Saturday, October 25, 2008

s.d. campaign part two...

So I'm back in Sioux Falls. I'm so, so beyond happy to be back. As much as I love my little cafe in Florence, and as much as I miss my noho family, this place feels like exactly where I need to be right now. I flew back into Sioux Falls late Saturday night..and United promptly lost my luggage. It came the next day, thankfully. But not until after a late night wal mart run (I know, I know, there was nowhere else to go!) for underwear. Yep.

It's been wonderful to be back. I won't lie; part of me really does regret not taking this full time job back in July.

We spent all of today in Huron, SD, about 2 hours northwest of Sioux Falls. We canvassed for about 8 hours today. I'm exhausted.
It was a pretty successful canvass, though!
A few highlights, categorized appropriately...

what the eff?
This was by far the most disturbing part of my day. It had nothing to do with the campaign, really. Which makes it slightly better, I suppose?
I was harassed and assaulted by an 8 year old boy.
I know - already, "what the eff?," right?
As I was walking to my last house (under the "heart sinking" category), I walked past a playground in a small park, where four 8 to 10 year old boys were playing. One called out to me, "Hey girl! Hey! Girl!" When I looked over, he pointed to his friend and said, "this boy has a crush on you!" I shook my head and walked on to the house. The boy with a crush kept sticking up his middle finger at me. I ignored him.
As I was leaving and heading toward the park to wait for my ride to my next canvass location, Crush Boy called out to me, "Hey! Hey Girl! I want to have sex with you!"
Again, I ignored him, and headed toward one of the benches. I called the field director, just to have someone on the phone while I waited, so I wasn't alone. She'd just picked up the phone and said hello when Crush Boy runs over to me, says, "Hey! I want to fuck you!" .... and threw a handful of the wood chips from the playground in my face.
I didn't really know what to do. I've never had experience dealing with that situation. So I brushed off the wood chips, sat down by the water, and told my friend what was going on.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw them getting closer to me, and so I kept an eye on them.
But Crush Boy moved quickly. Next thing I knew, he was behind me, pulling back the neck of my shirt, and stuffing wood chips down my shirt. Then he ran away with his friends, back to the playground.
I screamed after him: "What the hell is wrong with you?!" I mean, really. Who does that?

As I was walking away, back toward where I came from in hopes of meeting my ride a little further down the street, Crush Boy grabbed his crotch in my direction. And humped the air.

Keep in mind that Crush Boy is probably 8 years old.

Good lord.

the Heart Sinking and Heartwarming after the jump.

heart sinking:
The last house I went to, a very nice looking woman answered the door. She was clearly fixing dinner; she had an onion in one hand and she was wearing an apron with her name on it (Kay).

When I introduced myself and asked her if she'd heard about Measure 11 on the ballot this year, she responded with this:
"I have. And I have to say, dear, that I don't think your family is very healthy when you're advocating for death and pushing for abortion. [i try to gracefully exit, say "ok," and get ready to turn around and leave] I mean, these girls who have this procedure have all kinds of emotional problems that nobody ever talks about. And, you know, it's linked to breast cancer."
"Actually, there have been absolutely no scientific studies to confirm that myth."
"I read it in a science...."
"In a peer-reviewed journal? In a reputable source? Because it's been debunked by the American OB/Gyn Association in at least a couple of statements. And there's never been a reliable study done that proves it. There've been plenty of studies done that disprove the causal relationship."
"Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree."
"I suppose so. I'm glad I've got science on my side. Have a good day."

Seriously? I knew they were using the "abortion hurts women" argument. But the breast cancer one? Really?


I talked to a lovely couple, Sylvia and John. They were for sure voting no. They really believe it's a woman's choice to do with her body what she will. They plan on going to the polls on November 4th, rather than going to do early voting, because they think it's a good thing to do. Also, they always take John's sister to vote on election day. I suggested they make a day out of it, go out to dinner, have a good time. Sylvia was totally into the idea. She was adorable.

I also talked to another couple, Pamela and David. Their friend Kathy was over, helping them straighten out their garage. Pamela was the only one who was unsure -- she, like most people, doesn't want people to use abortion as birth control. (I shouldn't have to say this, but...they really never do.) Kathy was a strong supporter of ours - "Pamela, you should vote no on that one. It's a woman's choice."
But David was the one who really warmed my heart.
"Pamela, you can't vote yes. It's your body! Why do you want the government to tell you what you can and can't do?"
Pamela will be voting no.
So will David.
And Kathy.
And Kathy's husband, Joe.

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