Sorting through old papers, I’ll sometimes come across a note signed by my mother. She’s been dead 15 years and the sight of her signature triggers a rush of emotions. Autographs are more than scratches on paper. They are a legal representation of a person. For 50 years, I’ve viewed signatures on a scale that ranged from “necessary” to “heartwarming.” It never occurred to me that I could hate a signature.
I hate Donald Trump’s signature. I hate it aesthetically with the odd peak at the end that makes it seem like he’s signing his family’s original surname, “Drumpf.” I also hate the cruel bills and executive orders that he has signed to ban Muslims, roll back environmental protections, and protect Confederate monuments.
This anger extends beyond his signature. Trump has taught me to hate things that never seemed worthy of hatred, items like:
1. The number “45.” There are no photos of John F. Kennedy wearing a football jersey with the number 35. Historians and journalist sometimes use Bush 41 and Bush 43 to distinguish the two, but most presidents aren’t recognized by their sequential number. Still, Trump has embraced “45,” putting it on his golf hat and embroidering it on his cuffs. Many elevators skip the “13th floor” because it’s considered bad luck. In the future, we will skip from 44 to 46.
2: The color orange. Orange still doesn’t rhyme with any words, but it’s now synonymous with Trump whose nicknames include Agent Orange, the Mango Mussolini, the Cheeto in Charge, and Tangerine Jesus. Orange is now off-color forever. Sorry Howard Johnson’s. Sorry Princeton.
3. “Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.” Founded by the Ms. Foundation for Women, this day kicked off in 1993 and used to happen once a year in April. At the White House, every day is “Bring your daughter to work day” thanks to senior adviser and filler-enthusiast Ivanka Trump whose “work” drew eye rolls from world leaders and Christine Lagarde.
4. Words like “sir,” “hoax,” “sad,” and “huge.” How one man could ruin so many monosyllabic words is both sad and huge.
5. Phrases like “When you look at X…” or “When you think about it…” Trump uses these phrases as rhetorical tics, the filler between lies. I now cringe when I hear them. Even cliches that were already disliked—“It is what it is”—I now hate even more.
7. Solar eclipses. I will always associate solar eclipses with Trump so it’s a good thing they don’t occur very often.
8. Mario Kart. In her book Full Disclosure, Stormy Daniels described Trump’s sexual apparatus: “It has a huge mushroom head. Like a toadstool… I lay there, annoyed that I was getting fucked by a guy with Yeti pubes and a dick like the mushroom character in Mario Kart.” If you can hear “Mario Kart” and not envision Trump’s penis, I am jealous.
9. True story: Trump ruined my friend Susie’s vagina. After Trump won in 2016, my friend Susie’s cervix spasmed and required medical attention. Susie wasn’t alone. In an article for The Cut, Emily Gould concludes her story about Gawker with a visit to the gynecologist. Gould explains she first felt pain in the area of her reproductive organs after watching Trump steamroll Hillary Clinton in a debate. The doctor responds, “Yeah, I’m seeing a lot of this lately. Women who haven’t had problems in years coming back in. People have all kinds of different reactions to trauma.”
10. Flushing twice. On the occasions when I have needed to flush a toilet twice, I never thought about it. Now that Trump regularly brings up bathrooms and the need for multiple flushes, I think of him as I watch the waste swirl into the sewer. To be fair, of all the associations, this one makes the most sense.
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