Today was really one of those days where I found myself sailing along, relatively even keel, and then…

I woke up a little later than normal, and was immediately conflicted about whether I wanted to try and head down to the Phoenix Women’s March at the State Capital, or go to the rink to hang out with friends and watch some of Micah’s friends playing hockey.

No, I am not a fan of President Trump and Vice President Pence.  I was raised primarily by a single mother (as much as I loved my father, it was really my mother that raised us) that taught me the importance of treating everyone equally.  I was raised to believe that everyone has value, and that it is never my place to tell others how to live, what to believe, what to do with their bodies, or to force my beliefs upon them.  I was raised as a traditional Jew with a firm understanding of my cultural history and the many attempts that have been made to wipe it off the planet.  I was taught of the Holocaust–not just that six million Jews were killed by Hitler and the Nazis, but eleven million innocent souls total, including Catholics, Gypsies, the disabled, LGBTQ–anyone that stood out from the Nazi sense of what a “good Aryan” was.  I was brought up to believe that evil done to one person or group or race or gender is evil done to all of us, that to sit back and watch it happen is just as bad as to actively take part in doing harm to others.

So yes, I do support all the women, men and children that peacefully demonstrated against those that have stated that their intention is to remove rights and protections for the most vulnerable among us.  I support anyone that speaks up for those who are different and protects their rights to be individuals–whether that means in religious (or non-religious) practice and belief, in gender identity, in sexual preference, in anything.

However, I felt more of a need today to be around those that cared about me specifically.  I could not put my finger on the exact reason, but I just needed to feel welcomed and in “the right place,” in a way that going to a huge rally–as much as I believed in the cause–just wouldn’t have served.

I grabbed Avi and headed to the rink to watch two groups of Micah’s former teammates battle against each other.  Rather than sitting with one group or the other, I chose to simply stand at the glass in the corner and watch.  It’s funny–I went to the rink to be around people, and yet I decided to stand away from most of them.  Partially this was an effort to avoid getting in the middle of the heated contest between two groups of my friends.  I knew emotional dander would fly on both sides with every hit, with every check, with every goal or penalty.  I found a small group of people I knew that were not as likely to get emotionally overwhelmed by the game, and hung out with them.  I waved hello to several friends on both sides during the game, but stayed put in the corner on the glass…a safe distance from the hockey shrapnel.

The game was pretty tight and intense up until the last few minutes, when Micah’s most recent teammates took the lead and pulled away.  I got a few hugs, said a few words to a few people, and took Avi to get some lunch.  (I would have stayed a little longer and talked to more people, but Avi was pretty insistent and quite hungry.)

After lunch, Avi and I went off to my new favorite theater (Alamo Drafthouse) to see The Founder, the bio-pic of Ray Kroc, the man credited with turning McDonalds into the global empire that it is today.  Not sure how I talked Avi into this movie, as a slow, two-hour historical drama is not really her usual wheelhouse.  The movie was solid.  I think it painted a fair portrait of Kroc as a flawed individual, and Michael Keaton did a nice job bringing the character to life.  I’m actually just now thinking about the parallels between Keaton’s portrayal of Kroc and his role in the 1986 film Gung Ho.  Not a perfect parallel, but there are definitely some similarities.  The movie was, however, slow, and unless you have a thing for nostalgia about McDonalds and the 1950s and 1960s, well…maybe too slow.

Maybe it was the movie and the kind of depressing way Ray Kroc apparently lived his life, maybe it was the weather…whatever the cause, my emotional state just fell off the proverbial cliff shortly after getting home.  I just wanted to sit alone in my office and–well–just sit.  I churned through some spot-checking for an upcoming hockey tournament with frequent breaks staring off into space, feeling the tears forming on my eyes.

Funny.  Today was apparently National Hugging Day.  Maybe I just didn’t do enough hugging…