Today, a dear friend of mine got married. She’s the one who first got me involved in political campaigns. In 2012, on a whim, I signed up on the internet to volunteer for the presidential campaign, not really thinking anything would come of it. A week or so later, I got a phone call. Normally, if it’s a number I don’t know, I let it go to voicemail, but that day, I picked up because I thought it was my doctor’s office calling me back.
Instead, it was Jenny. She invited me to a phone bank, and I said yes. A few weeks later, I was very involved in the campaign locally. A couple months later, I was the local data coordinator, and we got to go to New Hampshire and meet President Obama. We spent lots of hours together–house meetings, organizing meetings, phone banks, canvasses, farmer’s market tables, convention and debate parties.
(I’m on the left, Jenny in the middle, and the guy on the right is Larry.)
Me, Vic, Jenny, and Larry. Actually, all of these folks were at the wedding, as well as Vic’s husband and Larry’s wife. These photos were taken in New Hampshire when we went to see the President speak–almost exactly two years ago.
We kept in touch after the campaign, too. I would see Jenny around town occasionally, and she invited me to her Christmas party the year before last. I remember at our Inauguration party, she pulled me aside and told me I was “Supreme Court smart” and offered to write me a letter of reference for school or a job or anything. And she’s someone I never would’ve met if I hadn’t worked on this campaign.
But I’ve been really stressed out, so it was hard to motivate myself to get up and go to the wedding. I haven’t been sleeping well, and the fatigue and weakness have been really bad lately. And depression makes me want to just stay in bed all day. But another campaign friend, Holly (not pictured), was coming to pick me up, so I dragged myself out of bed, got dressed, did my hair.
On the campaign I’ve been working on, I often feel left out because if my disability. It’s never intentional–it’s just that so much of it involves people being on their feet, and I’m unintentionally excluded because I have to go sit down somewhere. Even if it’s physically close to everyone else, I’m literally not on their eye level, so people don’t talk to me. It feels like I literally become invisible. No one does it on purpose, but it still happens and it still hurts. So I was kind of expecting that to happen again.
But it didn’t, at all. Maybe it’s because the group from the 2012 campaign is much older than the people on my current campaign, so they sit down and talk more. I don’t know, but I never felt excluded. There was a three-hour window between the wedding and the reception, and Holly (my ride) went to visit some friends nearby. I got a ride and hung out with Larry and his wife Judy. He’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. I’d never met his wife before, but she is incredibly sweet too. I got to hear about their kids and grandkids, we went to the Bridge of Flowers (you can see my photos here), and wandered around the town. As they were leaving the reception, she even told me to email them and tell them how I’m doing, which I thought was very sweet.
And Jenny even made sure I had food I could eat. She’d picked a couple of things specifically with me in mind because she knows how limited my diet is. That felt really good. It means a lot to know that someone cared enough to remember that and to accommodate my need, especially when she was planning her wedding and dealing with all the details and stresses of that. Kind of a contrast to the non-rehearsal dinner my mom planned for the night before my sister’s wedding, where there was literally nothing I could eat. It’s just nice to have someone hold me in mind like that.
I was happy the entire day. I honestly cannot remember the last time that happened.
Then, on the way home, Holly and I were talking, and somehow it came up in the conversation that her father had sexually abused her. We ended up having a whole long conversation about that, and it was surprisingly not at all awkward or embarrassing. I mean, we didn’t talk details or anything, but still. I can’t remember the last time I had a conversation about my trauma stuff that didn’t make me want to vomit and hide.
So really good day. The only annoyance was that my phone died right before the reception, so I don’t have any pictures of the group or of me all dressed up. (Side note: whenever my sister gets her wedding photos back, I’ll post some of those. I wore the same dress.)
Oh! And a hilarious thing you guys will probably appreciate: when I was switching my stuff from my casual purse to my dressy purse, I apparently missed grabbing my keys, so I got home tonight to find I was locked out. I have a temporary roommate (complicated story) who has the spare but hasn’t moved in yet, my landlady’s in Maine until tomorrow night, and my cell was dead. And I REALLY needed to pee.
I took my shoes off and ran around to the back door, even though I was certain it was locked. (We never even use that door.) It was indeed locked, so I considered peeing in the backyard. My landlady has some high shrubs, so I could probably do it fairly discreetly. (Men are much better equipped for discreet outdoor peeing.)
Then I realized I still have my window unit in my bedroom window. So I opened the window from the outside, pulled this heavy, dust-coated window unit out, and crawled in through my very dirty window. Luckily, my dress was satin, so it was easy to wipe the dust off. Also luckily, no one saw me doing this and called the cops to report a burglar. I imagine it would’ve been a pretty funny sight if anyone had been around to see it, but I figured you guys could get a vicarious kick out of it.