A story in today’s Washington Post is written by a woman who became so dispirited after the election that she lost the will to find love. I don’t think anyone has come forward to announce that this is satire but it comes across as something a Trump might write to mock the tender sensibilities of progressives. For the moment, let’s assume this is all too gloriously real!
The piece opens, “In August, I went on six dates in one week. I had decided that I was ready to look for a partner.” Two of the six suitors seem promising initially but the first of them only lasts a few weeks. She moves on to the second suitor but that fell apart for another reason:
We talked for a while, and I asked him to dinner. Things were falling into place. A feast was laid out on the table, and it looked delicious.
But two weeks later, the election happened. Once it was clear that Donald Trump would be president instead of Hillary Clinton, I felt sick to my stomach. I wanted to gather my children in bed with me and cling to them like we would if thunder and lightning were raging outside, with winds high enough that they power might go out. The world felt that precarious to me…
That urge to cling to my family while keeping our foundation strong didn’t mesh well with continuing to date the man I’d been seeing. He also has a daughter. He, too, had been feeling a lot of the same emotions I was experiencing: hopelessness; fear; uncertainty about the future; panic over having to talk to my 9-year-old about anything that might come up at school, or what to do in the instance of sexual assault.
Wait…she thinks her 9-year-old might be sexually assaulted because of the election? You see what I mean about this seeming like satire? “I can’t. I just can’t,” she tells suitor #2. He goes from being a delicious feast to being cast aside as expendable.
The piece concludes wraps up with one of its best lines, “There is no room for dating in this place of grief. Dating means hope. I’ve lost that hope in seeing the words ‘President-elect Trump.'” (I’m going to reuse that line somehow. Maybe next time I go out for dinner I’ll tell the waiter, ‘There is no room for frozen daiquiris in this place of grief. Slushy drinks mean hope. Make mine on the rocks.’)
It is possible to disconnect the results of an election, even a disappointing one, from one’s personal life. In fact, having a personal life that isn’t wrapped up in politics is one way to cushion the blow when things don’t go as you’d hoped. If election results are robbing you of joy and hope, maybe take a break and find something else that inspires you. There really is more to life than politics.