All of this random comfort food eating is tied precisely to my stages of post-election grief. I started with denial, as we do.
I started with the leftover Halloween candy. One damn Tootsie Roll after another. Didn’t make a dent. I still felt awful. Understandable. That was Day One. The Day After. The Rude Awakening. I’m running out of ways to describe it because I cannot bring myself to say the words: the day he who shall not be named here was elected to the highest office in the land.
From there, I moved on to coffee ice cream but I forgot the chocolate sauce when I was at the supermarket because, hey, my mind was on other things. Didn’t do any better than the Tootsie Rolls. I finished the pint two days later.
Then I tried mac and cheese. That worked for a day. I spent some quality time in a cheesy fog. Then I turned on CNN and the cheesy fog evaporated.
When I got out of my train last Friday, I picked up my regular coffee – and a bow tie. For non-donut aficionados, a bow tie is a massive glazed donut that has the ability to transform any random breakfast into a truly blissful experience. It weighs the better part of 6 ounces, I would imagine. But I still felt awful – and not because I had just consumed a 6 ounce donut.
I went to the movies over the weekend and polished off a medium popcorn all by my onesies. That was a good match for the mood I was in. Then I picked up some vanilla ice cream on the way home. Just in case. Then I watched MSNBC. I should have stuck to the reruns of Law & Order: SVU.
All of this random comfort food eating is tied precisely to my stages of post-election grief. I started with denial, as we do. This must not be true. It cannot have happened. I voiced it just like all the white characters in the SNL skit with Dave Chappelle. There must be some mistake. Of course there was massive voter suppression. That must be it.
More ice cream.
Then, anger. Furious was I that he could have triumphed over a woman with a lifetime of experience in government. One more old white guy with nothing to show for himself other than reality TV taking a powerful job away from a woman with so much to offer.
I think this is where I had the mac and cheese. I think it had bacon in it.
Bargaining – OK, we all write our email addresses on that Change.org site with the millions of others who want to use the popular vote this time instead of the electoral college because, after all, she won the popular vote. If we pressure the electors in our state, maybe they will just pay the fines and vote for her? That could work.
Popcorn, more candy, more mac and cheese. Damn. I’m out of ice cream again. And I am starting to think about the future of the Supreme Court.
Then, and this is where I am today, depression. I am depressed that women are still fighting for a voice, for reproductive rights, and for advocates. The idea that Anti-Semitism in particular and racism in general have taken over the public debate is equally depressing. Not that I don’t want to discuss both topics but because I cannot imagine there is still debate, meaning two sides of the argument. Both of these hatreds are foul and loathsome. Period.
Bow tie donut consumption here. I’m sad when it’s gone and all I have left are glazed sugary fingers.
The official recognized and final stage of grief is one I am not ready for just yet: acceptance. I’m not sure I will ever get there. We are stronger together and if we start greeting each other with that, “Stronger together!” we will get where we need to go faster than if we accept anything foul or loathsome.
I am done with the comfort foods – they offer me no lasting comfort. But folks, we are stronger together. That is my mantra, that is my real comfort.
And I will keep writing.
Anne Born is the author of A Marshmallow on the Bus, (2014), Prayer Beads on the Train (2015), and Waiting on a Platform (2016). Her work has been published in the Newtown Literary Journal and in “Me, as a Child” and ”All About My Name” Series published by Silver Birch Press. She is the editor of These Winter Months: The Late Orphan Project Anthology (2016), and her essay on Hillary Clinton’s religious faith was included in Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox, edited by Joanne Bamberger. Her poetry has been featured in New York at Boundless Tales, Word Up Community Bookstore, and the Queens Council on the Arts. She has been a featured performer with Inspired Word New York City, the New York Transit Museum, and on Queens Public TV in The World of Arts. Anne divides her time between New York and Michigan, and the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Follow Anne Born at The Backpack Press, and on Twitter, Redbubble, Wattpad, and Instagram @nilesite. Listen to Born in the Bronx podcasts on Our Salon Radio.