Much better to spread the love

President* Trump,

As you well know, I’m rarely at a loss for words and I’ll probably get unstuck in a few minutes, but I can’t figure out how to articulate how confounded I feel about masks. We were out and about for a little while this morning (I’ll tell you why in a minute) and almost everyone we saw was wearing a mask and I felt so many conflicting emotions; sad, sad, sad that we need to wear the damn things, proud of those of us who are stepping up and protecting ourselves and one another, and searing, flaming fury at you for the nightmare that these damn masks signify. There are probably some other emotions churning around in here about all this (fear, resignation, and indignation are all likely candidates), but these are my current top three. So I guess I’m not especially confounded as much as I’m globally distressed and as a good psychologist (pretty good anyway), I know that labeling my emotions and grabbing a hold of my thoughts are helpful things to do when one is feeling lost in a confusing spin cycle so this is a start.

How are you feeling today, by the way? I’ve been seeing pictures of you sans mask where you’re up close and personal with a whole lot of unmasked people, whether surrounded by a bevy of unmasked women at your prescription drug-lowering signing (interestingly, while none of the women were masked, the three men in their midst were – what gives with that?) or striding importantly somewhere or other with Mnuchin and Meadows (neither of whom were masked either). You’re not made of Teflon, you know. You can catch this thing and you’re old enough and unfit enough that you’re not likely to be one of the ones who gets to have an asymptomatic case.

Actually, if you were to contract COVID, it would probably be the very best thing that could happen to the United States at this point. You wouldn’t even have to die from it for this to help – you’d just have to have a bad enough case that you’re miserable and scared and have to be in quarantine. I realize there’s no guarantee that you’d actually develop some empathy from the experience, but there’s 0% chance that you’ll develop even a shred of empathy if you don’t come down with COVID, so I’m rooting for you to get it. I think it’s the only way you might do what needs to be done to actually address this damn situation (still a heavy emphasis on the “might” here – you are such a lout).

Ok, enough of you.

The reason we were out and about some this morning is that a friend of ours who grows flowers (as in lots and lots and lots of flowers) let us know she was going to be away for the weekend but her sweet peas needed harvesting, and would we help her out. Such a hardship! We took the dogs for a walk near where her garden plot is and then stowed them in the car while we clipped hundreds of stems of sweet peas. They’re gorgeous – pure whites, creamy pinks, magentas, indigo-purples, mottled cream and burgundies, corals, and lavenders. The best part was surprising friends with them. We gave our gardening friend full credit for the largesse, but we got to see people’s eyes light up as we handed them the bouquets and it was wonderful. I highly recommend it.

May we be safe from malignant selfishness.
May we be willing to wear our damn masks.
May we do what we need to do to keep everyone healthy and strong.
May we find ways to bring a bit of joy to one another.

Tracy Simpson

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