Hello, America, How Are You?

July 16, 2010

Let me just get this out of the way: being detained and interrogated by the United States Department of Homeland Security because said Department doesn’t find it ‘convincing’ that ‘mom blogging’ could be a ‘business’ (skeptical finger quotes courtesy United States Department of Homeland Security) that warrants travel to conferences is, no question, nothing compared to being sentenced to death by stoning and other horrors that befall women outside of North America. I understand this. I know this. But. BUT.

Being detained and interrogated for any reason is really, really scary. It just is. And when it requires one to defend one’s choice of profession and the legitimacy of one’s work and, really, the credibility of any enterprise involving one’s status as a mother, well, it undermines one’s confidence, and also makes one cry.

I’m too exhausted to deconstruct what this all means, or even if it really means anything at all (my instinct is cry sexism! Anti-mother bias! Sexist anti-mother bias and evil horrible down-with-patriarchy badness BOO HISS! But those are just instincts, and sometimes instincts don’t stand up to the scrutiny of reason after one has had a good night’s sleep), so I’m going to leave this alone for at least as long as it takes me to have some wine and a bath and some sleep, in that order. In the meantime, behold the TWEET STREAM OF HORROR (edited for length; you can see the whole thing – if, that is, you didn’t doze off from boredom somewhere between ‘Department of Homeland Security’ and ‘skeptical finger quotes’ – by checking my Twitter profile):

trip from hell

And then, because I am nothing if not cool and contained under pressure…

trip from hell2

And then they let me on the flight to San Francisco and I somehow made it to Palo Alto and someone gave me wine and I calmed down a bit, but still. My hands are still a little shaky, and I’m not entirely sure that I don’t wish that I’d begged them to just let me go home to Toronto, and that sucks, because I’m supposed to be happy to be here, and being not-happy is a little hard to take when I’ve been feeling kind of tender and confused and when I also just really really miss my kids and my husband and when, when, when is it time to go home?

Yeah. That.

(I’m closing comments. For now. I’ll open them up when I write about this more critically, which will happen once I’ve given the whole experience some more careful thought. But right now I’m still just too rattled and emotional and prone to bursting into tears to discuss it reasonably, so.)

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