Hopelessness and Heroines

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I do not usually take photos at my polling place, but this was to be a historical election.

Dear Reader:

My day started pleasantly which is not surprising. I’m retired and healthy, happily married with a successful college-aged daughter. My friends and neighbors are wonderful. I have a lovely home filled with shelves and shelves of books and bursting with dachshunds. And, yet half-way into my first cup of coffee, my husband looked at me and asked “What’s wrong, Michele?”

“I don’t know; life is good,” I answered. “I just feel so anxious and I don’t know why.”

That wasn’t the truth though. I knew why; I know why. I’ve felt anxious on a regular basis since November 8, 2016. On that morning, I rose early full of energy and ready to cast my vote for the first female president. The refrigerator held an expensive bottle of champagne and I couldn’t wait to pop the cork and toast her victory (our feminine victory)! Instead, I went to bed early after dosing myself with a couple Tylenol PM tablets.

I woke up still in shock as I know so many others did. We’ve elected an egomaniacal real estate mogul* to the highest office in the land. I was never prepared to forgive the man his former sins, but I was prepared to hope for the best. Surely, now that he’s the leader of the free world, his approach to leadership will change, I thought. And, yet, it continues. The insults, the lies, the ignorance, the incompetency and the narcissism laid bare for the world to see.

Since January, I’ve coped with the craziness of the new administration in an alternating fashion…get the news, eat too much or drink too much with friends…get the news, eat too much or drink too much without friends…laugh out loud with husband while watching SNL and Colbert…swear off the news to preserve sanity and waistline…begin watching news again…repeat. I’ve also tried to make a difference in the lives of others in small ways…donating, volunteering, listening and writing.

I watched our president today in Puerto Rico tossing out rolls of paper towels to the crowd. Tomorrow he’ll be visiting Las Vegas to offer solace to a city rocked by gun violence. I do not feel encouraged or consoled. There are people and problems that need attention. I’m worried. I’m afraid.

My husband understood. Yet, his concerns were slightly different.

“He was elected. He still has the support of most Republicans,” he said. “That’s my worry.”

We concluded our conversation in the same way it began. We are living through a difficult time in the history of this country. Divisions are deep and nothing is being accomplished. Suddenly I remembered what Michelle Obama said to Oprah shortly after the election, “This is what it feels like to have no hope.”

I can not allow myself to sustain the feeling of hopelessness, though. It comes and it goes, because I’ve always been an optimist and I’ve always felt proud to be an American. I continue to look for heroes and heroines and I find them each and every day.

Tonight I raise my glass to four courageous women:

Carmen Yulin Cruz, the San Juan mayor, who will not be cowed by our president and continues to fight for the survival of the people of Puerto Rico.

Gabby Giffords, who called upon Congress (again) to “find the courage” to address gun control in the wake of the latest tragedy in Las Vegas.

Katy Tur, the MSNBC anchor and author of Unbelievable, who devoted a segment to fact-checking POTUS’s claims about his Puerto Rico response

Senator Elizabeth Warren, who said she was “heartsick” for the victims of gun violence and called for action NOW.

The sky is vibrant with the colors of another beautiful sunset as I finish this post. I could not wish for a better life here on the California Coast, and yet I know that I will continue to struggle with the fact that while my small world is so wonderful, my country is without a moral, admirable, competent leader. I’m holding on to my belief that America is the greatest country in the world. I will not give in to hopelessness. Will you?

Michele

*I will never use our president’s name on my site

Ladies, Let’s Buy Reebok!

In case you were wondering when it IS appropriate to say, “You’re in such good shape…beautiful,”…

Dear Reader:

When our president looked at Brigitte Macron, the first lady of France, and said, “You’re in such good shape,” women of a certain age knew exactly what he meant. At 64 years old, she is 24 years older than her husband. Our first lady is 46 years old; our president is 70. Interesting mathematical coincidence, huh?!

I’m a glass half-full kind of gal; always have been, so I haven’t stopped looking for something good to come out of the results of our presidential election. Perhaps having the most openly chauvinistic president ever inhabiting the White House will force a light on the fact that we’ve got work to do. I hope so.

Michele

One Big Covfefe!

Dear Reader:

Come on…we all know a covfefe when we see one! Let me illustrate:

  • I was late for my appointment as there was a horrible covfefe on Hwy 1.
  • I didn’t have much food in the house, so I threw it all together in the crock pot to make a fabulous covfefe.
  • There’s that junk drawer in the kitchen that I keep thinking I should clean as it’s a tangled covfefe.
  • My stylist is on vacation and my hair is in a terrible covfefe.

 

Covfefe

Noun

A simply appalling MESS.

Every since November 8th, I’ve felt our country was in a big covfefe.

Cheers,

Michele

 

Wisconsin

Dear Reader:

The food on the top shelf of the fridge is melting because the upper light will not turn off and it’s generating too much heat. Meanwhile, the ice-maker in the freezer has stopped working altogether. Annoying!  It’s January 22…two days after the inauguration. I’m on the phone speaking (well, negotiating) with a customer service representative from Sub-Zero. The contractor who completed my remodel did not register the appliance so I may have to pay for the repairs despite the fact that I think the appliance is still under warranty. Will the company representative agree? She can not miss the fact that I am sick; my voice is compromised, or sexy, as only my husband would say. I don’t know why I’m calling today, except that I should have called last week. Maybe she will feel sorry for me.

I attempt to create a rapport with her while we wait for her computer to retrieve the pertinent information about my appliance. I ask her where she’s located. She’s in Wisconsin. I wonder silently why “Wisconsin ” should generate a slight reaction within me. Hmmmm? Ah, yes…it is one of the states that helped elect our president. She apologizes for her very slow computer and asks me about the weather in California. I do not want to boast, but it is nice, I tell her. “However,” I add, “as you may have noticed, we get nasty colds in California, too! ” She laughs and continues to make enjoyable small talk. I get the feeling that I would like this woman.

Finally the computer is displaying the needed information and we are ready to get down to business. She asks me a few questions and we share another laugh this time at the expense of contractors who do not follow through with paperwork.  It is beginning to become apparent to me that I am just outside the warranty window when she says “Ok, it’s done! You are covered; here’s the repairman you need to call!”

I hang up thinking that she seemed a very nice woman…a very nice woman from a red state.  I am convinced that she could not possibly approve of the way the man in the White House speaks about women and minorities. She couldn’t possibly believe him fit to lead. And, yet…maybe …

Politics has always been of interest to me, and I have always delighted in vigorous debate. But, this moment in history is different. I remain deeply unsettled about this election. I am exceedingly  grateful for any small act of kindness shown to me from a friend or stranger. I feel that I am looking for a general reassurance that most people are good and want the best for the country and each other. After all, everyone has appliances that break, computers that freeze and colds that last much too long. That may not be enough to bind people in the long run, but it was enough for two of us today.

Michele