Archive for January 29, 2009

An Emotional Morning

January 29, 2009

It’s the end of an era.

I’m moving out of the house I’ve lived in for the last six-plus years, the only place in Los Angeles that I’ve called home. On March 1st I’m moving about half an hour away to Los Feliz with my friend Mary. It happened so much faster than I thought it would. We started looking with the intention that we wouldn’t move unless we found something absolutely perfect in the exact neighborhood we wanted. I thought it would take months, but within a few weeks, there it was! We went last night to talk about deposits with the property manager, and as soon as we left her apartment and she shut the door behind us, Mary and I gripped each other’s arms and started jumping around in a silent, elated screaming fit.

Then I woke up this morning and realized that not only am I moving to a great new apartment in a delightful community, I’m leaving my house and the neighborhood I have loved SO much for the last six years. So much has happened here, and its walls have always been a welcoming refuge. It all sort of hit home this morning, and I started out my commute with a heavy heart. Then I did the only thing I could do. I started belting out “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” by Boyz II Men. As I finished up the last notes the second time through, I perked up to listen to what they were saying on NPR. It was about the bill Barack Obama signed into law today: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, named for a woman who sued Goodyear for gender discrimination after learning she’d been earning 40% less than her male co-workers for twenty years, and ultimately lost, due to the dumbness of the dumb old law.

The part that moved me the most was the ad Lilly made for Obama’s campaign after learning that John McCain opposed the bill — an ad that, according to political consultant Frank Luntz, was one of the few effective negative ads in the campaign: “John McCain opposed a law to give women equal pay for equal work,” Lilly says in her endearing Alabama accent, “and he dismissed the wage gap, saying women just need education and training. I had the same skills as the men at my plant. My family needed that money.”

“Wow,” I said outloud, and then shouted, “TAKE THAT, JOHN MCCAIN!” Then I immediately burst into tears. I must have been well-hydrated, because tears were shooting out of my eyes at an alarming rate, soaking my face and making my collar damp and soggy. I reached into the glove compartment to see if I had any kleenex or napkins, but all I found was a clean pair of underwear.

There I was, driving down Wilshire Boulevard at 7:45 AM, mourning the impending loss of my old home and experiencing crippling gratitude for this moment in history, for Obama and Lilly Ledbetter and for everyone who has fought so hard for their fellow human beings. And crying into a pair of panties.

So much is changing in the world. Some of it is bad, but a whole lot is very, very good. I tend to be optimistic to a fault, but I’m very hopeful about this world shift, and feel in many ways that it’s a new dawn of sorts. On a much smaller scale, I know the change will be good for me, too. It was time, and it felt right. But that doesn’t mean I won’t miss the cozy, sunny house I’ve come to know as home.

All together now: “And I’ll taaaaaaaake with me the memorieeeeees to be my sunshine after the raaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnn. It’s so haaaaaaaard to say goodbyyyyyyyyyeeee to yesterdaaaaaaaaaaaaaayeeeeeeeeeee!