I had high hopes the media coverage of the presidential election would stop shoving hateful comments down our ear canals and burning holes in our retinas after the ballots had been counted.
I would have celebrated if the circus of the last year had moved out of town, or better yet out of the country. But alas, the nastiness has continued.
Many voters are still experiencing strong bouts of nausea with each headline, news clip or magazine cover. What can we get from this?
It’s obviously no longer safe to grocery shop for more than 12 items. Tabloids have become universal acid reflux instigators and waiting in lines must be avoided at all cost.
In the past, whenever I’m overwhelmed by negativity, I sing a happy tune and my cares dance away. Yes, it was an annoying habit but it no longer seems to make things better.
After hearing friends on both sides of the polls angrily ranting on social media, I needed to make a big choice. I could jump on the crazy train, make a concerted effort to move on with my life, or escape reality completely. It was a toss up.
The intense negativity started the day after the elections, which also happened to be my youngest daughter’s birthday. There was no time to raise my emotional flag, because my little girl was expecting the royal treatment.
A month before the day she entered double digits, she said her family party was to be themed “mythical creatures.” Thankfully, she didn’t mean Big Foot or the Lochness Monster for I’d hate to picture those party games. She desired a more ethereal celebration, sprinkled with fairies, mermaids and unicorns.
My husband and I decided my daughter’s birthday would stall our politics for one day and then we could return to mayhem and angst. I didn’t foresee continuing to ignore all surroundings for weeks. But it’s so nice, kind and cuddly in my little sparkly world. Why would I leave that?
Perhaps laughing, eating cake and opening presents was what the rest of the world needed too. It doesn’t matter if you are happy your candidate won or if yours lost, anxiety was increasing around the world and noshing on buttercream frosting in complete isolation became a surefire way to escape it. (It sounded better in my head.)
“How did you handle the election results?” asked no one.
“What election? We’ve had power turned off months ago and no communication with the rest of the world,” I’d sing out. “It’s all rainbows and unicorns here!” Now where did I put that glittered handheld can opener?
So people of this polarized country turn off your electronics, urge your new puppy to eat the newspaper, and if the urge to scream bubbles up… let them eat cake!
Luckily, for my waistline, ignoring the world didn’t last. I’m trying to be positive and not get caught up in the debating. But at least I know if things get out of control again, I have a fabulous happy place filled with rainbows, unicorns and buttercream frosting.
On the plus side, I’m no longer dreading my 50th birthday! I’m actually looking forward to the celebration. It will be complete with 50 unicorns dressed in rainbow wigs with fairies and mermaids singing show tunes.
It’s so nice, kind and cuddly in my little sparkly world.
(Previously published in The Kansas City Star on November 24, 2016.)