The morning was utterly routine, except for the part where a sociopathic megalomaniac was elected President of the United States. It has taken everything I have to sit down and write coherently on this indescribable day. I still may not succeed, but I have committed to the trying, and so try I must.
After finding some solace in my social media feeds, I showered and went to the grocery store, because one thing will never change – my family and I need to eat. As I wandered, still somewhat shell-shocked, up and down the aisles, I was hit by the sheer hypocrisy to be found in a simple grocery store trip.
I had a very short list, but I found I craved something -anything- to eat that would reconnect me to being proud to be American, whatever that is (hot dogs and hamburgers do not count). But everywhere I looked, I saw foods that were decidedly not “American”. In the 15 years that I’ve been shopping at this grocery store, their ethnic food selection has grown exponentially. I can now find many ingredients there that I most certainly would have gone to a specialty/ethnic food shop to get years ago.
I heard a couple discussing their dinner plans, pondering whether they wanted “tex-mex”. I have no idea who they voted for, but I felt my frustration rise as I wondered if they were even listening to themselves, contemplating a hybrid ethnic cuisine that originated, at least partly, from a place the President-elect wants to build a wall around. Indeed, there’s an entire section of the store devoted to Mexican foods. There’s Middle Eastern food, Greek food, Asian food, and “soul” food, too (I use quotation marks because New Hampshire could not be much whiter, with very little idea of what soul food actually is).
I thought about tex-mex. Growing up in southern California, there was nothing I loved more than some piping hot taquitos with guacamole, Mexican rice, and refried beans. Taquitos are a comfort food I have enjoyed in good times and bad, for meals and snacks. I put a box of frozen taquitos, a can of tomatoes and chiles, and two cans of beans in my cart. I can make my own Mexican rice and refried beans, but taquitos are more than I want to tackle from scratch right now.
Our newly-elected leader has shown nothing but disdain and violent tendencies toward people who were not born here. The utter thoughtlessness that enabled him to be elected is unfathomable to me. The damage to this country cannot be underestimated. Our fate is intertwined with the fate of all people from all places, and we have just pulled on a dangerously loose thread.