April 15th usually invokes the usual moans and groans about paying too much taxes and long lines at the post office. But today was going to be different. Ordinary citizens (I think the government is calling us right-wing radicals now - how exciting) like myself were getting together for a Tea Party (Taxed Enough Already). In over 2000 cities, citizens (liberals, conservatives, moderates) would be gathering to protest the out of control spending our congress has adopted and to make our voices heard by those who think we work for them instead of the other way around.
I was so excited. For years I have been growing angrier everyday about the direction our country is taking. Now I could finally do something. Protest, yeah!! Of course, I use protest in the loosest sense. This party would not be a hippy peace march or some radical, left-wing, "burn your bra" type of affair. This would be more of a Patriotic Picnic. You know, say the pledge of allegiance, listen to some speeches made by local celebrities while everyone is polite and orderly. I wasn't expecting loud chanting, police in riot gear or tear gas - something I think my mother was expecting.
The 15th had finally arrived. I dropped my children off at their midweek "Sunday school" class and rushed to downtown Wheeling, WV for the Tea Party. I parked 4 blocks away and sprinted in the rain with my little American flag waving. When I got down to Heritage port I was delighted to see 1000 to 1500 people gathered waiting for the festivities to commence. There were SAHMs, 70-year old women with signs, working class men and women, even children, etc... you know right wing, "overthrow the government" type radicals.
We said the Pledge of Allegiance, sang the "Star Spangled Banner" and did some whoops and hollers as my good friend (an IT specialist from Wheeling) started pumping the crowd up. And then the cell phone call came... my 5-year old was suffering from a stomach ache and could I please come and get him. Oh, the disappointment...
I made the trek back to my car and rushed to the church to pick up my children. It turns out my son, well, to be delicate, wanted to use the bathroom facilities at home to take care of business. I missed the speeches, the rest of the whoops and hollers and the chance to mingle with other like-minded Americans, but I was there for a moment and it was exciting.
I guess I see my detour from the Tea Party as sort of a metaphor. We can keep fighting (peacefully) back, but congress is just going to keep putting poop in our way.
On a funny note, on my way back to my car I ran into my good, Obama-supporting, liberal friend. She asked me if I had a good time at the Tea Party and then we made a lunch date. I love America!