Hey stalker. I know you’re reading this, combing through everything you can find, looking for whatever you can use as a weapon. I don’t let it scare me but I know you’re still there.
So here’s a nugget for you today: Remember the last time you had the courage to actually talk to me? I was walking to my car, fresh out of my workout at the YMCA and you messaged me to gloat over the election of America’s 45th President. You sneered that it was “payback” for all of my “misdeeds.” Those “misdeeds” were things you made up, but okay, they’re your things, you think they’re important I guess. It was 2016. I was a permanent, legal resident in the U.S. but not yet a citizen. Wishing harm on someone for something so remote shook me, I’ll admit it, and I have a regret about our exchange that night, I’ll admit that too.
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you how I really felt about living in America at that precise moment in history. The truth is, I didn’t want to overstep my limits. I didn’t want to lay claim to a country that was not yet mine. Well, I’m a citizen now. America is my country. Today is another difficult day for us. And I have something to say.
On a day like today, if you gave me the choice to be safely tucked away in Canada or to live in the middle of the crucible that is America today? I would choose America every single time. In a heartbeat, I would choose America. And if you think, for one minute, that I’m unusual that way, or that I’m pretending, or that I’m stretching the truth, you can ask any other American woman how she feels about being American today.
I like all the things you always liked about America. I love being able to go to New York for the weekend. I liked watching the red carpet at the Met Gala. I like the magazines, the movies, the TV, the music and the restaurants. But most of all, more than anything else, I love our political system. I’m so proud to be an American, and that is the main reason why.
The four years we spent with the former guy in the Oval office were hard years, no question. We saw every boundary broken, every American value insulted, regulations rolled back and a deadly virus allowed to run riot over the land. I live in a blue state, as you know, and we were punished at the beginning of the pandemic. We went without medical supplies, we sanitized groceries, we stayed in our homes. At one point, our Governor actually smuggled masks into the state because he couldn’t get them past the Feds. They were hard years, no question.
And at the end of four years, we all went to the polls. We went wearing masks and visors. We went even if we had to stand in line for hours. We mailed our ballots in and drove to drive-through polls in the middle of the night in some states. We waited patiently and we cast our votes. And when We, the people of America, had finished voting, we had a new President. And things started getting better. Things got better because we did not get discouraged. We did not get disheartened. We got determined.
We didn’t have masks for the first part of the pandemic and like many other women across the country, it occurred to me that we might need them. When the hospital told me they didn’t want them, I almost gave up, but another American, a Republican in fact, told me to keep going. He said the people in nursing homes might need them and caregivers who go into people’s homes might need them. He offered his help and we kept going. Together, with some local friends who had sewing machines, and drivers like me, and people to find the patterns and supply the materials (that was me too) we started a mask relay where one person would pick up supplies, another would drop supplies to the mask makers, another person would pick them up and another person would deliver them. We kept our community safe. We were ready with masks for everyone before the mandate came down.
That’s what it’s like to be an American, Stalker. When the going gets rough, we shine our very shiniest. When Ukraine was attacked, we said Hell No. We’ve been sending help ever since.
And today, if you turn on your TV, or go online, even in Canada, you are going to see headlines about Roe Versus Wade being rolled back by a Conservative, activist, Supreme Court. You are going to see protests, and angry women on every channel. You are going to see people talking about this everywhere, all day. And you are going to see us in the streets, in Washington, on buses, with signs, on the phone to our representatives, sitting outside offices, marching in the streets. And that’s going to happen everywhere, in D.C., in Boston, in NYC, in California and Kentucky. That’s because we’re all here together. We’re in this together. Every one of us gets a say in how our government runs. Every four years, we get to pick the guy in charge. And if we don’t like him, out he goes.
We fight like crazy. We disagree on a lot. But there is one thing I can tell you for sure where you will find total agreement in this country: whether we’re Canadian-American, or Mexican-American, or British-American, Russian, or Ukrainian, Chinese or Korean, we all love this country. We all chose this country.
You thought you were cursing me by gloating about my choice to be here.
You were wrong.
We will fix what happened today. We will pound it out and find a solution together. It will be hard, and loud, and messy and embarrassing, but we will do it.
We will fight voter suppression. We will lift up the Black community. We will help Ukraine win their war against their invaders, and although I loved and love people in Canada, and I loved many things about Canada, I will never regret swearing my oath of Citizenship.
The fact is, despite your obsessive, malicious behavior and all your snooping around, despite the sneering and the fat shaming and the gossip, and all the made-up things you tell yourself about me, (and despite all the hours you spend doing those things, which is, frankly, pathetic) you know practically nothing about me. So today, I am writing this because I want to be sure you know this much: Yes, I am American, and damned straight, I am just fine with that.