we dream, we create, we change, we love

How Not To Feel Your Pain

leave a comment »

“I absolutely understand they want to get back to their homes. … I’d like to get back to the mansion.”

– Texas Governor Rick Perry
(who has been living in temporary quarters
since the governor’s official residence burned down in June)

Mansion? Nice way to show how poorly you understand your constituents’ plight, gov. You’ve been shacking it up on a cot under a borrowed blanket in a Red Cross center since you “lost” your home, then?

You absolutely don’t get it, do you. Yes, thousands here no longer have a roof over their heads. But as important as is the stark contrast between their current day-to-day temporary housing versus your taxpayer-given alternative quarters, bound to be quite comfy even for you, that’s far from being all there is to losing one’s home to Ike.

  • Chores – It’s not just having that roof over your head; it’s day-to-day life under that roof. Thousands of your constituents not only have no home that will remain standing after condemnation; they can’t even get back to start the clean-up process. Losing your mansion didn’t even force you to make those incessant phone calls trying to reach that suddenly absent Allstate agent. Getting back into your mansion is something your staff is busy working on, not something that is consuming your every waking moment and stealing your sleep every night.
  • Food – You’re not back home when you’re still living hand-to-mouth off of FEMA deliveries of MREs. Families left homeless by Ike want their own refrigerators, their own stoves, to do their own grocery shopping. Losing your mansion may have changed where you eat some of your meals, but no doubt didn’t make you miss a single one, nor altered the quality of your diet.
  • Schools – Countless of your constituents’ children are now officially classified as “homeless,” making it possible for them to be enrolled in public schools hundreds of miles from their own homes, with strange teachers and strange co-students in strange classrooms. Losing your mansion didn’t even touch any of your staff’s families that way, not even remotely.
  • Mail (Yes, Including Bills) – Being put out on the street by Ike has left thousands with no mailbox for USPS delivery, and arrangements for having mail forwarded to temporary quarters are slow, painful, and unreliable. Losing your mansion did nothing to your staffs’ abilities to continue getting your mail in your inbox.
  • Clothes – So terribly many of your constituents have little more than the clothes on their backs, and desperately wish they had so much as a local laundromat with power in which to get those clothes clean. No doubt you lost a fancy suit or two in your mansion’s blaze, but just as doubtless you never had to wear the same underwear unlaundered for a week without promise of when or from where your new wardrobe might magically appear.
  • Furnishings – Probably you lost some personal items when the governor’s mansion went up in smoke, but almost everything in the place was there when you got there, belonged to the state; and the mansion will be refurnished for you before you return, without you needing to trouble yourself. Many of your constituents lost their own beds, their own sofas, their kitchenware and lawn mowers, all of their personal belongings. When they finally return to their homes, it will be to scenes of ruin you absolutely show no sign of understanding.
  • Car – Thousands of your constituents will be returning to their wrecked houses in the one car they used for evacuation. After authorities publicly chided evacuees, blaming them for contributing to the Rita fiasco by taking too many cars, this time more evacuees were “responsible” enough to car-pool, leaving behind vehicles that are now ruined. Losing your mansion hasn’t affected your travel whatsoever.
  • Work – Thousands of your constituents will not be able to return to work for weeks, maybe even months. Many of those will never have a job to return to. Unfortunately, you’ll have no such luck until voters have another chance to express themselves at the polls.

Yes, your constituents who have lost their homes to Ike want that roof over their heads once again. But what they want far more is what they have lost infinitely more: they want their life back. While you whine about your mansion.

[Additional Ike-related aftermath content: Hurricane Ike Aftermath]

bumper sticker [] - houstonian

Written by macheide

20 September 2008 at 7:30 am

Posted in Houstonian


Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: