I loved my bubble; my progressive, liberal elitist, women-respecting, race-and-religious accepting, I’m-one-of-the-good-guys kind of bubble. A photo of President Obama over the fireplace. A room named after the First Lady. A glass of Erk-Soos from my Planned Parenthood honorary ’60s-style bar cart. I wore I’M WITH HER T-shirts, quoted Bill Maher, and was praying the pollsters were right. They had to be right, right?
I never even considered another bubble, at least one I would reside in. I would visit one, say in Ohio, and it might have more space, bigger kitchen for sure, better TV, but I was never really all that jealous. Okay, it had Kid Rock.
But I never had FOMO, like the kind I get when people from my bubble come back from ski vacations or a Junot Diaz book signing. It was always Bubble Sweet Bubble.
But then the other bubble got louder, recovering from years and years of being overlooked. Sad that they felt so silenced that they had to all start screaming at once. But they got noticed and acknowledged and they started celebrating really hard. I was looking out of my window and yelling to the middle of the country to keep it down. In fact everyone in my bubble was. We were getting crazy, shaking a fist at them and telling them to stay off our lawn.
And then the people in my bubble started getting really angry and resentful. And this is where it started to turn for me. I was part of a movement I didn’t realize I was in.
My cohabitants started posting hastags. Lots and lots of hashtags. #notmypresident. #stillwithher. They had petitions. Lots and lots of petitions. Change the Electoral College. Get the Electors not to vote him in. Sign here. Click there. Call here. Move there. And I while I was angry and sad and scared, I just didn’t love all the yelling.
And the tweets. Oh man, the tweets. My bubble got filled with them. Everything he said. TV ratings. Who’s overrated. Comments on comedians and celebrities who I was proud to share my bubble with. Patton Oswalt, my next door neighbor. My pretend bubble wife, Sara Silverman.
The articles. The blogs. The posts. All right on my doorstep, the Washington Post, New York Times, Daily Beast, the New Yorker, Medium, the Atlantic. All this news of just how awful it was shared from neighbor to neighbor. The awful reverberated off the walls and became deafening.
I should be signing petitions. I should be calling congressman. I should be fighting the good fight, but somehow being reminded of the fight just makes me want to watch The Bachelor on my Tom Hanks Memorial TV and take a nap on my Joe Biden sofa with my dog Equal Pay Pete.
And then as if my hangover from my Golden Globes party where we had one too many Mojitos and my lips were chapped from whistling songs from La La Land weren’t bad enough, I had to wake up to Meryl Streep.
I like her. I mean, she’s in my bubble, after all. Mama Mia wasn’t her best work but Postcards from the Edge was great. But it was heaping upon heaping of Meryl Streep. Photos and quotes and mashups and film clips and GIFs and memes and status updates that just said, MERYL. Her speech was fine, smart. She didn’t have to put down mixed martial arts in a speech against putting people down. She didn’t have to bring up something that has been brought up a thousand times before the election and didn’t matter in the outcome.
But while the speech was calm and measured to me it screamed. Who was she really talking to? An industry audience that reveres her? Millions at home who were still up that late in the evening laughing at all the marshmallow jokes and thinking, “Yes, we should get an Amazon Echo”? Those who love her, love her and those who don’t will bring up an overrated performance in The Devil Wears Prada. I finally saw the limits to my bubble.
I wanted to move. I wanted to become an artist and take up mixed martial arts, make an inappropriate joke, tell my wife she belongs in the kitchen and take the sheets off of my Bruce Springsteen Memorial Bed and sleep on the floor.
It’s not that I want a wall. Or I believe the head of the EPA should try to sue the EPA. I believe in Affordable Health Care and social security and Medicare. But I started to get sick of the resentment, the anger, the whining, the glomming onto anything that proves how awful we have it.
I can’t go in the other bubble; I’ve never fired a gun and I’m a New York Jew under 5’9”. But I don’t want to stay here.
My one-year old son will be crushed to leave our bubble, even if he won’t remember. But watching him try to grab bubbles as they float in the air and land on his Pearl Jam onesie brings him such joy. But then he grabs one in his hand and smashes it, looking like he did something wrong. Startled at its disappearance.
That’s the problem with bubbles. At first they give you so much joy, but then they eventually burst.