I’m trying to make the best of the insanity (inanity) that is this presidential election. During debates, I’ve made Trump Tacos (he LOVES Hispanics!) or Hillary Huevos. I’ve been watching the shows (getting my foreign policy info from them, just like a certain someone, I guess) and reading all the papers, listening to all the radio. This circus has been going on so long, I think it’s starting to affect me on a cellular level.
This weekend, when I reached the drive-thru window to pick up my iced tea, I gave my debit and Starbucks gold cards to the barista and asked her to add $5 first, something I’ve done more times than I can count. She pushed buttons; she swiped both cards.
“It’s declined,” she said, holding up the debit card and nodding toward the cash register screen. My face must have displayed my confusion. “I’ll try again…. …. …. no, it’s declined.”
This has never happened to me. During all the years I’ve been adulting, I’ve never heard those words when paying with plastic.
She swiped the Starbucks card as I fumbled for the emergency quarters I keep in my car to pay the remaining balance. I then immediately went to an ATM.
Thoughts raced through my head — is it just me? Is there some sort of issue with my bank? With all banks? Will I be able to get my money?
I struggled to push the buttons on the ATM — they were high up, as if I’m the only person who drives a subcompact, and I haven’t gotten money this way in eons. It hurt the most to push the button gouging me out of $5 to give me my own money (I went to a different bank in case it was just my bank having issues). Beep. Beep. “Your transaction is complete. Please take your money and your receipt.” Out came the cash and the paper with the proper account amount listed.
After returning home and looking online, I discovered that my bank was having an issue and I wasn’t the only one affected. That was somewhat comforting, but made me think — not only will I never be without cash again (which sometimes happens as weeks fly by and the money disappears bit by bit from my wallet), but maybe I should start storing it all under my mattress.
I never had thoughts like this before. I’m chalking my faux few moments of personal apocalyptic feeling to the fear that the Walking Cheese Doodle (or as James Carville calls him in his book We’re Still Right, They’re Still Wrong “a tangerine with the political leanings of Generalissimo Francisco Franco”) may actually win in November. The Awkward Laughing Muppet isn’t my favorite person, and is by no means untouched by the corruption of power (like most politicians), but he’s a whole new level of… whatever the hell is wrong with him, so she doesn’t scare me the way he does. I swear I have Presidential Election PTSD.
I didn’t realize how much this has gotten in and, beyond the punchlines and unintentional comedy, how much fear it has engendered. It’s time to turn the TV and radio off and close the papers and magazines. There’s nothing either candidate can say or do at this point that would surprise me (TRUMP CHALLENGE!). There’s nothing about how people are reacting to this election that can either. If something YUGE happens, I’m sure I’ll hear all about it (whether I like it or not).
There’s nothing else I can do about it… other than cast a vote on election day (then thank all things holy that at least this two-year debacle is over… until the presidency of one of these people actually begins… Oh, I can’t think about that right now….).
Only a month to go. For the love of all things good, can someone make that day get here faster so we can end this nonsense?