Throwing a collective-temper tantrum when our desires are at odds with the changing political situation is on par with a raging toddler throwing a fit because mommy won’t do the diving airplane maneuver when spoon-feeding the kid his applesauce at the dinner table (seriously, when I was slightly shorter than I am now, if mom didn’t do the additional buzz-noise acoustics with the twirling airplane move, I would freak out).
For a child, this is understandable: it’s a stage that every miniature person must go through in order to learn more appropriate ways to deal with their emotions. But the thing is: when your child lashes out, you make a silly face or give them a piece of candy to calm them down. When a community of grown (mostly) men lashes out (I would prefer to call yesterday’s events a collective hissy fit, but that would be totally sexist so I won’t), how do you respond?
I mean, really you guys, really: “day of rage?” What are we, five-years-old?
If this was the best slogan you could come up with, then some serious self-introspection is in order. So do me a quick favor and ask yourselves: what are we doing wrong? I’ll give you a hint: for starters, you’re making up ridiculous slogans.
Ok, I get it, I get it: I know what it’s like to want something so much and to have it so firmly in your grasp, only to have it all taken away in one, swift blow.
When I was a kid, I had this fixation with trampolines. Every Christmas and every birthday and every opportunity that presented itself for superficial, consumer gifting, I would beg my parents for the circular space of freedom and infinite-bouncing joy. Finally, when I was 16, I had saved up enough money (the exact amount, in fact) to drive down to Wal-Mart and buy my very own trampoline.
I was in heaven.
As soon as I got it home, I spent the next three hours forcing my younger sister to help me put together the mammoth piece of machinery – screw by screw. And to this day I have no idea how we put that thing together with only our bare hands and no real tools.
But, of course, as soon as my parents got home from work that very same day, they told me to take the whole thing down immediately and return it to the store. It was an epic loss. Epic.
But I was wise enough then to know something that appears many in this country do not know now: that throwing a temper tantrum will get you nowhere. So instead, I returned my beloved trampoline to the store and bought an industrial-sized slurpee machine.
By the time I emerged from my self-induced sugar coma some 36 hours later, I had completely erased all memories and even desires to have a trampoline.
Bottom line: this too shall pass. Wallowing in a pool of self-pity, doubt and desperate acts will get you nowhere.
Look, I realize you are struggling to deal with countless difficult emotions right now. But really, you have to understand that throwing a juvenile fit is not an appropriate way to deal with your frustrations and disappointment. You’ve suffered a number of setbacks in the last few months to lead up to this perhaps inevitable loss, and now you’ve got to learn to deal with it in a healthy, mature way.
So here’s some free advice from Angie’s psychology-101 handbook: give yourself a “Time Out.” Just step away from the situation for a moment, take a few deep breaths, and try and regain some perspective.
Use your current weakness – namely, losing the government – and try to turn it into your biggest strength: perseverance.
One thing is certain: we must learn to work together if we are going to get our country back on track.
For additional advice and guidance, I suggest you pick up my new book. It’s called “Closure: How to lose a government gracefully.”