates are good but not having to think about the save-the-dates anymore is much better!

      (I don’t say this to be one of those “who even cares, it’s not important, people spend too much time and money on silly wedding stuff they don’t even need” buttheads – who are almost always the ones who will happily rattle off a list of trivial things about the last wedding they went to that were completely unacceptable – because I totally get caring about details and liking things the way you like them. But if you’re running out of time and you’ve already looked pretty hard with no luck, it’s worth thinking about how much you care about getting STDs you like vs how much you care about just crossing it off your list already.)

    • Amanda L

      One thing to keep in mind is that you really only need to send STDs to your VIPs. Yes, it’s nice to give your friend across the country a heads up about the wedding date, but you could also do that via email…. heck, didn’t one of the APW sponsors offer email STDs? Do that for your friend-tier. Hit up the Target notecard aisle and write your VIPs a quick note. I bet they’d be uber-impressed to get a hand-written one versus a printed one that (if they are anything like me) will stay on their fridge until the day they get back from the wedding, when it will hit the trashcan.

    • If you like postcards, you could also buy a cheap personalised batch from vistaprint.com and hand write them. Or, considering the time of year, maybe check out some of the more secular winter-religious-festival-of-your-choice cards? You can get sparkles more cheaply!

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