October 10, 2012
The night of the first 2012 presidential debate my Obama for President was stolen from my front yard, and by yard I mean right in front of my front door. I really do not care what your political affiliation is, but stealing is stealing.....um wrong and illegal. I was told it is a federal offense in some states....but not in California. Not to throw stones while living in a glass house, but my two neighbors with Romney Signs, those were not stolen.
The Tea Party Exists in California
To give this post some background I must note that the few interactions I have had with my one neighbor. She was a plenty with information when we first moved into El Dorado Hills. I was forced to look past her hatred of braziers when we spoke, something my husband could not do. That all changed this past Summer when she accosted confronted approached me on my front porch to discuss local politics. The conversation was one sided as I nodded and listened to her discuss what was wrong with our city, school district and home owners association's rules. After we exhausted those topics things went from bad to worse.
Apparently the high school we were going to send our children to was awful, horrible and terrible. Her daughter was leaving and going to the nearby town's school because it was SO much better. My school of choice was the worst, she said, the worst. But, take away was this line (and I quote);
"I am in the Tea Party and I am kind of a big deal (Hey? that is my line I thought). I went to a meeting last night and did you know they are putting Section 8 housing in Serrano (a huge number of different gated communities in El Dorado Hills)? It's true. I heard it at the meeting."
I was pretty much taken aback by so many things that I could not respond. A real Tea Partier....next door? I was starting to realize how Conservative my neighborhood was. I blinked a few times and nodded my head. At least at this encounter she was wearing a bra. As the weeks and months got us closer to the election I started to notice a weekly Tea Party sign posted at different parts of our neighborhood. I started to see bummer stickers that border lined on racist/mysogonist and downright offensive to this Bay Area (proud of it) native. We were not in Kansas, Foster City any more.
The irony is a friend (who used to live in the Bay Area) came over for a glass (or two...don't judge) of wine the week before and she commented on my sign. She walked in my front door and announced she was so happy to be hanging with a Democrat and then told a disturbing story of a one-sided fight she had with a neighbor that disagreed with her political stance. I asked if she thought I would lose friends over the sign, her response.;
A Fallen Hero
This is a small town and a tight town. Things here happen and everyone finds out. It the good parts of being so close knit that make me happy to live here. Sadly, two teachers that teach at a junior high lost their son in the Afganistan war about a month ago. The community ralied around them to support the family and to help them through this most awful time. It was amazing and humbling to see most of El Dorado Hills line up on a main road as the procession drove to his funeral. We had schools, parents, teachers, teams, and then there was my neighbor. She felt it totally appropriate to wear her t-shirt that said, "I am a Tea Party Patriot".
So, a few days later when I noticed she placed her Romney sign in her yard with the American flag (because nothing says I am a true Amerian than a house with a flag), I decided I could let my neighbors know my political affiliation. I ordered the political sign one night (first one I have EVER ordered) and sat on it for a few days once it arrived. I really did not want any controversy, or maybe I did...finally my kids were the ones who convinced me to put it up.
Rise Above the Frey
As a wiser friend has said, this was a teachable moment for my children. It has also been sort of amusing, for this sarcastic Mom that enjoys pranks, April Fools and even the TP'ed home. My daughter and I drove to get our second sign (oh yes WE CAN and it is bigger), when I told her it would have been funnier if it had been replaced with a Romney sign. That would have been funny, but I paid for my sign(s).
Here a few things that were not lost on me and my children, who wanted the sign more than I did :
- This act of theft does not change who I am planning on voting for
- It would be funny if I had not paid for both signs
- Stealing is so....1984 (translate that to Juvenile)
- It just makes me want to buy bigger signs
- It reminds me that we do not live in a free country and my voice is not always heard
- The discussion of "Booby Trap" has never been a topic of dinner conversation....until now
- 100% electoral votes are going for Obama....ya there is that.
I still love where I live, I love my children's friends and the schools they go to. I am forever thankful for my new and old friends I have made here. However, it has put a little bit of bitter taste in my mouth for my neighbors/teenagers/anyone who could have stolen the sign. And for the record I do not know who stole my sign. I don't care what their political affiliation is - they stole something that was mine and that is the message I am trying to reiterate to my children. Sadly, for this person who felt the need to silence my freedom of speech, it has only re-energized my children's distaste for the other party, so mission accomplished angry Republican/Tea Party Activist/Deer....in about five years my side just got two more Democrats.