It is a clichéd cinematic device: A character glances up from what she’s doing and catches her reflection in a mirror. She gazes deeply, actually looking into her soul. It is an epiphany.
Cliché or not, last night I caught my reflection in a mirror. What I saw was a woman tunneling into a container of Haagen Dazs vanilla chocolate chip. She looked quite happy, although she projected a certain air of desperation. I barely recognized her. Overindulgence is not my usual M.O.
It’s Trump’s fault. Everyone I know is suddenly complaining that their eating is out of control and their waistlines are expanding in direct proportion to the number of tweets coming from the president. Many of us are feeling frustrated, anxious and fearful. The fix is comfort food, but it mollifies us only for the moment, and then we’re into the ice cream again.
If you’re writing off my observation as a wild generalization, you’re absolutely right. But wild generalizations are in. I don’t have to write the truth anymore. With the bombastic liar in chief leading the way, I can pretty much make up “facts” as I go along. How liberating.
So, OK, we can agree that the president is causing an epidemic of overeating in America. Just visit a food court or Disney World or check out the average passenger on any flight. I may be completely wrong, but so what? The first family running the country is wrong about most stuff, and it isn’t hurting them.
What else? Donald Trump is personally causing global warming. The new folks in charge at the Environmental Protection Agency don’t think the use of fossil fuels is harming the air or water, so what else could be shrinking the glaciers and breaking off icebergs the size of battleships? It must be the president. If you blow enough hot air, it will affect the climate.
I think Trump has a hand in the current misery afflicting Long Island commuters. I know the infrastructure has been neglected for years, and the MTA hasn’t kept up with technological advances. But tens of thousands of LIRR riders are in for the summer from hell while repairs are made. It must be the president’s fault. I just made that up, but it has the ring of truth, doesn’t it? Trump is making America late again.
And while our thoughts are flitting about á la the Donald, when was the last time you ate a really great tomato? Botanists point to genetics, climate and soil changes, but I recently read some memos leaked from the Kremlin that indicate that Trump has sabotaged the American tomato industry because he owns a vast tomato farm just south of Moscow. It could be true.
Also, have you noticed how slow the internet is lately? I’m sure the White House is to blame. They don’t want their critics communicating freely, so they’re throwing up cyber roadblocks for those on the enemies list. Doesn’t it sound plausible? I say, let’s go with it. Trump and Jared Kushner are blocking the internet.
Don’t think that Trump’s influence on our health starts or stops at my freezer door. I have a handful of friends who were recently diagnosed with high blood pressure. You don’t think it really has to do with excessive salt intake or high-stress jobs, do you? One day they were completely normal, and now, since the election, they’re heading for Stroke City. First they were dazzled by the action, the tweets, the random calls to foreign leaders, the appointments to the cabinet of foreign agents and the elevation of family members to world leader status. Now they’re afraid to watch the news, for fear of learning that Trump has bombed North Korea or kissed Kim Jong-un, or both.
Hey, I know we can’t blame Trump for everything. Well, actually, let me take that back. We can. Why not? He’s the leader of the free world, and he’s setting a new standard for truth, integrity and responsibility. That standard pretty much allows me to say whatever I want to say, fact checking be damned.
Therefore, when I catch my reflection in the mirror and see the new puffiness in my cheeks, I know it’s the president’s fault. He’s making me overeat franks and beans and fried chicken.
The man is etching in American bedrock the new norm for healthy eating (avoid it!), truth-telling (not even when they catch you in a lie) and diplomacy (use a sledge hammer in place of a suggestion).
If we follow his advice and life example, we will not only make America fat again, we will also make her a pariah among the civilized countries of the world. Our nation’s gilded reputation was built through honest brokering and courageous leadership. The gold is tarnishing. That is the truth. But how can we know anymore?
Copyright © 2017 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at email@example.com.