My whole life, I’ve been accused of being too serious. I confess this is umm, probably, mostly ... okay, okay … it’s totally true. My kids have lightened me up considerably. However, I am still very serious about lots of things. I’m fiercely loyal, have an obsession with social justice, and am compulsive about seeking out whether or not the people I know or come into contact with have any substance.
I’ve been accused of being aloof and that’s probably fair. I like to observe people before committing to as much as a conversation. I’m not a grocery-line talker or a ladies fitting-room chit chatter. I can be charming, but I’m really not good at frivolity. And Stepford is nothing if not frivolous.
Okay, so it’s through this lens of substance-seeking that I view the world. It has shaped my love-hate relationship with Stepford and created the environment where I can count on one hand the number of people whom I actually call my friends. There are lots more people who I’m friendly with, but when I says friends, I mean someone I would actually wake up in the middle of the night if I needed something and who I wouldn’t curse if they called and woke me up. It is also the lens through which I view Sarah Palin. Hmmm … it has been a less than flattering lens to use on her.
My reaction to her surprised even me. It was immediate, harsh, and unyielding. I was, for lack of a more eloquent word, revolted. Now, my rational brain told me that this was ridiculous, that I shouldn’t feel any worse about her than I do, say Dick Cheney … or George Bush. My rational brain also told me that my overreaction to Palin should be telling me something about myself. Hmmm … now this is getting interesting. I love introspection. So for the last seven weeks while I’ve been ranting, raving, and throwing what we call in Texas a “hissy fit” about Palin, my brain has been working over time trying to put my finger on exactly what it is about Palin, besides the obvious, that has nearly made me lose my mind.
As with most things in my life that I over analyze, the answer felt tantalizingly close, on the tip of my tongue, my fingers brushing against it as I reached out to grab it, a dream that faded from my memory quickly upon awakening, a familiar face I just couldn’t place. Until … Saturday night. I hadn’t planned on watching Palin on Saturday Night Live. However, my husband really wanted to see it, so I watched. The opening segment elicited nothing more than an eye-roll from me as Alec Baldwin told Palin, “You’re so much hotter in person.” Seriously, can we pleeeease stop talking about how “hot” the potential Vice-President is? Can we not show a little respect at least for the office? At this point, my husband fell asleep and I went back to my book.
Then the Weekend Update began and I once again turned my attention to the television. Palin feigned changing her mind about the rap she had planned to do and Amy Poeler agreed to step in. Poeler then began her rap about Alaska. And then it happened … the camera cutting to Palin as Poeler rapped … Palin dancing in her seat, raising the roof, giving an “Ayers” to Poeler’s “Obama” … and the allusiveness of my outrage revealed itself as nothing more than this—familiarity. Oh yes, no doubt, Palin’s deficits in education and experience, her out of touch policy stances, her dialect, all that still bothers me … would be enough on its own to make me speak out against her. But what was making me lose my ever loving mind was the surface-level similarities between us.
Her age, her brunette hair, her goateed husband, her children, her clothes … her SUV … all of it was just too much like me. EXCEPT … I can’t find any substance. I keep looking and I don’t see it. And for me, there would be nothing worse than looking in the mirror and seeing no substance beyond the hair and makeup … looking in the mirror and seeing nothing more than an average everyday Stepford Wife. So, has my objective opinion of Palin changed? No, not a bit. But now that I’ve located the source of my revulsion, I can relax, content in the knowledge that just because I think Palin is all hat and no cattle, I am under no obligation to be the same.