Tuesday, November 4, 2008

History

In November of 1992 I was in the living room of my director's apartment. It was fall quarter of my freshman year at college, and the cast and crew of the show I was stage managing had finished rehearsing early so that we could gather together at the apartment for libations and to watch the results of the election. I was a Michigan resident going to school outside of Chicago, so I had cast my first ever vote by absentee ballot. I was thrilled when my candidate, Bill Clinton, won. I remember singing along to the music as he left(or was it took?) the stage. "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow...."

Today as I waited in line to vote (with one of the two - and it should have been three - booths for my precinct broken) a woman in front of me in line couldn't remember the first presidential election she voted in. She had to think back at the dates of the elections, and figured she must have cast her first vote for "George Herbert." She was thinking about it because the volunteers running the polls cheered every time a first time voter signed the rolls. I was amazed that she couldn't remember.

I doubt those new voters will forget this first election. I hope they don't. Because whether they voted for Obama or not (and where I live it is most likely they did not), they were part of history. History that goes far beyond the kind of history that every presidential election is made of.

Tonight we were playing bridge with my in laws when both The Big Guy and I received text messages from a McCain voting friend of ours. "Congrats, guys!" Soon after CNN called it for Obama. And later we sat in our own living room and I watched, with tears in my eyes, as Obama spoke to our nation. And I felt, again, proud to be part of the process. And proud to be an American.

13 comments:

Melissa said...

Amen to that. I'm too hyper to try to sleep. I just hope that people will take him at the words he said tonight and not expect things to be all sunshine and rainbows from day one.

Chrissy said...

I wasn't quite old enough to vote at that election, so my first was in '96. It certainly was dull compared to this one. It is a(n?) historic and proud day, regardless of our political affiliations.

Angela said...

Amazing, isn't it?

flutter said...

I've never lost pride. Let's all now do things to be proud of. This is step one

imbeingheldhostage said...

This election was certainly exciting. Congrats to you today!

Kyla said...

Proud indeed.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

It's the first time I've been feeling truly proud of my citizenship in a long, long time.

ewe are here said...

Proud and relieved.

It got old a long time ago trying to explain how Bush got elected not just once, but twice, over here.

Chantal said...

As a Canadian watching your election from outside I am so happy for you guys. So truly happy!

Mad said...

All I have left to say is "Yay!"

Amy Y said...

I'm proud, too, and ready to get to work.

Jennifer said...

Oh, me too. All of it. Pride. Tears. The awareness of living history. Just how BIG this is is hitting me slowly, but...WOW!! YEAH!

womaninawindow said...

How cool are your friends? Just how cool was that?