Thursday, January 19, 2017

An Extended Vomit-Based Metaphor for Our Current Political Moment

Barack Obama doesn't WANT this kid to throw up on his face, but he wouldn't really be mad at her if she did because she's an adorable baby and sometimes they do that, though it is definitely gross and he would have to change into one of his other identical suits right away.

I like to tell people the story of election night 2008, very early in our relationship, when my now-husband celebrated a little too hard* at Obama’s victory and vomited all over my bed. Luckily, I was not in it at the time. I sent him to the shower, gathered up my bedding, and threw it straight in the dumpster outside my apartment building. (Drunk me thought this was the best choice, and I stand by it, I had more sheets.) I opened the window, shut the bedroom door, and slept on the couch as he passed out on the living room floor and definitely still had some vom remnants in his hair the next morning. And though I made him clean the mattress the next day and it still bore a big stain when I finally brought it to the dump a couple of years ago, I knew this thing with us was legit because I still really, really liked him. Loved him, in fact! As I reflect upon (probably) my greatest act of selflessness NOT TO BRAG, I think about how Donald Trump has never once in his life cleaned up vomit. From anyone, much less from somebody he loves.** Not even his kids. That’s somebody else’s job; a woman's, definitely, and almost certainly someone who doesn’t get paid enough for that shit. And I bet he'd punish the offender for throwing up near him (AKA being a human person who gets sick sometimes) in some emotionally cruel way.

You know who has cleaned up somebody’s throw-up? Barack Obama. You know he’s done dad vomit duty in the middle of the night (Michelle is too classy to vomit, ever), and though it was gross and smelly and maybe he gagged a little bit as he put the sheets in the washer and they never did smell quite right ever again, he still loves the shit out of his kids. It’s just one of those things you do for people you care about sometimes because human bodies are awful and we have to take care of each other.

Anyway, he’s been cleaning up America’s vomit for the past eight years (DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?), and though I didn’t always agree with his methods, I’m grateful that he did. And even though we ruined the nice new furniture/healthcare he picked out for us and yelled “I hate you!” and slammed our bedroom door on him because this country is extremely racist, he loves America anyway. I think some of the recent surge in his poll numbers and this outpouring of affection for him at the tail end of his second term is everybody being like, “You know, I resented him at times, but I can see now that America’s dad is a fundamentally a good guy and he did his best and was always there for us.” (Joe Biden is our "cool" uncle who has def. cleaned up a LOT of vomit and was also chill about not telling on us since the hangover was "punishment enough." I mean, I have no cool uncles, but this seems like something Uncle Joe would do.)

These are some thoughts I have as one of the only presidents who is definitely a better person than me leaves office (in addition to St. Jimmy Carter, obvs, but that was before I was born). Most politicians are garbage people, but Barack Obama is kinder, more generous, more hopeful, and more humble than a piece of trash like me could ever aspire to be. And we elected him president--TWICE!*** I guess one upside(?) to tomorrow’s nightmare disaster scenario we have somehow chosen for ourselves is a sense of moral superiority I haven’t felt towards our nation’s executive leadership in several years. But even now, as the horrifying results of some kind of geopolitical game of Would You Rather (the other options were, I guess, “have your skin slowly peeled off by giant sentient beetle-men while been force-fed Four Loko and listening to Billy O’Reilly scream his erotic poetry to the tune of Nickelback songs” or “a lady I don’t like, for reasons”) takes office, Obama’s all, “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.” And it stings. I'm sorry, Dad. We didn’t deserve you.

Postscript: Maybe our Trump resistance efforts can involve bribing a White House employee (or somebody’s cat) to just throw up in random, hard-to-locate places in the West Wing and the residence, so it always smells just a LITTLE BIT nasty in there for the next four years.

*Definitely lots of drinks involving blue curacao and a champagne circle happened.
**Discussion point: can narcissists love?
***Good job for once (twice), guys!

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