Have a Trumpless DayFriday, January 26th, 2018
First, check the back of your closet or a bureau drawer for something bought or given to you before 2015; the graduation wristwatch that merely tells time; shoes; a jacket, shirt or sweater that never matched anything. You should look contemporary but not 2018 trendy. This is much easier for men than for women, but really gender-free. What man doesn’t still have a shirt that needs to be tucked in, and what woman didn’t keep a sweater with shoulders for a really chilly day? That’s what you’ll wear to feel Trumpless.
Then for breakfast, include toast; a croissant or a muffin that contains gluten, followed by coffee that hasn’t been decaffeinated. Lunch could be a salad without kale. The dietary rules aren’t at all strict. Quiche Lorraine would be an appropriate lunch, if you can find a restaurant that still has it on the menu. For your Trumpless day, don’t order a hamburger. It’s his favorite meal. Try to stay away from Diet Coke and chocolate cake. All three will remind you of what you’re avoiding.
Buy a printed newspaper and read it in a public space, like a train or the office. Even if you live in a small town, you can find a metropolitan paper with separate sections. At first, newspapers may be somewhat hard to handle because they don’t fit into your palm and often need folding back and forth. Once you adapt to it, you’ll be saved all that swiping up and down. Start your Trumpless day with the business section, the entertainment reviews, sports and the tech news, ignoring the front page. If you drop the newspaper or lose it, that doesn’t really matter. You can replace it inexpensively, and there will be no worries about personal information in it. After you buy a newspaper it can’t be hacked.
After work, look for that National Geographic Adventure issue you saved, hoping that eventually you’ll go visit Vanuato to see the famous land dive, when people on that island build towers of special vines and dive head-first into the ground; remaining alive, provided they’re expert at it. Most of the land-divers have practiced for years and survive. Sadly, the National Geographic Adventure magazine, which had half a million readers, was discontinued in 2009. (If you didn’t keep it, your dentist might have.) Then, whether or not you found it, enjoy a dinner with actual friends you’ve known for years, and when they ask a question about Vanuato, answer it before they can look it up on the Google app. You’ll have a memorable evening. When you get home, play a CD of cool jazz, Joan Baez, or ask Alexa for the top hits of 2000-14 in case you gave your CD player to Goodwill.
Another thing you can do on a Trumpless day is to write a letter. Writing by hand isn’t necessary, but the letter has to be at least two paragraphs long and require an envelope, a stamp on the right top corner, and your return address top left. The recipient will be delighted, especially if he or she was born a generation or two before than the sender.
If there’s time on the weekend, go to a store and try on something on that needs to fit. For women, swimwear is perfect, and for men, shoes work well. Manufacturers often change shoe lasts from year to year, and that makes actual shopping occasionally useful. If you need to return whatever you bought, you don’t have to pack it up in the original packaging and send it back by UPS. Brick and mortar stores don’t deduct return postage.
After you’ve shopped, think about going to a movie that is not yet streaming. You may need to stand in line for a few minutes, but that’s no longer the problem it used to be. Going to a movie counts for your Trumpless day, because he isn’t on that giant screen quite yet. If it’s a beautiful day, check the snow level and think about a ski holiday. Or if you live in a warm climate, play a few sets of tennis, take a walk on the beach. For a thoroughly Trumpless day, avoid golf. Not a beautiful day? If it’s raining or snowing, read a book. Though it’s not easy to find one that isn’t about what you’re escaping, choose a mystery. Even sci-fi will work if it deals with life on another planet. Just stay away from anything dystopic or futuristic. Those could ruin the whole day.
A journalist and playwright, Elaine’s books of American cultural history were published by Little, Brown, Putnam and Capra; her plays by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus and Art Age. Musical plays are An American Cantata; The Would-be Diva; Isadora! and COLE and WILL: Together Again! Non-musical dramas are The Chameleon; Two Margarets; The Trial of Mata Hari and The Nominee. The “I” Word; Gun Show Follies and Secrets of the Showroom are short comedies. She has written for many national magazines; The New York Times and the LA Times. Current articles appear monthly in the aptly-named online journal The Satirist.