I have the worst hangover today. And I don’t even drink alcohol.
We bought six pizzas for an “I’m With Her” party that obviously turned into a nightmare. We sat around in disbelief, and the only feelings I could compare it to were on 9/11 when I was living in NYC, or the day my father died. Except on those nights I felt support and a coming together of my community. I turn to Facebook, and am grateful for the majority of my friends, who are also in horror. I am not crazy. We did not want this.
And then, I begin to see the other side. It’s easy to ignore the dude who used to cheat off my paper every year from JHS to graduation. Or the blogger who I’ve hung out with only a few times, who knows nothing about me. They’re not my friends. They have never held my hand while I cried over being unfairly treated because of my gender and race. Over being sexually assaulted. They didn’t listen to me freak out every year when, as a struggling actor, I don’t make enough to qualify for health insurance. But there she is. That person I thought who understood me for over two decades. She is celebrating Donald Trump’s victory with her children, in a Battleground State.
We have been through other elections in the past where she voted Republican and I was okay with her decision. But this one is different. I know she doesn’t believe in the things he so vocally stands for – racism, misogyny, homophobia. Or I thought she didn’t. I wish I could say that I reach out and ask her, “Why? I want to understand why you feel like your privilege is more important than my life, my safety, and the lives of so many.” But I can’t. Just deleted her. Deleted her husband. I immediately regret it and feel shameful. I want to be stronger than this. To be able to come together and understand our differences. But that is the decision I make, because I am so hurt by her’s. And half of our country’s.
I box up all the uneaten pizza, more than we can consume before Thanksgiving. To be honest, I don’t know if I’ll be able to eat a slice again without connecting it to this horrible feeling.
I vow to go off social media. To pull the plug and stop watching TV. But I am not doing that. I’m still me, I’m still here. And I’m pulling this pizza out of the fridge this morning and it looks gross. Like, America, a paler version of what it was yesterday. I’m not ready to eat it right now still. But I know that will change. I know I will feel hope again. And a fire. And a desire to eat pizza.
Maybe one day I will tell my friend in person why I am removing her – that her vote is triggering traumas in me and I can’t have her be a part of my life any longer. Today, though, I just can’t.
*UPDATE – Since writing this, I have spoken to my friend in person and all is fine. I think it’s important to stay connected during this time as much as we can, despite our differences. I’m not perfect, none of us are, and I’m learning. Always.