Friday, January 27, 2017

Sensory overload and exhaustion...

One would think someone like me would not have a problem with exhaustion.  I don't really do that much.  I will freely admit that I have a very low key lifestyle.  Yesterday's big activity was vacuuming, a chore I hate with a passion.  Since I hate vacuuming, I tend to be pretty slack about it.  I run the vacuum once a week, grabbing random cobwebs if I see them.  Before I picked up my fancy Dyson, I actually considered skipping vacuuming yesterday because it felt futile.  Although I always suck up a lot of dust and dog hair when I vacuum, the house usually doesn't look much better.  I think I hate vacuuming because it seems mostly pointless.

Here it is, though, a Friday, just one week after we got our new president.  I'm feeling exhausted by all of the news about Trump.  He's done so many negative things in one week that my head is spinning.  I feel tired and nauseous thinking about having to see his ugly face every day in the news.  I'm starting to feel depressed, not just because we have a major league asshole sitting in the White House who is alienating and offending people around the world, but also because the weather in Germany is dreary and cold.  It's been so cold this week that the dogs and I haven't been able to take our usual walks.  It is supposed to be sunny and warmer today.  I hope it is, because I'm tired of looking at dog pee stained snow and heavy clouds in the sky.

I worry about the future and what will happen in the wake of this horrible new leader we have.  Even though the United States supposedly has safeguards in place that make the president accountable to the people, I still worry about how Trump's policies are going to affect other people.  Will his stupid antics get us kicked out of Europe?  Make us targets for uncivilized behavior?

I remember when W was president, I'd always hear stories about Americans being treated badly in other countries.  I was in Germany when Bush was president and I don't remember anyone being mean to me, personally.  But other people had stories.  Of course, since I'm a typical monolingual American (well, not totally... I can speak a smattering of Armenian and Spanish and I'm slowly catching on to German), I wouldn't necessarily know what most people say about me in foreign languages.

I'm now reminded of an incident that happened the last time we were here.  Bill and I had gone to the commissary to pick up a few things.  I was waiting outside the restroom for him.  I happened to be standing near the produce section, where there was one other lady shopping.  She was morbidly obese.

A small group of Germans came into the commissary.  I think they might have been local polizei, who are allowed to shop there... I really don't know.  Anyway, they were being kind of rowdy and talking loudly.  I must have looked annoyed, although I wasn't really listening to them and wouldn't have understood them if I had been listening.

This older man comes up to me, smiling broadly.  He asked me if I was upset.  I said, "No, I'm just waiting for my husband."

He said, "Did you hear what those guys were saying?"

"No." I said.

"You look annoyed, so I thought maybe you heard what they were saying." he said, still on the verge of laughter.  "I understood what they were saying!" he added.

By that point, I probably had a major bitchface going on.  But I said, "No, I was just standing here minding my own business."

"Oh." he said, then awkwardly walked away.  I saw him a couple more times before we checked out and it was odd.

Of course, I don't know what the German men were saying, but my guess is that it was something disparaging about Americans or American women in particular.  Why that old guy felt the need to share that moment with me, I'll never understand.  Bill and I did our shopping and I was feeling really annoyed by the whole incident.

There have been other instances like that one, like the time I was in the computer lab at the library and said something to one of Bill's co-workers, who was getting ready to leave Germany.  I was happy, because we were finally getting out of the crummy hotel we'd been in for six weeks.  I mentioned that I was glad I was about to have a "broetchen free" morning.  Broetchen was what we ate for breakfast every day at the hotel, along with terrible coffee.

Some German woman sitting nearby made an obviously snarky comment in her native tongue.  I didn't understand what she said, but could tell she was making fun of me, a total stranger.  Her friend, also German, said "Good one!" in English.  My response was to pretend like they didn't exist.  Why she felt the need to chime in on a conversation not involving her was beyond me, especially since we didn't know each other.

I know it sounds shitty, but I'm actually ashamed to be an American right now.  I have never felt this way before.  I didn't feel this way when Bush was the president, but I do now.  Americans have voted in a completely inappropriate and unqualified leader.  I understand that a lot of people felt they had to-- they were struggling under Obama and felt Trump could help them.  But he won't help them.  After one week in office, I feel like I'm being punished.  It's depressing and gloomy and making me feel despondent and helpless.  It feels a bit like vacuuming the house... utterly pointless.  If that makes me a "special snowflake", so be it.

I've also found myself passively hoping that Donald Trump has a massive stroke or heart attack during one of his tantrums.  I know it's wrong to think like that, but seriously, I think I would probably smile if he simply dropped dead.  Of course, that would mean we'd have Pence as president, which I don't think will be much better.  But at least Pence is somewhat bland and actually has some relevant experience.  At this point, I might even embrace Mitt Romney.

Anyway... at least tomorrow is Saturday.  I will try to hang in there and not do anything drastic.  With any luck, the exhausting Trump antics will slow down a bit.  Or maybe I can just get off the Internet for awhile and remember that at least for now, I don't live in the United States.

This is my mood today.


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