OK, so you’re among the half of Americans aghast that Donald Trump is now president. Here are some suggested do’s and don’ts.
Don’t pile your belongings in the middle of your yard and set them on fire, announcing you are moving to Canada. The fire department will prosecute you, and Canada will not accept you.
Do pray that the Holy Spirit will infuse the new president with the wisdom to think twice before he speaks and three times before he tweets.
Do not name your newborns Melania, Ivanka, Donald, Donald Jr. or Eric. First grade is hard enough. Tiffany is OK. What girl wouldn’t want to be named after a famous jewelry store?
Never miss a local story.
Do sign up for Russian language lessons. They may come in handy.
Do not get sick. Although Donald Trump has happily announced he’s got a plan to replace Obamacare, nobody knows the details.
Do exercise, eat well, lose weight and reduce your stress. That way, you might not get sick.
Do not discuss the new president with friends, neighbors, acquaintances, auto mechanics, carpenters, plumbers, your boss, your employees, toll booth cashiers, etc., etc., etc. And definitely not family members. Family tensions are high enough. So is the divorce rate.
Do get a newspaper subscription. Reading what Trump is doing will confirm your firm belief that you were correct and he is bizarre. (Caveat: This may increase your stress, so end the day reading the comics.) Also, if the number of newspaper subscriptions rises, it will really, really irritate Trump.
Do not follow Trump’s example and refuse to pay income taxes – even if it’s your way of protesting too-high taxes or Trump’s plan to lower taxes on the rich. The IRS will come after you, and Canada won’t even think of letting you in.
Do spend more time at your various other properties around the country, especially if they involve golf, sunshine and parties. This will help with the stress thing.
Do not quit your job, expecting new offers with stunningly awesome salaries to rain down on you. Trump does not know this yet, but presidents don’t actually create jobs and raise wages.
Do put in a backyard bomb shelter. Your grandparents have the plans on a shelf somewhere. Trump keeps wondering why we have nuclear weapons if we don’t use them. He might be tempted, just to see what happens.
Do not put your innermost embarrassing thoughts on your computer. Somebody out there will read them.
Do expect House and Senate Republicans to have occasional (or continuing or intense or daily) disputes with the new White House on such issues as spending, infrastructure, trade, immigration, the budget, taxes, etc., even when Trump is relaxing up in New York or down in Mar-a-Lago. Or wherever.
Do not expect the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up your dirty water, air or toxic waste dump anytime soon.
Do expect to see the climate warm up and gun rules relax.
Do not expect to see Rep. John Lewis, the civil rights icon, or actress Meryl Streep or Saturday Night Live Trumpalike Alec Baldwin invited to state dinners.
(Actually, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin would be invited before they are. Perhaps even Kim Jong Un, the weird and unstable dictator of North Korea who is desperately trying to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead against the United States. )
Do not expect many, if any, big-name celebrities to perform at the White House for four years.
Do not invest your savings into companies that build walls along vast stretches of desert.
Do take everything Trump says with a grain of salt. Most likely, he'll change his position tomorrow.
Do not give up on the country or the future. Four years seems like a long time but it’s really not in the scope of history.
Do get up in the morning. And go small. Take the next four years to clean out your closets, take up a hobby, help with your child’s homework and school projects, improve your town, become a volunteer, contribute to your favorite cause.
Do worry, but be happy (avoid stress). This, too, will pass. And you can visit Canada.
Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.