School Today: Eraserboard Jungle,  Tiny Kingdom Exclusive

Jr High Cafeteria Says GObama

Finn bought a Barack Obama T shirt several weeks ago and has been wearing it to school.  That may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but here in Alabama, in the conservative Tiny Kingdom, he might as well have gone naked and painted  “I HATE FOOTBALL”on his butt and he’d have gotten the same reaction.  He reported engaging in several “lively discussions” which I was happy to hear about.  He was also on the receiving end of some insults, which were unfortunate but not unexpected.  He garnered a few high fives in the halls as well.

Overall, I was proud that he had the balls to stand up for what he believed in a very visible way, especially at such a tricky age.  He’ll be thirteen next month, and about fainted when I picked up cross-country carpool and got out of the car and walked across the parking lot to talk to a friend, thus exposing myself to his friends.  I was dressed and everything, and I think I’m a reasonably cute mom, but he acted as if a haggard witch had emerged from the minivan specifically to embarrass him.

The day after the election he wore his shirt in celebration, although he said he was careful to remain quiet and let his shirt do the talking.

“But when I got to the cafeteria, it was awesome,” he told me.  “Most of the lunchroom staff is African-American, and when they saw my shirt the man who helps replace the bins of food pointed and said ‘Cool shirt,’ so I said ‘Barack On.’  And the lunchroom lady said ‘Oh honey, how you doin’ today?’ and gave me like seven chicken fingers and usually they give you four.”

“Sounds good,” I said.

“My friends were jealous, but I don’t think the cafeteria ladies were spreading the wealth around.  I think they were just celebrating.”

That’s a relief.


Two years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: My Name Is Anne Glamore and I Am A Member Of Curmudgeons Anonymous


  • KHR

    My children are Obama fans too–and also in the political minority at school. I loved your blog entry because it really mirrored what my kids experienced! (Although the school dress codes prohibits wearing political shirts…)

  • Susan

    You should be so proud of that gorgeous boy. My thirteen year old wore his Obama shirt to school today for the first time. He said he was sick and tired of people wearing shirts covered in McCain stickers before the election. I reiterated to him that we needed to be gracious winners and not to rub Obama’s victory in anyone’s face. I loved his response: “Just the fact that they’re quiet now is enough for me.”

    BTW, I’m in Arkansas and the way you compared being a Democrat to wearing a sign saying, “I hate football,” totally cracked me up. I SO get it!!!

    Susan’s last blog post..Miscommunication

  • DS

    We moved from the Tiny Kingdom many years ago; it is a shame that it is no more progressive there than when our kids where in a 10 to 350 Democratic minority in their school mock election.

    It can be tough to stick to your convictions there, much less be up front about them. Kudos to your son!

  • Erin

    My daughter is only six but I think it’s so cute when she spreads her opinions on the election!
    Finn looks SO grown up!
    Ooh, blemish free skin too, good work mom.

  • kmum

    Wow, first the picture of your beautiful mom, then the one of dance-troupe Anne and now of your handsome(I can’t believe he’s only 13) son? You have some fine genes swimming in your pool!
    Good for him and you for raising him that way, for being able to stand up for what he believes in. I hope I do as well with my son.

  • Jerri Ann

    I am in Alabama too! I can only imagine what “could” have transpired but….luckily as long as he doesn’t wear the “I hate football” shirt or pants, he’s probably safe here these days, lol

  • Bhamdining

    That is so great! Sounds like you are raising a heck of a kid. My daughter’s elementary school had a mock election and she says Obama won, and you know we’re not that far away from the Tiny Kingdom. (It would have been very cool if they had included that in the school newsletter, instead of the usual pablum.)

    A friend of mine often laments that she feels she has to bite her tongue and hide her liberal views around here. I have no such compunctions! I am glad to hear you’re raising your kids to not be ashamed to express themselves. After all, the freedom to do just that is part of what makes our country special.

    Oh, and I love the football remark. When I first moved here back in ’90, I had the gall to tell someone, when they asked me, “so who ya for?” that I really didn’t watch football. I don’t think I would have had a more shocked reaction if I had told them I was part of a coven… (I am now an Alabama fan by marriage.)

    Bhamdining’s last blog post..Upcoming Food Events

  • Russ

    Don’t worry, he’ll grow out of it (the shirt and the phase). I did the same thing (Ok, similar, I was one of those eco-crazies) and it changed in a big hurry after getting a job. When my $4.50/hr turned into something less, much less, I decided the I needed to keep what I earned and not have someone else “spread the wealth”.

    Russ’s last blog post..The Phone is Quiet, by Russ

  • Karin

    Fantastic! When my husband dragged me to this Kingdom some 20+ years ago it seemed much more “progressive” then (he had told me it was), or maybe I just hung out with the “wrong”people. My son has a very liberal minded English teacher at MBHS and I heard what a heated argument she had with the other side after the election. (He got those extra chicken fingers at JR high as well because he was told he was the only one who bothered to say “please and thank you”.)

  • Charlie on the PA Turnpike

    I am glad when kids discuss current events and politics, but I had though most schools restricted political t-shirts in a measure to keep the peace.

    What struck my now 13 year old as odd was that when he discussed politics with his friends and peers, almost all them called him a racist because he didn’t support Sen. Obama.

    He didn’t mind people disagreeing with him, he just couldn’t understand why they’d used such hateful words when no one he knows who supported Sen. McCain ever did. He’s now debating whether anyone who accused him of being a racist is worth having as a friend.

    Charlie on the PA Turnpike’s last blog post..President Barack Obama

  • Grammie

    Wow. I am impressed with your (adorable) son!

    I, too, live in the Tiny Kingdom and wasn’t even brave enough to wear an Obama t-shirt to the Publix down the street.

    Good for him! He’s got my vote in 2028.

    As an aside….I had to recently remove my euphoric “We did it!” after-the- election post when the comments got a bit “snarky” and mean-spirited from disappointed McCain supporters.

    …lots of passion out there! Maybe they didn’t get any extra chicken fingers…

    Grammie’s last blog post..Photo overload

  • Jeni

    I heart Finn. Once Hosea turns 5, I’m sending him to the Glamore household for 8 or 9 years, just to get trained in the ways of “Not Being A Total Dick”. Please? I’ll send some fresh bread as payment.

    Jeni’s last blog post..Dough, a deer…

  • andrea

    I got brave and put an Obama bumpersticker on my car, and proceeded to drive it to my meetings at local Tiny Kingdom and Alabama bigwigs’ houses. Someone actually said something to me about it, but that they liked me, anyway.

  • Candi

    go Finn! that’s awesome!

    I went to 5th and 6th grade in Alabama…but I have to think that a Barack shirt might have actually kept people from picking on me! lol Whites were a minority at my school…and I never had a racsist bone in my body…but man did they ride me LOL

    I’m SO happy and proud of us as a nation that we’ve made it to this point in history!!! Go Barack!

  • The Benevolent Dictator

    Love it, I am stealing “Barack On” from Finn. For all I know, that’s a common phrase in the 49 states beyond Utah.

    I’m sure that you all are so proud of your child for having and supporting his political beliefs. The Bear has a uniform at school, but I would have been delighted had she chosen to wear that t-shirt.

  • Kassie

    awesome. He’s braver than I am – I was willing to volunteer at the local office but wouldn’t knock on doors or call people – I got too many nasty anti-Obama comments and emails from the people around me!

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