Old News is Still News – My Election Experience

6 11 2008

I was feeling more and more tense about the election, culminating in rather a short temper by Tuesday evening. And The Husband refused to pick up my free coffee at Starbucks for me – WTF? So, I went out after dinner to get it myself, thinking it would be a late night, staying up to watch the returns. I purposely turned the radio dial away from NPR, and took my sweet time getting home – I needed a break from the constant numbers.

When I walked in the door less than five minutes until 8pm, The Husband came out to the living room to greet me. I heard him say, “Oh shit” in a particular tone of voice that typically denotes happiness, but I ignored it, still bitter about the coffee incident.

And then: “I guess it’s over.”

What? Leaving the coffee on the kitchen counter, I ran into the living room only to see the words, “Barack Obama elected 44th President of the United States” flash across the screen. My hand went to my mouth, and I began to cry.

But I quickly gathered myself together, too afraid just yet to jump for joy. After all, the polls in the west had only just closed and other polls were only reporting 10% of votes still – I really cannot understand how they can call a state when it’s got less than, say, 75% of votes in, but whatever. But through the night Obama’s electoral count kept rising up, up, up! And then McCain conceded. And he was gracious, and made me respect him just a little bit again (might have been a lot had he not chosen Palin – again, I say, “WTF?”).

The kids stayed up a little later than usual to listen to Obama’s speech and to watch me cry some more. God, it was a beautiful evening.

I never thought I would ever say this before the US offered national healthcare, but it truly made me proud again. Of all the things I expected to feel the day after the election, pride was definitely not one. And yet, here is it.

Not that we don’t have a longer road to travel, cause we do. And I have a hard time staying hopeful beyond these next four years, but for now at least, I have pride in my country.

My state, however, is another matter. My heart hurts for all those who have been hurt by the passing of Prop 8. And thank God for the legal system! They are fighting it! I know someday we will have true equality – I had just hoped we’d be that much closer to it after the election on Tuesday.

Obama is the first African American president of the US. This is big news. And yet, a part of me is grumpy over that. In my opinion (which is not so humble), this should be old news by now. It’s 2008 and we only just elected a black man? WTF? That should have happened 50 years ago. It’s sad how slow we are as a nation. How long until the first gay woman sits in the oval office?

Bitterness aside, I am joyful for Obama! Thank you, America.




One response

7 11 2008

I was so sad when I heard the outcome of Prop 8. Couldn’t believe it. I hope that it’s able to be overturned.

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