Hello! To new subscribers, welcome. To those who have been her a while, thanks for staying on board. I'm still feel like I'm watching a not-even-slow-moving disaster, but I'm here. I'm moving forward. Let's begin, shall we?
I've seen a lot of great resources and calls to action online about what to do to combat the fresh horror each days brings, so I'm not going to repeat what's said there. And plenty of people have already written about how to talk to your relatives at Thanksgiving if they want to brush off or minimize your concerns – or flat out tell you you're wrong for believing in respect for all people no matter their race, religion or sexual orientation.
So what I'll talk about here is something else I've both seen women post about in Facebook groups and heard directly: dealing with a partner who voted for hate and are unapologetic about it – partners who don't care about her reaction to this election, or her concerns and her fear. Even worse, one women said that her husband called her stupid for feeling like this.
A few years ago, I dated a guy who I'm sure voted that way (and no he wasn't in my book, Running: A Love Story readers). When we met, we got along like gangbusters – we had fun, talked about almost everything and enjoyed each other's company, but our politics were wildly different. I thought that could be OK because I've always had friends from all different political bents. But every once and a while, he or one of his friends would make a derogatory comment, and when I said that wasn't right, or not to talk like that in front of me, they'd either laugh or tell me a refrain we're hearing much these days: "get over it."
The longer I dated him, the more uncomfortable I felt about it – not just flinching each time one of these things was said (when Obama was called a gorilla, when someone with brown skin was called a "sand ni****, when gay marriage was compared to marrying a dog), but also because I felt like I was part of the problem for just being in the room. The final straw was when one of his friends said that if his grandson was gay, he'd beat it out of him. Everyone at the table laughed but me – including his friends' wives.
Soon after, I broke up with him.
I've thought about those wives often after the election – the wealthy white women who believe in women as second class citizens, which Ann Helen Peterson referred to here. But I'm also thinking of the women who are the me's at the table – and are still there.
Saying "just leave" isn't so easy. I could because we weren't married. We didn't have kids. We didn't even share custody of a TV or a pet. But that's not the reality for everyone.
What you can do if this is your friend: be there for her. Let her talk it out. Support her – whether she just wants to talk or if she really wants to leave. Tell her she's not stupid to feel this way. Suggesting resources like therapy is good, but these situations are so complicated and so sticky that she may not be ready for it yet.
Being there is what matters most, whatever she decides to do.
Anyway…that's my soapbox for the week.
A couple people asked me suggestions on what to read/listen to right now – mostly to give their brains a break. I don't blame them. So take a look below:
Running books: Born to Run, Once a Runner, Night Running and, if you're like me and run a LOT more when stressed, Hal Koerner's Field Guide to Ultra Running.
Escape books: Outlander. Big, sprawling, lush and weird. I called it romance with light time travel. Plus some of these books are 1,000 pages long so – it'll take a while. There's rape. Just a heads up on that one.
Podcasts: You Must Remember This (if you want something that's timely but not about RIGHT NOW, start on "The Blacklist."); Can I Pet Your Dog (which is exactly what its name suggests) and My Dad Wrote a Porno (which is so ridiculous you have to hear it to believe it. But with headphones on).
Album: I just got back from an assignment that took me to Lancaster County, and the entire time, I listened to matt pond pa's new Winter Lives. It's beautiful, calming, and right for the season. "The Glow" made me teary – I think anyone who has a lot of siblings and a great mom will feel the same way.
And a reminder that I opened my Goodreads page up to your running questions. Ask away!
"How to Run Like a Girl," New York Times. When I said this summer that I was working on some longer projects, this was one of them.
Jen Talks About Her Book
"Marathon runner Jen Miller" on CSN Philly
What I'm Reading
I'm just about done with A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal. It's good – just took me a while to make some space for book reading.
What I'm Watching
I'm into the fourth season of Arrow. I don't know guys. It got really weird. But I watch on.