Healing! Unity! Coming-together time! That’s what it is, absolutely. Time to bind up the nation’s wounds and all that. And we are so ready to let that process begin, and, oh, the listening! So much listening! Truly cartoonish, excessive, even unpleasant amounts of listening! There’s only just one tiny, small thing, which I feel embarrassed even to bring up, but it seems like — just — oh boy! Sorry even to mention it, because I’m sure it’s just an oversight, but you’re acting as if maybe you haven’t accepted the results of the election yet?

I do hear a lot of talk about how I should be listening to you, and I could not agree more. Now is the time to listen to you and to learn from you (although I could point out that the past four years have also, technically, if we’re getting into the weeds here, been that time, and I would have thought that maybe now would be the time to listen to somebody different? Just based on the election?). But I am ready and willing to listen. I have cleared my datebook of all other events and excursions and put “LISTENING” in it in a huge font. Only, I do think — ugh, I feel bad to keep harping on this — that you’ve got to maybe possibly accept the results of the election before I do that?

I hear a lot of talk about how now is not the time for us to cling to our divisions but to embrace one another with full hearts and open eyes, or full eyes and open hearts, or whatever it is that makes for the best embracing. Only, again, just as a minimum, basic gesture of goodwill, if you could accept the outcome of the election? That would make me feel a lot better.

I feel so awkward and pushy to have to insist, but I really do feel strongly about it! Truly I would prefer to be compromising right now and, again, listening, even if both of those things seem like counterintuitive moves when you have just won an election with record turnout even during a pandemic! But I’m ready, apparently, to make like someone causing problems for a flight attendant and reach across the aisle! Super ready. And absolutely, as you keep pointing out, now is not the time for acrimoniousness. You are so right about that. You’re so right about everything!

I’m sitting here wanting to bend over backward and compromise in ways that seem almost like they shouldn’t be physically possible. I am just incredibly, astoundingly excited to surrender wildly on all kinds of issues! But before I can do that, I just feel like it would be nice if you, you know, acknowledged the outcome of the democratic process? If it’s not too much of a bother?

It just feels a little like I shouldn’t be already truckling to the policy preferences of people who won’t even admit that the election was legitimate, if you know what I mean? Unless that would be too weird.

No, no, you’re totally right! No, I’m sorry. I don’t know, it’s just, a feeling, I guess, that I have. Which might be stupid!

Oh my gosh, it’s stupid, isn’t it?

Read more from Alexandra Petri: