Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Lessons From My Mom

My Northern mother tried to raise her kids with Southern manners and etiquette. We were taught table manners during family dinners, conversation skills (always ask questions, people love to talk about themselves) and to always write thank you notes and bring a hostess gift. Since I am now a perfect lady (Captain Awesome is laughing so hard he spit) I follow these rules to the letter. Ok, not really. But a rule I always try to remember is to never talk about politics, religion or money at social events. There are always hurt feelings and unless you want to turn your party into a shouting match just smile and change the conversation. If I'm with a group of friends or my immediate family we can talk/debate/laugh/yell about any of the three big ones but I try to avoid it with people I don't know as well.

After "Super Tuesday" the whole country is talking politics. I am so glad that we care about what happens to us and want to actively be involved in choosing the leaders that shape our county. I am a super liberal and a democrat. I never vote a straight ticket if I feel someone else can do a better job but in my 27 years I've stayed true to the democratic party. It was in some ways influenced by my parents but after research I've decided that it really is the best choice for me and my ideals. Of course I married an independent but luckily we can usually agree to disagree.

My mother's family is from a small town in the mid-west. My Grandmother is very outspoken liberal democrat who HATES the president with the passion of 1,000 suns. Some of my mom's siblings are liberal and some are conservative. This weekend I will be staying with some of the conservative ones. They are incredibly generous kind-hearted people but we have no similar political opinions. They still live in the town they grew up in surrounded by small farmers and small business owners. They have been working hard in the family business for many many years. I understand why they are republican and why they believe what they do but I just cannot bring myself to agree with them. I guess this weekend I will just have to take my mama's advice, smile and turn the conversation to something else. Wish me luck.

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