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But when I was at school, I heard the N-word dropped. I heard Jewish people spoken of very negatively. So what do you do? You kind of laugh it off to fit in. In high school, I also had a major drinking problem, but I got great grades so I could fly under the radar. So I just kept partying more. So I go home and I meet this guy. We started dating. It was a kind of revenge, that I could get a guy like the guy who raped me — I could get him to be nice to me. Looking back, it was all very strange. But then [Geoffrey and I broke up], and I got married and then had my son, and that relationship lasted for about 14 years.
After we got divorced, I got sober, and then in , I found Geoffrey on Facebook. It looked like he was single and had grown up a lot, and we started talking. We had a good time together. When Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, it was a wake-up call. I also felt embarrassed that this was the first time I was seeing this. Where the hell had I been?
That was when I started feeling resentment. But he might have voted for John Kasich or Jeb Bush.
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Then in January , I was watching Rachel Maddow, and this guy Ezra Levin popped up, explaining how he and a bunch of ex-congressional staffers had put together a manifesto about how to talk to congresspeople. So I started a group called Indivisible St.
I think Geoffrey figured it would be like the needlepoint pillow I never finished. But we started having these meetings. We decided to have a march to protest this Muslim ban. All of a sudden, I was in charge of a march for 1, people. I bought poster board, we made signs in Starbucks. I was really energized.
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The people I was meeting were so bright and interesting. The world opened up. I took a class called Witnessing Whiteness and realized that racism is at the core of the problem of this country and that the only thing I can do is be an ally and show up and shut up. Geoffrey never went to one rally or meeting. When I left for a protest after [former St. Things started falling apart at home.
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Geoffrey was absolutely shocked. He downloaded a divorce agreement, and we went to the notary public at the UPS store. I left feeling free, like in high school when your parents are out of town. My husband and I got married a year after we met. Eventually, we landed in the Southwest, where we have family. Where we both agree is the problems — the kind that make you think you need to separate — began after the election, when I ramped up my political activism. I was going to be part of the process that elected the first woman president!
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This is so dorky, but I even wore white in honor of the suffragettes. By the time I walked out of the polling center, though, Donald Trump was the presumptive winner. It was crushing. Politically my husband and I are completely aligned, but he was lonely. He felt I was always gone, and even when I was there, I was preoccupied.
They often come with me and have tons of little activist kid friends. But I want her to do less of it. I think we understand this is an essential disconnect. Part of it is that he has the perspective that this too shall pass. In my opinion, that comes from the privilege he has as a white male Protestant. But I have family members who are Muslim, so when the Muslim ban happened, that was a direct rejection of my family and friends.
And of course the same is true for sexual abuse and threats to reproductive freedoms. Also, the activism I do is very gendered. It almost feels like the version of the woman who gives up her career to stay home. He does take care of our children so that I can be at a political meeting until 9: We now talk very openly about how this is probably not a sustainable life. But throughout the hiring of the Steve Mnuchins of world, the white privileged men, and with every single Cabinet member and Jared Kushner and Ivanka, he had much less rage than I did.
Now I see ageism. I am trying to get rid of it through therapy. But he has much less understanding about where all this comes from. With MeToo, for example, my feeling was, Let them all go down.
Though I should add he takes my constant rage with a sense of humor. With Brett Kavanaugh, the first thing he said about him, before any of the allegations, was that they were once on a panel at some alumni thing and that he seemed like a nice guy, which of course started a fight. And then at first, when Dr.
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And at each stage we have yet another argument. Mostly I tell him he needs to think about this more clearly before he talks to me about it, and then I walk away. Back then, Samantha was also much, much, much less engaged in political and civic life. And while I think I hate Trump as much as she does, Samantha is much angrier and almost more obsessed with it. When I talk about things like Brett Kavanaugh, for example, I have a far less innately insane — well, not insane — passionately hostile reaction to him than she does.
I knew she was foaming at the mouth about him even before Dr.
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Ford came forward. I saw him a year and a half ago on a reunion panel where he seemed downright avuncular. If I had any chip against him, it was that he wrote the Starr Report. But for Samantha, with Dr. I think a healthy marriage requires being deaf a little bit, and definitely a little bit of, Yes, dear. My husband and I met when we were 13 and literally grew up together.
Our backgrounds are pretty different. I also grew up more upper class, and he grew up poor economically. I thought, Oh shit. How long will this go on? Is it going to impact his paycheck?
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Enough of being this nice wife who will go along to get along. After that, I was at the capitol every day; I was posting on social media. My first public Facebook post about politics, I immediately got hacked and got death threats. We went through a really, really tough time. The tipping point came after my daughter was sexually assaulted. I was obsessing about it. And since I love him and he loves me, it was a matter of him understanding that. He grumbles when he helps me put the yard signs in the car, but afterward he asks how it went.
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