"Dude," he said. "Why?"
That's all he had to say, because I immediately knew what he was talking about, which was that I had engaged in a Facebook political debate with somebody with whom I should know by now I should not.
"It's like a drug!" I wailed, and I was completely serious.
Political debate is, for me, like cigarettes. I smoked from the time I was eighteen until the year before I got pregnant with River, which is a lot of years. Fifteenish, with a couple of years off for Jeffrey's pregnancy and the year or so after that. I didn't enjoy it. I didn't enjoy the taste of cigarettes at all. I didn't like the way they made my lungs and sinuses feel. I didn't like the way they made me smell. I didn't like the money I spent on them. BUT. I also loooooved smoking on the first warm day of spring, driving with the windows down. I enjoyed smoking my way through long phone conversations with far-away friends or chats around a fire pit. I liked kicking back with the hubs at the end of a long day with a companionable smoke on the back patio. BUT. I knew cigarettes were bad for me, I knew smoking would eventually kill me, and I wanted to quit for years.
I don't enjoy political debates on Facebook. I don't like it when loved ones call me a "libtard" or smear the candidate I support. I don't like it when I spend precious minutes researching non-biased information to share only to have the person on the screen say, "You are a shill." Or "I have to go with my gut on this." I don't enjoy having people I respect treat me badly or show me sides of themselves that I truly, truly don't think they'd show me in person. (Because, if they did, we couldn't be friends.) AND YET--there is a part of me that just craves it. I crave the clash. I crave the research. I crave the moment when I've done my research and the person I'm debating has nothing to say and either shuts up or insults me.
But...it's not good for me. It's just NOT.
The negativity can drag me down and put me in the dumps all day long. I can get so sidetracked on researching and coming up with zingers and comebacks that I will look up and realize that it's lunchtime or time to go pick up the kids and nothing has been done around the house. It's probably not good for business given that I live in a conservative (NOT an insult, just a truth) area. And I've come to realize that Facebook is just not the place (FOR ME) to have the debates. Debates should be done in person, with people who are just as informed as you are, and who are not willing to insult you to your face. I've discussed this before, on Facebook, on the old blog, with random people in Walmart--it's just NOT GOOD for me to debate on Facebook, and yet I keep going back to it. Seriously, it has to stop.
So, what's a girl to do who loves politics and who, moreover, believes that political discussion is healthy for a growing republic?
Or...my new kitten. LOOK! Here she is:
Her name is Lyra and she is about ten weeks old. She is insane. She wrestles with my potted plants, is the Destroyer of Lego Worlds, plays with rocks she knocks off my desk, and would STILL make a better president than Donald Trump.