Because I love tea, some people decided I should collect tea pots. I started receiving tea pots for birthdays, Christmas or just because. I never intentionally began collecting them and now I have dozens. Literally. Every shape, color, size and for any occasion. The very last gift my Grandma Mickey (my mom's mom) gave me before she headed off to heaven was a teapot shaped like a Christmas tree. It's one of my favorites. I also have a porcelain teapot and cups favored by Catherine the Great from the Lomonosov China Company in St Petersburg, Russia. My mother-in-law, Wanda, carried the set wrapped in the Russian newspaper, Pravda in a wobbly cardboard box tied with twine on her lap the entire flight from Moscow to Los Angeles without so much as a chip. An incredible feat to be sure! That teapot is also one of my favorites.
So where am I going with this teapot story? Well here it is. Talking about tea and a collection of teapots is safe. Friendly. Completely lacking in controversy. Now, what if I change directions just a tiny bit and talk about a tea party? Well, tea parties are for the most part non-controversial too. Lovely, dress up events that usually involve over-sized hats, cucumber sandwiches and scones served with devonshire cream and lemon curd. A yummy yawner of a blog.
No, I want to talk about THE Tea party movement and the incredible turn of events our country seems to be experiencing this fall. If any of my sons were reading over my shoulder right now, I know that a least one or two would be saying, "No, Mom, don't go there". So certain are they that I am going to offend someone with my wild conservative rantings. Yes, I rant at home and why not? You know what I think? (I get to say, its my blog). I think that for too long people (Women) who think like I do have behaved far too nicely. Nice girls keep their opinions to themselves, after all. When I was a young girl watching the students protests over the Viet Nam war or the bra-burning feminist movement, I was horrified. That's not how nice, Christian people behaved. I (literally) sang Kum Ba Yah around a church camp fire, volunteered at the Convalescent Hospital, and worked on the yearbook at school. My parents and their friends were all Republicans as far as I knew but they weren't passionate about politics. I don't think I heard my parents ever have a political discussion. They just worked hard, took nothing or expected anything from the government. The less intrusive, the better. I grew up with lots opinions about all sorts of things but never politics. Neither did any of my church friends. When I was a young wife and mother I was a speaker for an organization that held monthly luncheons all over the country. The clubs were cookie cutter alike and at each club luncheon they would remind the ladies that they only had three forbidden topics: We couldn't tell our real age, weight or talk politics. There it was again: Nice Christian women did NOT discuss or (gasp) offer an opinion about the political landscape.
It's one of the reasons (and a pretty valid one) that our country has slid down the slippery slope toward the massive mess we are in right now. We've gone to "heck" (children are reading this) because we've been too stinking nice.
Saturday Night Live has had a long run of making fun of conservatives like me. I have laughed while cringing. Tina Fey as Sarah Palin has gotten loud laughs from me. A writer I really love, Anne Lamott, wrote an editorial column in the L.A. Times (9/29/10), sarcastically ridiculing people I admire, musing that should conservatives win the majority in November, America will become an unrecognizable place of hatred, injustice, unbreathable air and a whole host of other terrors. I disagreed with her assessment 100% but does that mean I like her any less as a person, as a writer? Of course not.
But am I, a nice conservative Christian girl, allowed to express myself, to counter liberals like Anne with my own passionately-held opinions? Am I allowed, as the leader of a non-profit organization dependent on the kindness of grants and gifts from patrons and donors, to risk stepping up and out, lifting my voice for the things about this country that I hold dear? You bet! I am emboldened these days by the rise of a whole contingent of strong conservative women. Smart, secure, dedicated and passionate about our country and pressing the issues that I think are vital - a government that knows its place, protects the rights of ALL its citizens (including those yet to be born), and operates within its means, just for starters. There is a whole slate of them: Bachman, Palin, Fiorina, Angle, Malkin, Cupp, and on the list goes. What a turn around from my depths of despair just 10 months ago with the passage of the greatest boondoggle in America history, Obamacare.
A fire has been lit, we nice conservative girls have taken off our aprons, and stepped into the political arena. Things are going to get interesting!
Now, I'm certain that some reading this could not disagree with me more. That's ok. I'm all for the conversation. I love you as much as ever. Let's talk about it over a nice, hot cup of tea!