11/05/2012 12:09 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Election Anxiety: What the Hell Happens After?


Is anyone else worried about what's going to happen when this election is over? What are we going to talk about? Shout about. Scream about. Fight about. Write about. Now is the time to panic. To think about our future. Because Tuesday is coming whether we want it to or not. We have no choice in the matter. And what happens after that is anyone's guess.

Does anyone even remember what life was like before this election ever began? Before 47 percent, forcible rape, and iPad minis. Pre polling, punditing, and the Cheddar Bacon Onion. Back when a Super Pac meant a ton of puddings all linked together. What did we read about on the Internet? What did we talk about at the dinner table? What did we watch the news for? What was the point of being alive?

I can't believe we'll wake up on Wednesday morning and there won't be an election hanging over our heads. No campaigns. No commercials. No reason to get out of bed. I may read a book. Or take a ballroom dance class. Or slide a mini boat into a bottle. We'll have so much free time. To pursue all the things we've had to put off. Because it was time to pick a president. Incessantly.

I've been looking forward to this election so much for four years now that I may just check some web sites to see who won and then watch it eight hours later. That's right, a summer Olympics reference. Remember when those happened? Right in the middle of election season. That feels like ages ago. A terrifying time. When we still had months to make up our minds.

But now we actually have to do this thing. Ballot up. Pull the lever. Wait in line. Maybe show ID. Who knows? Now we really have to go through with this. Choose a leader of the free universe. That we would have to take an alien to. Elect a Commander-in-Chief. A head of state. A most powerful man in the world. We have to finally make the call. And then live with it.

And live without it. No more election coverage. No more Race to the White House. No more speeches, debates, chatter. No more gaffes. No more fact checks. No more controversial statements. No more new ads. No more donation emails. No more calls to action. No more getting involved. No more rallies, bus stops, press conferences, and photo ops. No more new reports, sensational headlines, opinion pieces, endorsements. No more wars in the comments section. No more politics.

We're going to have to get a life. It's like when you get really into a show one weekend and think you're going to watch three episodes and then you watch 32 and emerge from the dark on Monday morning and step into the light and are like, oh right, the world exists. That's how I imagine us all on Wednesday morning. Remembering that there is reality. And it's not just in Ohio.

Yes, there will still be existence after this election. Whoever wins. There will still be crummy jobs, civil wars, and dinner parties. There will still be homeless people and shows about rich people's homes. There will still be minimum wage and maximum rage. There will still be the World Wide Web. There will still be newspapers, well, maybe, news channels, definitely, and news stories, somehow. There will still be weeks, days, minutes, and months to fill when this election is over. I just have no idea how we'll do it.

2016's not that far away, right?