Puppiphany

I’ve been trying to figure out why I don’t regret getting a puppy.

After all, it’s been a whole month. The honeymoon should be over. The endorphin rush of having a cuddly stuffed animal running around should have been eclipsed by the reality that she also requires a ton of attention, shits and pees everywhere, destroys things, and frequently bites all of us. These are all the reasons I resisted getting a puppy since I was old enough to do so: They’re a lot of work. And yet, the honeymoon isn’t over. Why?

Donald Trump is president.

Every single day since he took office, I’ve woken up with a potent cocktail of dread and outrage over his latest whatever. I scroll through Twitter, turn on NPR, glance at the headlines, and let the reality of where we are as a country, who we are under this administration, sink in. Have we always been this way? Perhaps. But we’ve also had the other stuff going, the myth, the ideal, the aspiration to be better. The best, even! The best country in the entire world. This is worse. Much, much worse.

And then there’s the realization that of course it can always get worse, so there’s fear. Actual fear that wakes me up in the middle of the night, fear that we’re sliding into The Handmaids Tale gradually, one tweet at a time. One judge, one executive order, one “unprecedented” norm-shattering behavior at a time. I used to fantasize about moving to another country—okay, I still do that—but now no one will let us in! It’s all been… exhausting.

So you see, I’ve had the ugliest puppy running around in my mind for the past four years. Peeing, shitting, interrupting my sleep, destroying things, biting.

The new one is cute. ❏

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