This fall has been challenging, and what I mean by challenging is middle-class, middle-aged, white-woman challenging. While I’m cognizant of my daily advantages and blessings, I lost a client I’ve served for the last two decades, had a painful wrench heaved into my form of meditation: running, “nursed” my dog through urinary incontinence, suffered through countless cups of tepid brown water from a coffeemaker beyond the fritz, and worst of all, witnessed the election of ... The Donald.
This has to be some kind of detention punishment. No matter how many times I type, think or dare utter the words, President Trump doesn’t seem real. I mean, for reals, America? If it hasn’t already happened, #WTF? has got to make it into the Oxford Dictionary this year. I mean, for reals.
I did not see THAT coming. I wrote satire about it. I joked. I sneered. No chance in hell the United States would elect a bigot, a bully, a misogynist, a xenophobic, somebody with no practical experience, somebody with serious conflicts of interest, somebody with multiple pending lawsuits against him, somebody who uses more bronzer than an oompa loompa. I suggested the name “Making Bowling Great Again” for my every-other-Sunday bowling team, because, well, that’s hilarious, right?
I’m not laughing so much this morning, although I’ll say I’m in a brighter place than I was at 12:01 a.m. on November 9, 2016. When I posted on Facebook I spent much of that day crying in sweats, I wasn’t kidding. I shed many genuine tears wrapped within the comfort and safety of my finest pair of draw-string pants.
Oh, let me assure you, I’m still worried. Still stunned. Still angry. Still sad. Still very much grappling my way toward being one shitty iota gracious about the results of this, our latest and not-so-GREATest presidential election.
If nothing else, the President-elect, um, President Trump will “Make America Drink Heavily Again.” I predict Zima’s going to make a HUGE comeback.
Get out of bed.
Give the yowling inside your head your full attention.
Hold fetal position for thirty seconds to one hour (approx.).
Pray, chant and/or cross fingers.
Hug your child.
Stretch in stretchiest of stretch pants.
Consider reading (or rereading) the classics you may have once insisted were a total waste of time.
Ponder the pros and cons of running a marathon.
Pet your dog (because she might prefer your petting over your vigorous clinging).
Revisit your blog, post something pithy about election, use exclamation points with reckless abandon.
Remind husband how much you adore him.
Scream aloud, sprinkle in colorful obscenities (only when child is at school).
Go back to bed.
See, my will and sense of humor are returning, albeit slowly. Many of us, myself included, are damn lucky because we can at least make out the faint resemblance of a blurry silver lining in the nether regions. The sun will continue to rise. Because we are white. Because we are educated. Because we are middle-class. Because we can chuckle.
Because we voted for a qualified and smart woman, and she won the popular vote. #WTF?
How much my life will change remains to be seen. My life ... ahem, our lives are in the hands of Trump and the GOP now. (Insert audible gulping.) Thus, I grant myself permission to surrender to the five stages of grief:
1. Denial: Michelle and Barack still have sixty-five days, fourteen hours, fifty-one minutes and sixteen seconds left (approx.).
2. Anger: Where the fuck did I put my Doc Martens and Rage Against The Machine CDs?!
3. Bargaining: Dear God: Please, please, please for The Love of You, help us return to our regularly scheduled programming. I promise I won’t watch anymore reality TV.
4. Depression: That part in Trolls, when Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick sing “True Colors,” is soooooooooooo sad. (Insert audible sobbing.) (Insert five-year-old consoling you.)
5. Acceptance: Six kids in my daughter’s class voted chocolate chip. Oreos, America’s supposed favorite cookie, won in a landslide. Despite my preference for chocolate chip, it’s obvious there’s hope for the future.