I wasn’t paying attention. I wanted to. I spend all winter waiting and waiting and waiting for the cold to blow away. I kept looking out the window, anticipating balmy breezes, cookouts, and long summer sunsets.
And then, at some point, the boredom of winter got to me and I started following the news – fake news, real news, stupid news, funny news, sad news – anything news related.
It wasn’t long before anything news related became anything Trump related. I became enmeshed in Trumpism – all day, every day: which oligarchs he admired, which Democrats he ridiculed, what nicknames he assigned to his enemies, which of his golf courses he played. It was captivating.
And then “Trumpisms” were replaced by Trump conspiracies:
Like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos aiming the Washington Post at Trump and taking advantage of the Post Office.
Like the FBI spying on Trump.
Or knife-wielding children flooding our southern border and infecting our schools with their hispanicism.
And Deep State newspapers and leftie TV channels working together to destroy democracy with facts.
I mean, this required all my time. I was so worried I missed writing column the week before last. I stopped smiling.
If my internet hadn’t dropped out during a late winter rainstorm, I would have had no idea about spring.
I went outside one day a few weeks ago and saw all these flowers! And grass! Look how high! (That must be why the town code enforcement officer has been sending me all those nasty notes.)
There were kids riding bikes and playing baseball. My neighbor, Neat Mike, was restocking his bee-hive and building an above-ground garden (he says bending over to pick vegetables at ground level ruins the crease in his pants).
I started smiling again. Really.
And then the strangest thing happened. I felt an insatiable desire to check my TV, my computer, or my cell phone for Trump updates.
So I did. And I lost the rest of Spring.
And my smile.
My kids called it Trump-Addiction, but of course, what did they know, really. Besides, they’re addicted to cell phones whereas I could take them or leave them.
When I left them, I just turned on my computer. It was easy and, frankly, the screen is bigger and easier to read. That’s probably why young people know less – smaller screens.
A lot of people decry digital newspapers. Not me. While CNN or Fox are just starting to edit their stories, the New York Times, Washington Post, New York Post, Google News, Associated Press, and all the rest, have already published them on-line.
Sure, I had to read them instead of seeing the pictures, but that was another advantage I had as a grownup: I liked to read.
As a result, I knew about all things Trump-related way ahead of my kids or Neat Mike.
The only problem was, by following Trump so closely, I had missed most of spring.
And that’s when it hit me. Wow. The kids were right: I was Trump-Addicted.
So, I’ve gone cold turkey. I cut cable, ignored local and national news shows, and deleted all news links on my computer. I don’t go near the newspaper stand at WaWa. When people at parties start talking about Trump, I smile serenely and walk away.
I go on long walks and am getting in better shape. My appetite is back. I’ve stopped making jokes about Neat Mike’s garden and he says he’ll give me a tomato or two if I continue to be nice.
Life is much better.
Oh, and I discovered Netflix and Amazon’s Fire Stick and Chrome and HBO Go and other streaming entertainment sites. They’re really great.
I could watch them 24-7…