Friday, November 07, 2008

Thoughts on Election Night

I'm sorry I've been neglecting this blog. I've been working a lot of overtime at work and I'm so tired. Today's Beautiful Thing is about all I can handle lately. Anyway, Barbara Samuel asked for election stories on her blog and this is what I wrote:

Living in a red county and being surrounded by McCain/Palin and “Yes on 8″ signs in my neighborhood, my husband and I were thrilled to be invited to an election night party given by the county Democratic party. The party started at 8 PM and we were running a little late, so they actually called the election when we were in the car on our way there!

We just couldn’t believe it was called so early–just a few minutes after 8 PM. When the DJ made the announcement, we were speechless. We honestly didn’t think we’d win this time, fearful the election was going to be stolen from us again. I think I just said, “No. Is this for real?” and burst into tears. My husband cranked up the dial, muttering, “What? What!” It wasn’t until the DJ played a clip of Wolf Blitzer announcing, “Barack Obama is the president-elect” that it started sinking in. Then we saw the restaurant decorated in bunting and red, white & blue balloons and we heard the crowd cheering from the second story balcony and we broke into big dopey grins–and more tears for me. It was really real!

We found a space and, on our way through the parking garage, people spotted my Obama/Biden T shirt and honked and cheered and we cheered back. The restaurant was packed and happy people filled the second story courtyard. It was too crowded for everyone to get in, but they’d set up 2 huge screens and we watched Obama’s speech outside, under the stars. I don’t normally like crowds, but was a wonderful thing to watch Barack’s perfect speech with a crowd of people of all ages and races–we wouldn’t have gotten that at home in front of the TV.

It was a particularly beautiful experience for me to meet older African Americans, who had been through so much in their lives, and to share their joy. We cheered and screamed “Yes we can!” and “Yes we did!” in unison looking to each other, shiny-eyed and smiling, as he spoke. It was the best feeling to be in that crowd.

It didn’t even matter that we couldn’t get into the party, I’m so glad we went. I’ll never forget November 4, 2008.

Yes we DID!