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Love Notion #9
by Kate Nielsen

If you believe in Santa Claus, the Democratic Party or forever, stop reading now. I don't want to be responsible for bursting anyone's bubble. But these past couple of weeks have been hell… a rollercoaster of emotions -- and not the good kind of rollercoaster. Oh no, this rollercoaster is manned by a carnie-gone-bad. There's no stopping, or getting off the ride in the foreseeable future. But, emotions aside, I am happy to step out of this beat-down town called Jadedville in order to explain myself with more objectivity and panache.

You see, I just never believed in Santa Claus… ever. The whole story is just so implausible, it doesn't make sense. I mean, it was drilled into our little heads to never talk to strangers, and yet, my parents seemed almost gleeful that some strange fat guy, (oops - Jadedville), I mean weight-challenged man was to arrive in the wee hours, led by a team of spunky reindeer, to then sneak into the house via the chimney, or busted screen door, depending on your socio-economic status… then, dressed in Red (hardly a clandestine color), quickly pile fifty presents under the Christmas tree, eat a light snack, then scamper away into the night without making a sound, tracking in mud or setting off alarms. Okay, reindeer-on-the-roof? Please. You can tell when there's a squirrel on the roof -- again, highly implausible.

But, for my parent's sake, I went along with the charade. It seemed to make them happy, and being a good co-dependent, this was highly important to me. I would even use my great acting ability to convince my little brothers and sisters that I believed in Santa. Tatum O'Neal shouldn't be the only nine-year old ever to win an Oscar. Boy, was I good. I even volunteered every year to make the cookies and pour the milk for jolly, Ole St. Nick. So, you see, this is where it all began… having to believe in something I found ridiculous just to make those whom I love, happy.

Similarly, I was very convincing to my friends that I believed Senator Kerry had it in the bag. Proudly displaying my "Wax Bush" bumper sticker, canvassing the 'hood, raising donations… hope was decidedly on the way. Yet somehow, on its journey, it got lost. And in turn, the Democratic party has become anything but a party. It's now a mere shell of its former self, a downtrodden group of idealists in a land taken over by fatalists. Fatalists who believe that the Lord Jesus will soon take them out of this immoral world to where the streets are paved with gold… like Bel-Air, but Heaven. That's why W doesn't give a hoot about the environment. Environment , schmironment - he's headed for the great beyond… Earth is merely the ugly stepchild.

When pollsters asked Bushies why they preferred the incumbent to Senator Kerry, the majority of voters said they voted based on their moral values, i.e., W is a man of faith, a Christian. The largest percentage of Republicans that were crucial in handing the election over to Mr. Bush is a sect of people known as Evangelical Christians -- a group of folks who believe the end is near. They're on pins and needles, waiting for their Lord and Savior to return and escort them all to heaven, while those of us left behind, e.g. sinners and sodomites, destroy earth and mankind in a fight to the finish, Armageddon.

Now when one looks at the definition of "sect," it reads: a small, close-knit group with strongly held views that are sometimes regarded as extreme by the majority. Sounds scary. Isn't that why we're spending billions jinxing Jihad, to destroy a sect of aggressive Muslims? Huh. Muslims. Evangelical Christians…similar features, with longer beards.

Seriously, what could be more aggressive and extreme than 'editing' the most revered document in our country -- the Constitution? Because that's exactly what our Christ-loving Bushies did in over eight states -- they voted to amend the Constitution to disallow gays the right to marry. Taxation without representation, remember that one? Maybe we sodomites should all stop rendering unto Caesar that which is being used to slap us in the face. And the response from the Democrats? Nothing. Nada. Okey-dokey artichokey, whatever you Red-states want, you get. What happened to protecting the right to life, love, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? There are no qualifiers in that sentence --straight, gay, white, black, Republican, Democrat. It literally covers everyone. Every one. I guess we're just too busy protecting the rights of Iraqis. I mean, sort of, we've lost a few along the way. And I'm not being glib. My heart is crushed by the loss of life from this war. But oddly, I'm not angry at the election outcome, nor at the loss of hope for change. I'm more embarrassed -- embarrassed to be called an American… because of what that stands for these days.

James Madison, known as the Father of the Constitution, was adamant about the need for separation of church and state. He believed that the state should not impose religion on its citizens… period. And because Mr. I'm-A-Uniter-Not-A-Divider has chosen to blatantly disregard his forebears, he has created our nation's most divisive populace since the Civil War. Which, by the way, was fueled by scripture-quoting slave owners to condone their behavior, Ephesians 6:5-9. That's right, the Good Book keeping the disenfranchised down... whooda thunk?

But let's wrap this up, 'cause it's been an emotionally exhausting couple of weeks and I need a nap. Between losing the election and my girlfriend - it's too much. It really came out of nowhere. I thought the itch wasn't supposed to come until seven years… it's only been four. But then, I did agree to date someone fifteen years younger. I guess it's my own fault. I bet Donald Trump doesn't have to put up with this kinda thing… he probably just calls whatever youngster he's dating into his cedar-walled study and tells her "You're fired." I got the pink slip over the phone, while she was away on a business trip. Talk about wanting to reach out and touch someone.

The pursuit of love… it's Sisyphean. If only the Constitution had some helpful hints about that one, you know, maybe encrypted behind John Hancock's signature like in National Treasure. Enduring love is a misnomer. Jadedville? You betcha. I'm headed back. To where things are as they seem… there's no sugar-coating in my town, just low-carb honesty. You don't have to pretend to believe in something that doesn't exist where I live. No impassioned bumper stickers allowed.

So when it comes to matters of the heart, proceed with caution. Don't be caught off guard. Date within your age group (unless they're blind). And most importantly, when the one you love scribbles in a flowery, anniversary card: Yours forever, or on a Post-It: Out walking the dog, xo always… please dear god, don't take it literally. 'Love' and 'Forever' are simply notions -- sweet concepts, but meaningless, like Ashlee Simpson.

Remember, I don't want to burst your bubble.

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