Make America shop again: I fell into a downward spiral of post-election materialism — and came out on the other side
Let me tell you first that I am normally a very prudent shopper.
I worked from home because I knew that I would lose my marbles if I had to interact with people. I watched every single episode of The Crown on Netflix (drama featuring a strong female lead). I’m doing Whole 30, so I shot-gunned 65 cans of LaCroix Pamplemousse instead of the Tito’s vodka I really needed.
I felt REALLY down on myself.
First, I upgraded to an iPhone 7 with approximately 3 billion more megabytes than I need. (Shout out to the guy at the East Austin AT&T store who talked me into a bunch of ancillary account add-ons when I wasn’t paying attention because I was worrying about the future of our Supreme Court – YOLO!)
Before my new, dumb phone had even synced up with my cloud, I had already made it to the Lush store to pick up face scrub I saw in a YouTube video at 4 a.m. after Hillary lost.
Of course, I didn’t stop there. I also threw lotion and hair treatments into my basket. It’s all made in Canada! They seemed like really cool people in that moment and I wanted to support them AND buy face lotion that smells like Creamsicles (Cosmetic Lad – check it out, highly recommend).
Then I blacked out and bought cowboy boots. Not like $1,200 Rick Perry custom cowboy boots, but expensive boots nonetheless. If I am going to live in a country where someone can brag about assaulting women and THEN become president, I really need to make myself look harder than I am, right? I’m originally from ATLANTA and now I have freakin’ cowboy boots.
Then I went to Anthropologie. And I can’t even go into details there… but just know I have way more candles today than I did on November 8th. It smells really incredible in my dungeon of sorrow, aka apartment.
My best friend texted me that she was at a UNIQLO because shopping was the only thing that could make her feel better.
I was gobbling up all the “stuff” I could. Spending money was making me feel better. Scrubbing my face with lavender/almond sand stuff while imagining all the Ralph Lauren pantsuits H.R.C could have worn in her first term was making me feel better.
Instead of ordering stationary — I don’t even write letters — I donated to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Then when I felt like I needed to “pick up a few things” at Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck, amirite?) I signed up for a membership to the Sierra Club. I compiled a list of organizations I am going to contribute to in light of the election results — groups that defend women’s rights, LBGTQ rights, African Americans, Muslim Americans, immigrant families, and our environment. My sisters and I have even agreed to donate instead of swapping Christmas presents this year.
I am pledging to DO MORE. I want to channel Michelle Obama-levels of strength and be a champion for and an activist on behalf of all the people and things that are being threatened by the new administration. I am going to sign up and show up. I’m going to have the tough conversations that many of us avoided last year (Hellooooo, Thanksgiving dinner).
For many people, my words here come too late. Now, however, the only way is forward. In the immortal words of Hillary Rodham Clinton, “Please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” Tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, I am going to pull myself up by my bootstraps (I have new boots now!) and be a change-maker.