Yesterday's blog was a crap out. It was supposed to be Day 8 of the 30 Day Non-Facebook Prose-Instead-of-Pictures Challenge. Instead, my brain wouldn't come up with anything. Before heading into today's blog, let's recap the last three.
6.A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day - Yep
7.A picture of your most treasured item - TWO nights ago
8.A picture that makes you laugh - At Last!
Tonight after work, the Press Secretary had all the gals in the office over for Girls' Night. The conversation ran the gamut from genealogy to why some American men have a yen for Asian women. Beer and wine flowed freely. It's nice to kick back after a long week at the office.
So what part of that makes me laugh? Our Legislative Correspondent. She's the youngest of all the women in the office. During the past six months, her confidence level in herself as a person has really increased. During the first few weeks together as a new office, she tried to stifle her laugh. It's not a girly giggle. It's a snort. Her self-consciousness got in the way of truly expressing herself.
But her self-confidence has blossomed. She no longer holds back on her laughs, and snorts when she finds something really funny. Her laugh, uh, snort, is infectious. Hearing her makes me laugh. Well, maybe not laugh out loud, but smile broadly. At the same time, it makes me sad.
If my co-workers were to know that I'm even the slightest bit purple, they would probably not be as open and friendly as they currently are. I feel like I can't be myself around them. I'm hiding a major part of myself in order to keep a job. Although only one person in the office is openly hostile to people of the other party.
I wish I could tell them, "Hey, I'm not really a [insert party name]. I'm more of a liberal conservative or a conservative liberal or a Blue Dog [insert other party name]." But I feel like I would need to follow up with, "But I'm not a spy or a mole or a saboteur." I have a good friend who worked on the legislative staff of a member of the other party. Actually, I know several people like that. Of course, that was before 1992 when the climate on the Hill changed drastically. Until then, there had been comity and relationships across party lines. My former office was close to our next door neighbor who was of the other party.
Shortly after 1992, my former boss retired from Congress, as did his counterpart on their shared subcommittee. Neither of them liked the new atmosphere on the Hill. Things have only gotten worse over the last 20 years. People are more polarized and quick to judge others based on their political beliefs.
Even as the LC's snorting laugh makes me smile and laugh, not being able to fully share who I am keeps a cloud over that smile. As with most things in life, it's bittersweet.
Title taken from this.