2016 PTSD

Who remembers Wolf Blitzer on CNN popping up every few minutes with a “breaking news!” alert? I wanted to swat him into eternity after about an hour of it. My heart couldn’t take it. His alerts only announced that what we thought was a dream, was actually becoming reality.

The night before the election, we celebrated my daughter’s 17th birthday with friends at an Argentine restaurant. All of us thought there was no way Trump could or would win. The word “buffoon,” was used quite frequently during the course of the conversation. Most of us were feeling solid in the idea that by that time the next evening, the first woman president of the United States would be elected.

How wrong we were.

In retrospect I can see how polarizing Hilary Clinton was as a candidate. I can see why so many people thought that voting against her to take a chance on a loud-mouthed reality TV person with questionable morals and financial history couldn’t be that bad. I mean that with all sincerity.

Of course, if you were someone who wanted to slap progressive Americans back for eight years of the suavest, sanest, smartest, most likeable, president and first lady we’ve had, November whatever, 2016 was the best day of your lives. As Van Jones boldly put it that night, Trump’s election was “white-lash.” Was that harsh? In many cases yes. But in others, it was spot on.

So, we cried and anguished for a bit. Quit certain friends on Facebook whose true colors were brightly revealed, and stopped watching the news. I used to start my mornings prepping for work with GMA on. The morning after, I couldn’t bear to hear the president-elect’s voice or listen to more analysis. I turned to Friends on Netflix. Joey Tribbiani and Phoebe Buffay particularly, kept me sane.

That’s something I actually have kept up for these past four years. Once all 10 seasons of Friends was behind me, I watched Say Yes to the Dress, The Great British Bake Off, The Office—anything that wasn’t a reminder of the mess we were rolling deeper and deeper into with every passing day.

So, election night 2020 is days away. I don’t plan on watching the returns. When I went to the grocery store yesterday, it was crowded like the day before Thanksgiving. Turns out, a civil war might erupt, and people are stocking up on essentials again like they did in March. Just when Wegmans started stocking Lysol wipes again, the shelves were empty.

Man, this blog is bleak. But I think it proves my title right: 2016 and the ensuing four years have left a lot of us with PTSD. No joke.

So, what can we do as we face an uncertain future:

  1. If you believe in God or your version of a higher power, pray. Since I am a God-loving woman, I’m going to keep up with my talks with Him.
  2. If you take meds for depression or anxiety, make sure your prescriptions are stocked. Don’t miss a dose.
  3. Exercise, eat well, rest, drink water, take your vitamins—all the things your body needs to keep going. Now is not the time to neglect your health.
  4. Make plans for zoom calls with friends and family who are on the same side of the ticket as you are. You’ll have time to reach across the aisle when things calm down. You don’t need extra aggravation right now.
  5. If you are in therapy, keep going. If you think you might need therapy, set that up and follow through.
  6. Remember that you are not alone.

Now I’m writing as if Trump will win again. Honestly, I don’t know. But these tips are wise even if we do manage to send him packing.

If things go your way, don’t gloat over the “losers.” If this country is going to knit itself back together it’s going to require compassion, kindness, and a swallowing of pride from all involved. Take the high road.

Finally, resist the urge to cyber clap back at people. In fact, maybe this is a good time to take a social media break altogether. Focus on the humans who love you. Focus on the bigger picture. Focus on your spirituality. Focus on making the world a better place right around you.

I think that’s good advice for life overall.

Good luck and God bless. 🙂


I darkened the Joe and Kamala bubble as hard as I could without tearing through the ballot.

It’s never meant this much to me before. Never brought my under-control anxiety to the point of needing a smidge more of my Effexor. Every election I’ve voted in has been a reflection of what candidate I felt better about. But I always knew, regardless of the outcome and initial disappointment if my candidate didn’t win, that it would still be alright. Life would still go on as normal for the most part. That there would be ebbs and flows, but at the end of the day, our country’s leadership could still be counted on for the big things.

Even as awful as I felt about Hilary losing to Trump, I thought our nation’s system of checks and balances would keep things in line; the gravity of the job of president of the United States and the sheer volume of people calling this nation home, who were counting on their president to wise up and fly right, would have made the man do so. We were so wrong. So unbelievably wrong.

The Handmaid’s Tale—a preposterous story 10 years ago, feels like an actual possibility now. For the collective soul of a nation that includes people from every faith background, every walk of life, every color and creed—there has to be some united call to move forward, try harder, hope, and work for better days to come.

I’m not naïve. The Democratic Party has its share of problems with its own crew of charlatans and hucksters. But we have do a team on the ticket who can be held accountable, who will listen to advisors and the voice of the people. And we’ve got to still do our parts to follow through when it seems they aren’t delivering the way we need them to.

I did my part today and voted with enthusiasm against the sitting president of the United States. I want our country to address its ugliness and do better. I want women to have the empowerment, safety, and opportunities deserved. I want our country to be known for integrity, compassion, and intellect on the world stage. I want this virus eradicated and our people properly defended against it before another quarter of a million are gone from us. I want our leader to be parodied on SNL for silly personality quirks or vocal inflections instead of a truth that has become stranger than fiction. I want all children to be safer, better cared for, better educated. I want healthcare that makes it possible for all Americans to get what they need when they need it. I want our scientists and doctors to be able to deliver the truth without being ridiculed. I want to travel again and enjoy the beauty and culture of other nations of the world. I want this country to work in a way that Black lives matter every single day of all of our lives. I want people who are different from others to feel safe and respected and able to live their lives to the best of their abilities. I want people to love who they love and be free to be committed to them. I want our military to not be treated as expendable and for our vets to be treated like kings and queens. I want empathy and decency to emanate from the White House, not cruelty, indifference, and abject lunacy.

I did what I could and I hope you will as well.


Why do people take precious time to be horrible to strangers?

I got my first hate video posted to YouTube a few days ago. It was in response to my post, “Compassion vs. Condemnation.” For any of you who haven’t read it, it talks about the abortion debate.

In my naivete, I’ve felt that this little space of mine on the web doesn’t interact with too many out in the world. I mean, check my stats! But that’s ok. I’m not here for cyber fame. My blog is my little space to let out the many thoughts and ideas I have on many topics. And truthfully, in the middle of the state of affairs in the United States, this is a valve that releases a lot of steam in the pressure cooker of my brain. On that note, if you need to release steam, please find the valve you need. We all have to find ways to process.

But back to the topic. I received a couple of emails last week through the “Contact” page on my blog. I was chastised for my viewpoint, told to repent, and threatened about my job. I replied to this person that it was not that their place to call me to repentance and that I would not be threatened.

A couple of days later, I saw another message. This one had no copy other than a YouTube link. For a second I was excited thinking, “oh, maybe someone has a resource for me to check out on my post from the night before (Desi Dilemmas). So, I clicked on it.

Was I shocked to see an entire almost eight-minute video that included job-related photos, and screen shots of my Twitter account; sections of the “offending” post blown up and out of context, where the creator proceeded to shred me. Of course, curiosity got the best of me and I read the comments. One highlight? I was called a special agent of Satan and an emissary of him. That’s just lovely.

As I processed this; sharing it to my “tribe,” and receiving the exceptional care and wise counsel one receives when they belong to a group of the best people on the planet (find yourself a tribe—however small it is), what struck me most was the creation of the video itself.

How much time did this person spend scouring the internet for anything he could find on me? And when he stumbled upon a poorly worded Twitter post on Bill O’Reilly from 2010 (you read that right), did he cackle with glee to find something he believed would damage my reputation? He had to take some serious time to go through ten years’ worth of Twitter posts, to find every mention of me and every picture available. And the video itself was graphically solid, I have to say. So, to create graphics from my photos, from my blog post, from my Twitter; then to film the diatribe, and then edit and post it, that represents a solid investment of time and resources. And for what?

In the time spent creating a piece of media designed to tear down a total stranger, this guy could have gone out and fed a few hungry people, sent encouraging messages to people who are struggling. Perhaps he could have cleaned up trash from a littered city street or volunteered at an animal shelter. He might have donated a dollar or two to a disaster relief non-profit or even to a legitimate organization that supports his point of view. He could have read books to the blind or sponsored new storybooks for a classroom of first graders. The point is there is a lot of good he could have done for the world in the time he took to make one unkind video.

I’m always blown away by mean comments people make to influencers on social media. Comments I’ve read run the gamut from just annoying to horrific. And I’m always struck with the question why? Why does a person feel the need to say something mean to someone they don’t know? What do they hope to accomplish? If it hurts feelings, those feelings heal pretty quickly. But most often, hate posts and videos don’t accomplish what the creators wish for them to do, so why do it?

I much prefer to like/love posts that make me laugh or want to learn more and scroll right on by the ones that raise my blood pressure.

What would the world be like if there was more scrollin, less trollin?

Oh Canada

This one is for all you lovely Canadians.

Thanks Jim Meyer, for this thoughtful topic suggestion and the questions posed: Why Canada? Why not Canada? What should one wear when visiting Canada?

As I have never lived in Canada, I can’t fully appreciate the day-to-day life of a Canadian. However, I have visited Canada—Toronto to be exact–and hope to make it to Vancouver one fine day when we germy Americans don’t pose a public health threat to the world. Also, Montreal.

Canada impresses me—it’s natural beauty from sea to sea, its leadership (thank you Justin Trudeau), it’s food (Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal? No foodie could go wrong!) and of course, it’s people. It’s diverse and wonderful people. C’est magnifique!

There have indeed been moments over the last several years when I wondered if moving to Canada could be an option, but I just can’t with the permafrost weather of its winters. Canada is after all, way north of us and it does get freakishly cold (or so I’m told). I know North Face and Patagonia exist for Canadians in the dead cold and dark months, but the Mid-Atlantic is already bad during winter and I struggle with that.

Putting climate and all aside, I did a little researching and came across a comprehensive list from someone named Chris McBain who has lived in Canada since 2008. I will call him an expert on this topic. The following comprehensive list is his answer to the question, “What is the point of Canada?”

Light bulb

Margaret Atwood

Chris Hadfield

Steve Nash



Five-pin bowling


Artificial pacemaker

Robertson screw


Electric Wheelchair


Cobalt-60 “Bomb” Cancer Treatment

Java programming language

Bloody Caesar


Standard time

Electron microscope



Radio Voice Transmission

Birch-Bark Canoe


Retractable Beer Carton Handle

UV Degradable Plastics

Instant Replay

Goalie mask

Marquis Wheat



Electric Oven

Steam Fog Horn


Alkaline battery

Paint roller

Electronic Music Synthesizer

Weevac 6

Green Garbage Bag


Self-Propelled Combine Harvester

Instant mashed potatoes

Explosives Vapor Detector

Marine Screw Propeller


Key Frame Animation

CPR Mannequin (Actar 911)


Ardox Spiral Nail

Automatic Lubricating Cup

Crash-Position Indicator

Caulking gun

Separable Baggage Check

Hawaiian Pizza


  • Jim Carrey
  • Neil Young
  • Michael J. Fox
  • Seth Rogen
  • Bryan Adams
  • Ryan Reynolds
  • Pam Anderson
  • Mike Myers
  • William Shatner
  • Ryan Gosling
  • Keanu Reeves
  • Dan Aykroyd
  • Kiefer Sutherland
  • Donald Sutherland
  • Michael Bublé
  • Phil Hartman
  • Michael Cera
  • Will Arnett
  • Sandra Oh
  • Tommy Chong
  • Mathew Perry
  • Deadmau5
  • Dwayne Johnson’s dad is Canadian (so is he)
  • Tom Green
  • Elon Musk

Really, what else do you need to know?

Also, to answer the question of what to wear when one is visiting Canada? Ummm, clothes. And shoes. Definitely shoes.

All you beautiful Canadians, what do you love most about your country and of course, what is this list missing?

When the British Left India, They Left Stuff Behind

Have Desis internalized white supremacy?

First off, let’s take care of some preliminary business. What is the definition of the word “Desi?” It is a person of Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi birth or descent who lives abroad. I honestly don’t know how long the term has been in use, but as an Indian woman, I fall into this category. I was born in Singapore, came to the United States at the age of 2, and have lived in Michigan, New York, California, and Maryland. Some of us born in the United States might also be called “ABCD,” which means American Born Confused Desi. Why might some of us be confused (even those not born here)? Well, this topic kind of gets into that.

Secondly, this is the first in a series I want to do on topics relating to South Asian culture as it pertains to those of us living outside of South Asia. For my non-South-Asian readers, I hope you’ll still read. The topics addressed might not pertain to you exactly, but perhaps you’ll better understand the Desi people in your life better (and I hope you have some Desi people in your life—because like never partaking of a good curry, life without us is bland).

Ok. To the topic at hand. For the sake of discussion, I will be talking about the Desi experience in America. For my Desi friends/relatives in other parts of the world outside of South Asia, I’d love to hear your feedback.

Here’s the super-condensed version of things: India had been occupied by the Portuguese, Dutch, and French in relatively small numbers and specific areas during the age of exploration and the spice trade. Spices and India: like peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, and pasta and sauce. Then along came the British around the end of the Mogul Empire on August 24, 1608. Yup, we got dates.

India was rich in natural resources and the British declared her the new jewel in the crown. They stayed until the late 1940s at which point a non-imposing man who never carried a gun led a movement that resulted in a quick pip pip back to Britannia. India became an independent republic at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947. My father, born in 1948, has only known India as an independent nation.

In the beginning, British men in India were encouraged to take Indian wives and concubines. So, if you ran 23 and Me tests on many Indians alive today you have a decent chance of finding a percentage of European blood in us. I have 3% of it because I suspected as much and 23 and Me proved me right.

With the British Empire in charge of pretty much every aspect of India for that many years, and in an oppressive fashion, white supremacy was the rule of law. Three hundred and thirty-nine years is a long time so guess what—Indians to survive—learned to play the game and in doing so, internalized tenets of white supremacy as it applied to them. Skin color and caste, deference to white people (to an extent), adoption of Christianity, and so forth.

Concerning skin color, many Indians have a severe problem in their embracing standards of beauty more akin to European standards—light skin, straight hair, sharp features. Just watch Bollywood movies. Caste or class is very much entrenched in British society and it is still a guiding principle in many echelons of Hindu society especially with regards to marriage.

When some Indians converted to Christianity (propagated not just by British colonialists, but by the white missionaries who came from all sorts of denominations), many changed their names from those of Hindu origin to Anglicized ones. Gone to the first meeting with someone named, for example, Thomas Matthew, and been completely surprised by the brown man standing before you? There’s your explanation.

But the Christianity that came to India with white missionaries sadly carried with it elements of white supremacy. For example, leadership at Christian institutions of learning or denominational administration was always held by white people, with Indian nationals in roles of service to them. Thankfully, that is not the modus operandi anymore, but it was for a very long time.

I had a very high-esteemed colleague who served as a teaching missionary at a Christian university. He and his wife were appalled, he said, when after-church potlucks they were invited to were open only to white faculty, excluding Indian colleagues. He is a good, good man, and he and his wife refused to attend unless their Indian colleagues were invited as well, thus breaking down a segregationist wall with sheer backbone.

The Hart-Cellar Act of 1965, which came about as a result of the civil rights movement (THANK YOU TO OUR BLACK BROTHERS AND SISTERS), made it possible for highly educated Indians with selective and specialized skills to obtain visas for further education and/or immigrate to the United States.

South Asians arrived in the country—even with meager means—already on a much higher educational and professional trajectory than African Americans who had lived in this country for hundreds of years.

While our parents and many of us still experienced discrimination and racism on various levels, we were still in a completely different place than the black community. Quite often South Asian immigrants were extolled for their “model minority” status as newcomers who stayed in their lanes, while still contributing to the wealth and prosperity of the United States. And some of us bought into it and bought into the notion that aligning ourselves with white people over anyone else will serve us best in the end.

Speaking on the second and third-generation South Asian Americans, how many of us were directly or indirectly told to never bring home a black boyfriend or girlfriend? How many of us were given conditional parameters of acceptability with regards to race to work within? What I mean by that is, have any of us been told “classy” people outside our race were ok, but “unclassy” people were not. We knew what that meant. The Cosby Show was classy (in the 80s), Run DMC was not.

All the while, many of our parents told us to stay out of the sun lest we get dark or darker; hang out with “certain types of people,” white friends being on the top of that list; listen to country music please, not that hip/hop “rubbish,” etc. To be fair, many of us were blessed with families who did better than others in this regard, recognizing that in the world of white supremacy, brown and black are the same thing, and thus we need to stand in solidarity. But there were those, then and now, who buy into the nonsense that somehow brown is more valued on a color palette than black.

This summer, when I made a personal commitment to speak out on behalf of black lives and tried to share my viewpoints with family members who were proud of being coconuts (white on the inside, brown on the outside), there was pushback. And I’m sure anytime the topic of race and standing up for black lives comes up in a Desi household, there might be pushback.

All I have to say to that is keep pushing back to the push back as best as you can. If the last four years have taught us anything—especially with the pretty-close-to-endorsement of white supremacists by the president, all our lives are in danger.

To loosely paraphrase Mandisa, we all bleed the same, and if there’s a fight, we all have to fight for each other.