I Fell in Love the Night Trump Got Elected
My relationship began four years ago when that motherfucker got elected.
And here we are again. It’s election day and I have sworn off Twitter for who knows how long for mental health purposes. If I didn’t, I would fall down that slippery rabbit hole quicker and more destructively than most. I should mention that now that I’m sober, everyone’s “getting drunk plans” and jokes or whatever makes me want to run out to the store and get gin and whisky both and just get blasted.
I won’t — because I refuse to be hungover tomorrow.
No matter what happens, I’m not going to writhe on the couch puking because of an old ass man.
I’ve been distracting myself all morning and thinking about my partner. How our love story is undeniably linked to an evening that nearly in its entirety sucked so badly.
I had gone out with my friend Karen to a bar and we drank bitter beers while we watched the election results projected onto the wall. The bar was loud, the volume on it was louder and eventually… the neighborhood bartender whom I had a crush on, surprisingly showed up.
He worked at the bar directly across the street from my house and I could reach his house in two minutes via the alley that connected my building to his. I had just begun working a call center job for a meal kit delivery service that was an escape from the service industry, that I would inevitably hate, that I would leave before staying there a year. I’d crack a beer with the guys at 5, an hour before we completed work, and then stay for an hour or two shooting the shit afterward.
Then I’d go across the street and have $3 gin and tonics and hang with my crush. Oftentimes I’d be the only one there or there’d be a few regulars I came to know and love. It was the closest I ever got to a Cheers experience. I’d stumble across the street home, and repeat the process.
After the first bar, Karen, Parker, and I walked to another to get sustenance. We went to a bar that had a variety of tater tots on the menu, because why not, and they were in the middle of trivia night. None of the TVs were on at all, that I can imagine, so for a brief moment, we were in the eye of the storm. The election raged around us, but we were in the calm center of it all.
Parker and I picked up beer. We went upstairs to my apartment. One of my roommates was curled under a blanket on the couch, watching the election alone. We cracked the beers we bought.
I got unbelievably drunk. I cried when Hilary lost.
The next morning, most of us were crying. A slew of phone calls tried to pull my political leanings from my teeth but I tried to log complaints and answer questions professionally enough. I boasted a self-destructive story about hooking up with the bartender across the street, how I burst out laughing when he took off his shirt to reveal a rather large and uncharacteristic tribal tattoo. I had dated around a lot, so figured this would be one of those stories.
Instead, four years later, we live together in Minnesota with two cats.
I stopped drinking and am working on a novel. I finally feel sane enough to take care of myself after turning thirty to make a career change. Parker is in his second year of law school and I am stupidly proud of him.
It’s just so weird. Our story was not romantic.
We started out as friendly acquaintances. Bartender and patron. Then drunken hookup. Then friends for a spell, where he’d come over after I got off work and before he went in and we’d cook dinner together.
For years I had dated men that seemed nice enough and probably were but held my humanity against me. With Parker, I’ve never really had to try too hard. Our companionship is easy and while imperfect, has given us the space to focus on ourselves and other things.
He calls me a “woman of many emotions,” sometimes, jokingly — and he’s right.
Seeing as I lost my dad on New Year’s Eve, I stopped counting from December 31st to December 31st and thinking of my life on that scale. For us, it’s always November 6th to November 6th and how our relationship has evolved. We’ve undeniably changed together and since then.
So, there’s one good thing that came from an awful night — my longest and most serious relationship.
Go fucking figure.