Dear blog fans: I apologize for not publishing a new post this week, but I'm unable to move from my anti-Trump obsession to consider anything else. You see, I traditionally elect an essay theme with this question: "What has been going on in my life that is relatable and universal?"
At times, I thought I'd write about my swimming progress, or my functional strength training, or about my return to Saturday morning Torah study, or the recurrence of sciatica in my right leg. But, the minute I'd sit down at my MacBook Air, with the screen opened to Word, my anti-Trump mania -- as if it were a careening truck of dynamite -- slammed into those ideas and knocked them flat.
My obsession has caused me to assess old and new friendships. With the former, whom I know are anti-Clinton, I have taken a break from our long-time relationship and hopefully, will resume post election. Because I have not heard from this friend, I assume she has decided on the same path.
For potential new acquaintances, wait; let me give you a for instance: I was seeking a seat at High Holiday services when I spotted a woman about my age sitting alone. "Do you mind if I sit next to you?" I asked, assuming she'd be pleased with the company.
She was. "Of course, sit down," she said. We introduced ourselves, and for a moment she was in a good light. When a friend approached and congratulated me on my daughter Jill's recent Emmy, my potential pal lit up. "Tell me all about it," she said. Of course, I did.
But alas, I made the mistake -- wouldn't you have assumed the same, sitting in a Reform synagogue that all parishioners shared your beliefs -- of bringing up the subject of the presidential election. She began okay, listing Trump's negatives, but then said the fatal words: "I can't vote for Hillary; she's awful, too."
Like the Torah scroll that would soon be opened and then, closed; I rolled shut our conversation, and turned to my left where I found an old friend with the exact same views as mine. The next week, when I saw the now, polluted- parishioner sitting solo, I moved to a different row.
The coming election has altered my morning routine. Instead of checking my Gmail account first thing in the morning, I race to websites for the New York Times (longtime print and online subscriber) and the Washington Post (a recent online edition customer).
If I spot an article that fits my viewpoint and deserves sharing with my social media followers, I immediately select a tantalizing paragraph, copy and paste, and publish. Only then, can I enjoy breakfast.
And when I encounter a link that a Clinton supporter has posted, I speedily share. I've been astounded, but not surprised, following the Trump "locker room" video, at the number of women who are raising hands to divulge their experiences of sexual harassment and abuse. Count me as one who has endured, and wrote about it in my memoir, The Division Street Princess. (The multitudes are not a surprise, for whenever I discuss my memoir in college classrooms, the majority of young women -- decades after my experiences -- sadly describe their own.)
My iTunes Library is being tapped more now. Previously, when unloading the dishwasher, preparing salads, or doing other mindless tasks, I would routinely have MSNBC chatting on my Samsung flat-screen. But now, whenever anchors or commentators shift from anti-Trump to anti-Hillary, I reach for the remote and send them sailing.
I'm calmer, with Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Hartmann, Billie Holiday, Barbara Cook, Dianne Reeves, Ernestine Anderson, Etta Jones, Lucinda Williams, Mandy Patinkin, Nina Simone, and Shirley Horn crooning. (OMG, I hope none of those who are alive are Trump supporters. If so, they'll have to be bypassed until after the election. It would be painful to eliminate them completely.)
So, dear blog fans, I hope you forgive me for not writing a new post this week. Soon enough, I'll bring you up-to-speed on my swimming progress, or my functional strength training, or about my return to Saturday morning Torah study, or the reoccurrence of sciatica in my right leg. But for now, not one of those topics has a chance of overtaking my obsession. Thanks for understanding.