I slept two hours Tuesday night and woke up with feeling some of the worst grief of my life and no substantial way to alter its source. I ate nothing but an açai bowl and most of a family size bag of nacho cheese Doritos. I went outside once, briefly, and it was drizzling and shitty out and I snapped at a man who tried to offer me a flier for some shit: “LEAVE ME ALONE.”
Things won’t get better soon. They will only get worse. We have three months before the leadership of this country begins its full-tilt back to where it thinks it came from, which will cause irreparable harm to its most vulnerable citizens.
To say I am keeping it together is probably a massive exaggeration, but I am more functional today than I was yesterday. Here’s some of the things that have provided slight consolation for me following the election:
My liberal-ass grandparents.
I’m pretty lucky that I am not one of my many liberal friends who have very pro-Trump families. My maternal grandparents are the only immediate family members with whom I am in regular contact, and they were more jazzed up for Hillary and anti-Trump than I was. I supported Hillary, and I knew that I would always vote against Trump, but on a personal level, I wanted to see Hillary win for my grandma. A lot of the women I know felt the same way about the women in their families, too.
I called my grandparents somewhere around 11:00 p.m. Tuesday night, knowing they would be glued to MSNBC as the night rolled on. I was out on a walk in Manhattan, trying to get some fresh air away from my TV and computer, all while state after state turned red for a man who hours before had felt sure to be laughed out our collective consciousness once and for all. I can see the Javits Center—where Hillary was set to hold her victory party—from my couch, so I walked toward that. My grandma answered the phone and told me, “If this country elects Trump, it will be what we deserve.” I was reminded quickly of the 50-year age gap between us as she dispensed wisdom and serenity. Then she laughed and told me she was looking forward to taking a Tylenol PM when it was all said and done.
She handed the phone to my grandpa, an 80-year-old Italian who has become an apparent feminist under my grandma’s liberal stewardship. During the lead-up to the election, I’ve received text messages from him along the lines of: “Can’t trust men!” and “Men have showed they can screw it up, maybe a woman can fix this!” The dynamic I’ve always gleaned from them is that in most situations, he is usually unfazed while she tends to get worked up. On election night, that was totally reversed. As I walked around western Manhattan, my grandpa was going on and on about Rudy Giuliani, James Comey, and the fact that pundits and pollsters missed huge swaths of voters in battleground states.
But while I was at an ATM getting out money to maybe buy my grandma a Hillary shirt as a souvenir from one of the many sidewalk vendors in the area surrounding the Javits Center, my grandpa made a comment that will stick with me far beyond the next four years. I missed how he pivoted to this point, but he wrapped up a sentence with an emphatic, “And to hell with those damn male supremacists!”
It’s true, Extremely Woke Grandpa. Male supremacists should in fact go to hell, in my opinion.
My boyfriend and I will spend Thanksgiving with them in California, and I thought the political climate in this country would look very different. I had joked that with the rate at which my grandparents were growing more and more progressive, I wouldn’t be surprised if we showed up to find they had decided to do a protest fast on Thanksgiving rather than honor the founding of this country. What I do expect now is that my grandpa will surely try to commiserate with my boyfriend, a son of Hispanic immigrants, about his own grandfather’s journey from Italy to America. At least we won’t be arguing, and at least there will be pie.
The system of support that has emerged from and for the women in my life.
A major story of this election for me is a story of women comforting women. Another story of this election for me is being supremely frustrated with my fellow white women for not recognizing how their choices will affect access to reproductive healthcare. But this is a blog about small comforts, so let’s get back to the latter.
In the days following the release of the tape in which Trump talked about grabbing women by the pussy, myself and many other women I know personally felt re-traumatized about our own sexual assaults. I heard from women I grew up with but hadn’t spoken with since high school, and we shared stories and commiserated and encouraged each other to step away from the news if needed.
Now, I see that network of support coming back out again, and even stronger. Today I sent a Facebook message to a friend I’d reconnected with over the pussy-grabbing news cycle, asking her if she was doing okay. Not two minutes later, I received a text from a friend asking me the same thing.
I’ve discussed candidly with female friends and my female colleagues the particulars of IUDs and why they are worth the hassle, especially leading into the next four-plus years. We’ve discussed the choice between hormonal and non-hormonal, and how likely we are to see our acne flare up or disappear with either.
I’ve been blown away by the strong work produced by my colleagues yesterday over at Jezebel, impressed by their ability to wake up hours after the election was finally called for Trump, and write so clear-mindedly and uniquely about what we’d witnessed overnight.
Every woman will be affected differently by a Trump presidency—and the ones who voted for him or sat complacent will not be excluded from its wrath—but for now, it has helped me get through the day to know intimately the fear ravaging the women in my life, and to know that they see mine.
Ken Burns’ Baseball.
There has probably never been a time when it is less important to stick to sports, and probably never a time I have wanted to cling to them more. This is a sports blog, after all, so let’s talk sports!
I spent most of yesterday afternoon napping (our blog boss, Tim Marchman, told us yesterday to take the day off if needed; several of Deadspin’s female staffers did just that, and our male colleagues carried our weight, too) and watching Amazon’s new show Good Girls Revolt. I finished the season, and knew I had no attention span for reading, so I flipped back to regular TV.
I would have watched the NBA, but the thought of loud noises, fast movements, and any real intensity felt like far too much in my depleted state. And so I was thankful when I saw that MLB Network was airing Inning Two of Ken Burns’ Baseball, and the choice was easy.
Given the context of the day, it was kind of upsetting listening to Burns talk about America in the early years of baseball, describing it as rife with racial tension and fear of outsiders. But other than that, the documentary provided a slow, calm, steady relief. Burns speaks calmly, and the episode airing last night focused on the pre-integration era of Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, et al., so there weren’t many moving pictures and certainly no sudden movements. I’ve seen the documentary twice in full, but old-timey baseball history remains kind of a blur of surly Caucasians for me, so it felt fine enough to hold my interest as kind of a baseball bedtime story.
I fell asleep on the couch near the end of the episode, and will probably pick it back up with Inning Three tonight. It’s streaming on Amazon, but not on Netflix, and I don’t want to tell you how to run your life and your grief, but if you feel like you need a distraction, I’d recommend you give it a try.
Anyway, how are you keeping it together? Feel free to sound off in the comments.