Monday, January 23, 2017

Tall Order

This would have been an  impossible
 thing to picture six months ago.
My cat Gus has been my constant companion for four years and our arrangement suits us perfectly. I write all day, he sleeps in a spot near my laptop. 
A month ago, we adopted our dog, Abby. I felt that with guidance, Gus who is serene and clever, might share space with Abby, who is excitable and pleasing, in my office. 
What else could he do? 
What he did was go as far as he could to the other end of the house and stay there for days while I wondered, unhappily, what I'd do without him.  
Last week, my husband suggested I write a post encouraging people who can't stand Trump to give his presidency a chance nonetheless, because: 
What else can we do? 

I wanted to get as far from that idea as I could and stay there. My instincts are good. Trump's words and deeds have moved him from obnoxious to abominable in my view. The mocking of the disabled reporter was enough, the pussy-grabbing video made me ill. 
When Trump won the election, I went into plain avoidance. I didn't want to see his face, hear his voice, or see him make that stupid "O" with his finger and thumb again. I'd given this playground bully enough time to grow out of his dysfunction. I would stay in for recess, now. 
What else could I do?
Columnist Kathleen Parker, who is no fan of Trump, used a lot of ink over the weekend to rehash the things we already know we don't like about him, but ended with this: 
"Even with all of that, Donald Trump is our president. He deserves a chance to prove us doubters wrong; to create a government that he thinks will bring jobs and money back to the United States; to enhance educational opportunities for the less-privileged; to enhance our military defense without yearning to test it; to reform the tax and regulatory codes with deference to economic realities." 

I'm struggling now. It is counter-intuitive to give Trump a chance. He has a way of pitting those who are trying to remain openhearted and fair-minded against themselves, because in the next interview, or tweet, he behaves like a mean girl who wishes to be more powerful than admired. 

Here's what else.

I can protect my own mental health. I can try to cope with the intolerable, while recognizing the acceptable. I can practice coping with what is, over hoping for what won't be. 

I know I can't be angry for four years.  

"However people feel about him and how the press reports on him," said my husband, "In six months, we'll have new information. Because in six months, he'll either have done something good for the country, or we'll know he's a disaster." 

Trump's election left me and other lemonade-makers between keeping faith in the potential for something to go right as well as wrong, and learned helplessness, when attempts to object to a bad situation are no longer made because you no longer think it will make any difference. 

I know I can't do that.

Last week, Gus's desire to be in my company trumped his distaste for sharing it.  He marched in, took his spot and fell asleep while the dog watched from across the room and kept her distance. 
It's a tall order, but I am going to put my skeptical nature in the same room with my capacity to be surprised, and ask them to share the space, while I follow Trump's progress. 

That's all I can do.


  1. Poor brave open hearted Gus. I sure wondered how your cohabitating animals were adjusting. And to think that we can learn from them a way forward in this national mess. Wonderful post.

    1. Thank you, Mithra. They have figured it out, w little interference from me.And yes,I took something from that.