sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

June 1, 2005

two years
posted by soe 12:43 pm

It’s hard to believe that this week marks two years since D.C. became bearable.

It was two years ago that D.C. for Dean came into being. We had our first outreach event (Pat, Alex, Anne, Rudi and I handed out flyers at the Mt. Pleasant Fest). We had our first Dean rally (at the Take Back America conference).

I had had a rocky first three months in D.C. I hadn’t wanted to move here. I was broke. I was underemployed, subsisting on crappy temp jobs as a receptionist while waiting for a real job that seemed like it would never be found. I didn’t know anyone here, and I missed my friends back home. In short, I was miserable.

Rudi didn’t know what to do with me. So when I told him there was a get together of people who liked Howard Dean (a presidential candidate we’d been following for months) across town and I was interested in going the first week of May, he jumped at the opportunity to do something I actually seemed excited about. We went. I didn’t have a good time, but we’d gotten our names on a list of local people who were interested in volunteering.

Pat, who was organizing the local Dean group, scheduled a follow-up meeting two weeks later, at which we formed some ad-hoc committees. He asked for a volunteer to head up the “visibility committee” I’d sat in on, since he was heading up the whole group and couldn’t devote sufficient time to the committee. Silence. You could have heard crickets chirping.

It felt like the silence went on forever. Looking back, it was probably five seconds. Maybe ten. But somehow, within that silence, I forced myself to raise my hand and say, “I’ll do it.”

Without a doubt, that was the best decision I’ve made in my life. Well, okay, maybe not in my whole life. But definitely in the last five years.

Because what came out of that impulsive, guilt-induced volunteer job (in addition to a wearying year of sleepless nights and 40-hour weeks devoted to Howard Dean) was a whole social group. United in our desire to change the world (initially through a Dean presidency, but later through other means as we morphed into D.C. for Democracy), we formed bonds that have sustained even outside of the political world. We celebrate birthdays, promotions, moves, births, holidays, and sporting events together. We’ve become a community.

So three cheers to the D.C. for Democracy/Dean groups that made D.C. seem a bit more homelike. We will celebrate with you tonight at Ben’s with our monthly Meetup and some tasty burgers and fries.

And, now, special shouts out to special friends:

  • Pat and Heidi (and now Jack), who brought us together in the first place and keep us together still
  • Susan and Phillip, who provide fun Saturday nights and enjoyable conversation
  • John, who offers up deep insights and delightfully snarky comments without aiming them too personally
  • Gail and Chris, who left but who are not forgotten
  • Kathie, whose laughter is contagious

Thank you all for making life here so good for me and Rudi.

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