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I know

My experiment in media-avoidance is over. Can a person truly dodge hearing arguably the biggest news in politics for centuries?

I did for almost five days.

Here’s how:

1. Wake up the morning after the election absolutely refreshed and at peace. The main event was over and I wanted to keep the feeling of bliss going for as long as possible. I didn’t want to hear about court battles, recounts, riots, controversy, people being tossed under blame buses.

2. Tell husband and children not to tell me who is President-elect. They swear solemn oaths on their Halloween candy not to spill the beans, but thought I was a big dork.

3. I developed theories on who won based on yard signs and the demeanors of Starbucks employees, store clerks, the people in line at school drop-off.

4. I avoided the 40 million blogs, hundreds of websites, and TV news channels who were sharing the exact same news as everyone else. Really, how many cooks does it take?

5. I continued maintaining a daily routine of school drops and pickups, shopping, visiting with friends and family (who also thought I was a big dork), checking email, cooking, shopping, reading non-newspapers, chatting on the phone, volunteering at school. Surprisingly, nothing is revealed in any of these public spheres. Are people too tired to talk about it? Too wary of expressing unwelcome opinions?

How I Found Out:

Every Sunday for the past several years, I have visited the PostSecret (mature content warning) blog. Today was no exception. I should have known better, but I truly didn’t think that anyone would slap together a postcard so quickly regarding Obama and send it off for Frank to post.

In the middle of this week’s pack of confessions, I read this:

November 4th will forever be the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE..Barack Obama is our 44th President and I finally caught my cheating/abusive boyfriend red-handed.

My first thought was a mental shrug. It seemed so anti-climactic. I wasn’t surprised, exhilerated, annoyed. It was just a new important fact in my life, completely unclouded by media spin, editorial opinion, or images of celebrations or tears. It was just a fact, stark and alone like the lowercase N, standing on a hill.

I am forever grateful for my little whim. It taught me that I can separate myself from the noise and din of what is an organism, an animal.

Congratulations to Barack Obama on becoming our new President. I am proud to live in times like these, and I wish him the best as he takes on the biggest job in the world. Have at it!

My second thought went back to the creator of the post card. I wonder if McCain had won, would she have written this?

November 4th will forever be the WORST DAY OF MY LIFE..John McCain is our 44th President and I finally caught my cheating/abusive boyfriend red-handed.

It’s over. It was interesting. I got a lot done, too. The kids’ rooms are completely clean and purged of excess toys and obsolete clothing. Our daughters are moved in to their new bedrooms. The summer clothes are clean, folded, packed away. The winter clothes are clean, folded, in drawers. We have a ton of stuff to give away to Goodwill. I cooked from scratch every night, helped Aidan with a big fundraising project, wrote several essays, took a zillion pictures. I clipped coupons, made lists regarding the holidays, went to bed at a healthy time, and otherwise enjoyed self-imposed time off from the ‘sphere just when I needed it most.

I couldn’t have done it without being a dork.

13 comments to I know

  • Congrats, you did it, you dork. I’m sort of sad you know. I was hoping you could have made it to the 2012 reelection which will begin in 2010 probably.

    Anyway, now we can talk normally again. Oh wait, I’m doing that already, aren’t I?

    Megan’s last blog post..Feelin? Crafty

  • I live my life as a dork – I love it. I think what you did was great, but maybe that’s because I love being a dork!

    Congrats, you know.


    Kristin’s last blog post..Burial grounds

  • Wow. I honestly can’t believe you made it so long. I was shocked when you got through the first day. Not that I thought you’d cave, but I was sure something would slip. My husband can barely get through the day after a football game he has tivoed without finding out who won by accident.

    Beth – total mom haircut’s last blog post..Lost in green and brown.

  • I think I need a dork week. (What an awesome catch-phrase. “I’ll be back soon. Just need to take a dork week.”) I need to escape the clutches of the Internet world for a while to reorient myself with the truly important stuff.

    By the way, I can’t BELIEVE you said on your blog that the summer clothes are put away. You know you’re in for a week of 89-degree highs now, don’t you?

    Kelly @ Love Well’s last blog post..Library Day

  • Yep! I got 3 rooms painted…

    I’m proud of you for getting all that done! 🙂 I’m still not sure I believe you didn’t know for four days, though! 😉

    Rach’s last blog and yellow

  • WOW… I watched in amazement as day after day went past! I kept thinking some meanie would comment on your blog and take the wind out of your project… but no you managed to keep going. All in all your experiment is very interesting comment on life, love and everything else.

    se7en’s last blog post..Sunday Snippet: Online World tour with SIM.

  • edj

    Wow! I found out in Morocco before you did. But don’t worry–you can visit me in safety. I didn’t even mention it 😉

    Congrats, btw. For me, it was a lot like you–quite easy to avoid. Although perhaps I had to initially put more effort into it (i.e. moving across the globe), it worked out.

    edj’s last blog post..Sangria, Day Two

  • Ann

    I didn’t think it was dorky at all. I saw it as a really cool experiment, so to speak. How long can I go without knowing, before I’m “forced” to know. I think it was a great idea, and I loved reading all about it, and it was killing me that you didn’t have comments turned on, but totally understandable. And I couldn’t wait to hear about your opinion on it, but you didn’t really give your opinion, you just wished the new president well and moved on.

    I love reading your blog, Gretchen.

    Ann’s last blog post..Sky Bears and Letter People

  • I have six HUGE black trash bags to take to Goodwill. I’m happy, but slightly disgusted as well.

    Congratulations on lasting so long in the dark! The dark can be such a peaceful place to be…

    Jenni’s last blog post..Defying Description

  • Kelly

    C’mon, really?!?! I have no idea how you avoided it, but kudos to you!! I couldn’t even wait until the next morning, and had my hubby wake me as I fell alseep on the couch.

    Hope you are feeling well – when is that baby coming again, from all the cleaning sounds like some nesting!!

  • You are my hero and dork role model.

    Megan@SortaCrunchy’s last blog post..Gratitude: Day Thirteen

  • bro-de-mopsy

    See….just goes to show you how much happier you can be without watching the doom-and-gloom media every day!

  • aren’t we all dorks in some way to some one out there… I think its fabulous you went 5 days. I am totally jealous. I wish my house was cleaned out.

    Mommie Blogs’s last blog post..paido baptism…

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