November 13, 2016 — What can I say about this week other than I’m devastated. I’m up until 2 a.m. on election night. I can’t sleep. The results blow my mind. I didn’t see it coming. I was so sure that Hillary would win by a landslide that I hadn’t even thought about the alternative. I grieve. Mario is up with me. He knows how hard I’m taking this.
“Chin up,” I think. “We must face this — we rise stronger the next time.” Facebook is a minefield. I post that I’m headed to court. I commiserate with friends. My friend Casey confides that she can’t get out of the apartment today — just not today — she’s not ready. A woman is crying into her cellphone near the subway. “We just elected Hitler,” she cries.
Most of my colleagues at court are like zombies — up late watching the cliff-hanger. “What just happened?” someone asks me. “I have no idea,” I tell him. “I don’t think Trump knows either.” Jake tries to text with humor — but I’m not ready to laugh this one off.
Even my ex-boyfriend texts me: “Sorry, Morghan.” Absent from the fall-out is my friend Emma, who is an avid Hillary supporter. Not a single text. No “WTF.” Silence. Later, on Veterans Day, she sends a short text inviting me to hang out with our kids. The last text I had from her was before Halloween, before Mario’s trip, before the election. She suggested at that time that we’d just keep things “light.” So now here’s an invitation to what? Be superficial — fake friends?
Weighing the pros and cons: should I keep trying to be friends with her, knowing she’s not really invested in my life? She called me a liar and accused me of causing too much drama in her life. Sure I was lying — lying that my home-life was happy, while I enabled a drunk. I don’t understand how she feels like she’s the victim in what happened. I’m disgusted. I’m hurt. I thought we were real friends. I text her that I’m not interested in seeing her right now and send good wishes to her kids. Maybe in a few weeks I won’t feel so hurt, but I doubt it.
Of course Mario is supportive. He lets me vent about the situation. He stays encouraging. I plan to visit him for my birthday and he has a surprise: we’re going to a ball! I have the perfect dress, a Diane von Furstenberg cocktail dress that is black and gold. I’ve never worn it before. Mario plans to get complementary suit accents. The ball is a fund-raiser and toy drive put on and well-attended by Orlando-area businesses. We’re both excited about dressing up!
Meanwhile, before the election my mom buys me tickets to bring the kids to Minnesota for Thanksgiving. She and my dad just bought a new lake-front camp in the woods near a small-town. My brother lives in Minneapolis and I haven’t seen him since my daughter was born. Now, after the election the trip is ominous. I’ll be in Trump territory and I’ll be trapped with my parents for a couple days before my brother and his left-leaning wife show up to rescue me. I consider bailing, but I know the airfare was super-expensive.
“Try to use this as an opportunity to build bridges,” Mario suggests. “Keep an open mind. No one can hear anyone right now because so many people are yelling and angry.” I focus on re-learning how to listen. I want to understand what happened. Nothing can change if we can’t hear one another. If Mario can keep listening, then I can too. If Hillary can stand tall, then I can too.
Here’s me before and after; still, I’m determined to rise above (while wearing pants suits and my “Dump Trump” lapel pin).