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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Small Successes

This week, Readers, is all about a shirt. My shirt, to be precise. My Hillary 2016 shirt, to be more
Stain barely visible halfway between my toes and the graphic
precise. Exact, even. It's also about sometimes needing to narrow the parameters of your success to something very specific. In this case, success is about a t-shirt.

Yes, I’m for Hillary Clinton. #I’mWithHer c’est moi! But that’s not my point. I’m not going to wax political. At least not more political than that. I’m talking about a t-shirt. So. Yes. A t-shirt. I bought this t-shirt practically a year ago. I bought it online, I waited many weeks for it to arrive, and when it finally arrived, I put it somewhere safe until I felt safe enough among the Bernie supporters in my community and in my own home to wear it. 

Well, you guessed it, didn’t you? When that moment arrived, I could not find the shirt. I looked everywhere. Everywhere I did look. I looked in the back of the closet with the beach towels and assorted outdoor games - balls, chalk, rackets, and so on. I looked in all the closets. I looked in the cabinet at the bottom of the laundry chute where I’ve found lost items before. I wondered if my kids, feeling the Bern, had destroyed it. Or if I had developed some memory problem that was going to become monstrous. (This remains a question, actually.) I also wondered if perhaps the disappearance of the shirt might be prophetic, or symbolic, or in some way emblematic of the fate of Hillary Clinton, whose supporters had all gone to ground while the Bernie supporters tried to make us feel like bad liberals. 

I ordered another shirt, which, when it arrived, turned out to be teddy-bear sized, not middle-aged woman-sized. 

Then came the time to switch the winter clothes into the basement and bring the summer clothes up from the basement. In our family, we call this “the big switcheroo.” 

And, you guessed it, somewhere sandwiched in with my summer clothes in a big plastic storage bin was my Hillary t-shirt. I’ve now worn it three times, mostly indoors or underneath a sweatshirt. Because I do feel a little vulnerable with it on, I admit. Today, I decided to wear it loud, proud, and public. By which I mean I would wear it, get into my car, drive to Pilates - which I take with a friend from a gay man who is definitely not crazy and is therefore not for Trump, although we don’t talk politics - get back into my car, and drive home. So I put it on, and it has a stain right on the front. A stain. Right on the front. 

Symbolic? Of Hillary Clinton’s reputation? Perhaps. Of the state of her presidential bid, in which she will ultimately prevail, despite being tarnished? 

Of my life?

Yes, indeed. The stain on my life right now is the tick I removed from my head the other night. Well, I discovered it, and the husband removed it with tweezers. I’ve poured over images to identify this beast: male American dog tick, I’m 99% certain. Phew, right? Well, no. American dog ticks can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia. The doctor was not overly concerned. She simply told me to call back if I have any symptoms. Well, as I told my sister the psychoanalyst, “Call back if you have any symptoms” is the exact wrong thing to say to a hypochondriac. Although, come to think of it, I’m not sure there is a right thing, except for, “It’s no big deal.” Even that can be problematic; what if the doctor missed something?

So here I am, trying to avoid thinking about symptoms. That is my goal. To escape worrying too much about symptoms - and ultimately, to escape symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever or Tularemia. That is my narrowed definition of success.  That, and Hillary Clinton defeating that Trump guy. 

I am not faring that well.

Just before I hung up with my sister, she said, “Let me know if you have any symptoms, such as, say, wetness in the mouth.”

Good one, sis. Yeah. I’m wondering about that right now. 

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