I need away from where I live. I came here to finish my college education when I was a single mom in my 40s. I finished it and ended up staying because my children were in school. They are out now, my youngest just turned 20, and I need to go.
Some years ago I became aware that one of the biggest events in this town is a particular festival that is supposed to celebrate the diversity of this community. I'm ashamed to say it's really all about showcasing the wealthy white families - and there is a HUGE income disparity here. The highlight of the festival is a ball where a queen is crowned, debutante style, and once my kids got into high school I really began to understand the real function of this ball. It showcases the white daughters of the rich. There are no kids of color. This is embarrassing in today's world. I really hate it.
Then, one of my children was involved in a school activity that requires fundraising. Because this activity requires clothing and equipment, of which new must be purchased every year. The students must travel long distances to stay a week in expensive hotels to properly train, never mind the same exact camp is offered IN THIS TOWN as a day camp at a considerably lower cost. The main fundraiser is the Dad's BBQ, which assumes right off the bat that every participating child has an active father. No amount of asking or persuading would change the minds of the wealthy white parents who locked down the booster club which funds the activity. Tradition. Child must come from the right family, even though this was a public school. So we live through that marginalization, for which I had to pay several hundred dollars in fines because there was no dad to appear for my child and I could not be there that day because I couldn't take off work.
Part of the fundraising is to sponsor a trip to sunny Los Angeles, half way across the country, every other spring break. I had to pay money to the booster club to support this, then my child had to try out for and didn't make the activity the following year, so she didn't get to go. Bitter? You bet.
So now Daddy/daughter dances have started up - as part of the local public schools. I live in a primarily rural area where the small city has the biggest school system in the county, but numerous small communities have their own districts within the county, and it's the small districts that have picked up on this.
I don't want to be here anymore. When I was in college, one of my jobs was as a student worker in the dean's office. The Dean, a woman, got her daughter into cheer in 8th grade and she was talking about how they had to start going to church because all the cheerleaders are active in a church. And she did it! A professor turned dean, but there's no lack of educated people around here. It's just that even with public school education and state college education, everyone still seems to fall into the black hole of church.
I'm having a bad weekend. This soul sickness from Trump's acquittal has seeped into my soul and it drowns me. I need out of Cruz country. When Teddy was running for office, his signs permeated the landscape and they all prominently featured "God." Recent local elections showed Republicans running for Jesus. This place is blood red and I need out of it.
Until I can get out, you bet I'm voting for any and everything possible, and it won't be anybody Republican.