05 November 2008

Nov. 5 2008

I sure hope Obama wins this election. That would be so great.


I couldn't handle watching the returns, so I went to the swimming pool. When I got back to Mom & Dad's, McCain was already ready to concede. I was amazed it went so fast, but I gotta say that the folks are THE WORST people to watch election returns with (or with whom to watch election returns if you are a grammar freak).

They were cranky. I am pretty sure Mom voted Dem and Dad voted Republican, but neither were rejoicing. They were In A Mood.

Dad flipped the channel to CBS.
"Ooh, I hate that Katie Couric," my mom said. In that respect, the apple does not fall far from the tree. If you ever hear me say the words "Katie Couric," they will most likely be preceded by the title "Evil Viper."
Dad ignored her.
"Can you please change the channel to something else?" Mom said.
Dad shut off the TV and sat there silent.
"Well, that's that," he said. "You don't want to watch, we don't have to."
"Oh, cripes," Mom said.
"Dad, can you turn the TV back on to another station?" I asked.
"Why?" Dad said. "She said she doesn't want to watch."
"Dad, can you just do it?"
"He doesn't know how," Mom said.
He flipped the TV back on. Fumbled with the remote. Changed the channel.

Dad went on sitting there silently while Mom complained about random things. As they showed the jubilant crowds in Grant Park, I broke out.

"I gotta go!" I announced. Ran out with Goldie. Stopped at the grocery, where I found the champagne shelf almost empty. Bought some Domaine Chandon, high-fived the boxboy who had written "OBAMA" on his nametag and went to CC's house, where we watched the acceptance speech, drank champagne, cried, hugged, and let Goldie sleep on the couch as a reward for being a good Democrat dog.


Earlier in the day, I had gone to 4 polling places to interview voters for the newspaper. The people I talked to were all great in their own way, but Manuel stood out in my mind. 79 years old, he had immigrated from Michoacan, Mexico in 1947.

"I come from Mexico and I never seen prejudice like that before," he said. "They way these black people were treated, they couldn't go to a restaurant, they got treated so bad. I was in the Army and they had a different barracks for black guys, even their, you know, their clothes on the beds were different. You would get in trouble with your platoon for talking to someone who was black. It was bad being a Mexican but man, those guys had it so much worse."

He voted for Obama, proudly. He said he thought the world belonged to young people and that they could understand Obama's message of hope. He got tears in his eyes. He was so sweet, and so proud.


I finally went to bed about midnight after seeing that Prop 8, outlawing gay marriage, was winning. If you can call it that. Seems like losing to me.


I shot up bolt awake at about 3 a.m., sure that I knew the Republican plan. The sight of the massive crowd in Grant Park came to me, and I suddenly KNEW that sometime soon, before or after the inauguration, "they" - the Bush-Cheney crowd - were going to assassinate Obama and wait for the inevitable riots, then declare martial law, something like Argentina during the Dirty War. Then dissent would be over, people would be locked up and tortured for speaking their minds, and the Bush-Cheney crowd could take power again.

I have paranoid thoughts like this at 3 a.m. so often that, when I awake worrying, I check the clock and say to myself, "Oh, it is just 3 a.m. worrying time," and then I can dismiss myself and get back to sleep.


This morning was rough. I thought I would be so happy, but Prop 8's passing hurt my heart so badly. I drove to work sobbing. I got to my desk and held it together til my married lesbian co-worker came into my cubicle, where I choked out, "I'm so, so sorry," and began howling in grief and shame.


This afternoon was better. Back on a more even keel. I hope Obama uses his community organizing skills to organize US. The country is fairly well screwed. We are ALL going to need to pitch in in some way to secure a better future. I, for one, look forward to the challenge.


marisa said...

OH, I started crying reading this, just thinking about Prop. 8 here in California. THIS is why Constitutions should NEVER be amended by the voters, at the polls(!) And by a simple majority no less! I want to change that law! maybe one day I can do that. The devastating irony in electing our first African American President while we simultaneously write discrimination of another group of human beings into our Constitution ~ it's too much for my heart and mind to bear. I also hope the Obama Administration organizes US and demands hard work from all of us to move forward. One of the revelers interviewed by CNN said that she heard Obama say he will be accountable to us, but that he will also hold US accountable ~~ for pitching in on everything we have to do. I am ready to roll up the sleeves of my GObama tee-shirt!

Thank you though for your 3 am "worry time" admission though ~ I have that same affliction! The image of your parents' conversation made me laugh, and your description of Manuel was touching ~ so thank you! Keep up all of your wonderful work and blogging! :)

judy in ky said...

Your parents sound a lot like mine. There is no way I could have been with them on election night. I also wanted to go out and buy some champagne at midnight. I have the same paranoid thoughts. I held my breath all through the election. Now I can breathe again, but those little paranoid thoughts still sneak in.

Project Christopher said...

No on Prop 8's website is still not calling it a loss. It's VERY VERY close and they won't concede until all the absentee ballots are counted and the final final number is announced. Hang in there. Cross your fingers. Hold vigil. I'm sending good karma from IL!

Gordo said...

I'm so sorry that you're saddled with Proposition 8. My boss married her partner up here within a month or so of it becoming legal.

If the sex-obsessed prejudiced jerks would just open their eyes, they'd see that Canada hasn't gone straight to hell by allowing and and all loving couples to formalize their relationships. Cripes.

I've had this nagging fear about Obama's future for quite awhile. Nothing as clearly laid out as your 3am freak out, but it's there nonetheless.

MsLittlePea said...

The Thank You email Obama sent to all who volunteered said that our job isn't finished and there's work yet to be done. It said he hopes he can continue to count on our help. We'll I'm still ready to continue to be a foot soldier for change and I'm pretty sure that the thousands of others like me who worked so hard side by side to elect our leader are just as ready to continue....but for now I'm still celebrating but exhausted from all the joy. I'm worried too. Right after CNN had projected him the winner I got a txt from my sister that said,"Now we have to pray for his safety."

On that sad note, our Amendment2 in Fl which also bans Gay marriage was also passed and it's such a let down. I already knew that Florida would pass it no matter how hard we tried to fight it. But I thought all would be ok in California at least so it was a shock. We just have to keep fighting discrimination.....it still feels awful though.

Suzanne said...

I love your picture. I love, love, love it.

Props 4 and 8 (and amendments in FL< Ark., and CO) have been weighing me down, too, though. Progress for some people on the federal level, and yet steps back for so many people on the state levels.

Swistle said...

I'm having a really hard time with Prop 8 passing, too. I didn't think there was any chance it would actually PASS.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Remember after September 11, when we all wanted to chip in and help, and were told that the only way we could help was to go shopping? That cut me to the quick.

I'm thrilled that now there shall be someone in office with some vision, who will have some actual work for us to do, rather than show our love of country by pulling out our credit cards and spending money we do not have.

gael said...

I know I'm coming in late, but my reactions ran a day later than yours, too. On election night and the following morning I kept borderline weeping tears of joy. And when I hung my flag out yesterday morning I just plain broke down. Nov 5 would have been my mom's 82nd birthday and DAMN! she would have been proud to be an American.

But then this morning the raw implications of the Prop 8 "victory" hit me. On Election Day I went out to a busy corner with a No on 8 sign. It felt good just to be doing something. There was a vigil last night downtown but I had to work. I needed that healing step. Why is there such fear and hate?

Guess we've got some work to do. Thanks to christopher for his positive thoughts.

Overflowing Brain said...

Thank you for saying what I couldn't about prop 8.

I am a California ex-pat living in Louisiana (hoping to return this summer for good- husband is in medical school) and I'm distraught by what the voters of California did, or I guess, failed to do with proposition 8.

I got married (in California) this last summer, just 1 month after the gay marriage ban was lifted. It made me feel so incredibly proud to be married in a state where everyone had that right and opportunity and now I feel shame for what should and could have happened on Tuesday.

I hate to think of how long it might take us to realize this mistake and how challenging it will be to un-do it. It's difficult to balance the happiness of the presidential win with the loss of personal rights and freedoms.

Hopefully someday we can have both.

Back to top