Ellis & Barnes: Serious Mothers!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

An unbelievable night

Hello PPPAers!
It is the morning after the election and my joy is overwhelming as I take in what is truly the most amazing historical moment of my life.

I wish more people were talking about...hardy har har.

So here is my personal experience from election day.

At 5:30AM Stefan and I were up and very giddy about going to our voting station that opened at 6AM. I kept telling Stefan we didn't need to rush because we live in Park Slope...and there are going to be no surprises in Park Slope. This neighborhood is Obama city so people aren't going to be crazy about voting. Out the door we go at 5:45am and as we turn the corner at our location I was proven soooooo wrong. You mean Stefan and I weren't the only people excited about being the first to vote for Obama? Weird, right?
(sorry...dark picture...but it was DARK!)

What has two thumbs and loves voting?


What has two thumbs and loves banana pudding?

So there are about 100 people ahead of us...not a crazy line, but about a 20 minute wait till we hit the door...and out the door comes this elderly, African American woman who stands at the top of the stairs and announces, "I was the first one to vote."

The line goes nuts! Everyone is applauding...I start crying...I turn around and an old, white gentleman is crying...everyone is crying. It is incredibly moving...not the line...but the moment!
In to the voting area we go and of course, the machine Stefan and I are to use is broken. We start talking with the couple behind us in line, joking about slipping our hand written ballots into the incredibly, non-official, yet totally official cardboard ballot box, and the whole thing being tossed into a garbage can. This box might as well have been an amazon box with a slit down the side. It felt very high school (especially since we were in a high school) and that there was no question Jenny Arbuckle was gonna win SGA treasurer.

I would also like to point out that I may have been given a Hispanic ballot as the proposition that was listed on the ballot was in spanish. ¡Viva la elección!

The only disappointing thing about the voting process was that NYC does not give you a little "I Voted" sticker. HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO GET MY FREE STARBUCKS OR KRISPY CREME!? Aren't I entitled to free "stuff" for doing my duty as a citizen? I think I am.

Actually, I missed the excitement of passing people with "I Voted" stickers and smiling or high fiving or whatever encouraging gesture we might give each other, like I had experienced in other states I had voted in.

So what did I do? I made some damn stickers! I called up Stefan and asked if he could do a quick design, I hit the Staples for round stickers, and presto blamo...¡Viva las pegatinas!

Last night we had over some friends to watch the election coverage. I believe we had 5 computers going, 1 iPhone, and two scarf knitters.

I found the whole coverage irritating...I mean up until 10PM it was just a bunch of people talking at each other and regurgitating the same non-facts about exit polls. My favorite is calling a state when only 1% has been counted. Blah blah blah...big surprise, New York is going Obama...blah blah...Alabama is going McCain, shocker...blah blah blah...I talkie talk at you, you talk talkie at me...blah blah...CNN has hologram technology...blah blah me Obi Wan Kenobi.
I will admit though...when they called Pennsylvania...that was cool.

I had one to many "buffalo wings of change" around 10:30, so I snuck upstairs to the den and watched the rest of the Daily Show/Colbert Report coverage with my two cats and found myself falling asleep as Jon Stewart announced Barrack Obama was our next president.
I took my weepy self to bed...not sad to be by myself with this news...but elated to be getting into bed with the promise of a new direction for our country and with my husband and my friends just down stairs celebrating the news. I just sort of needed to be alone for this. This is a really big deal for so many reasons and I needed to reflect and let my excitement and fears and hopes sit with me for a moment. I turned on WNYC, our local NPR station, and fell asleep listening to the lead up to Barrack's speech. (No worries, I have it recorded.)
If you find it weird that I left my own party then you don't know me very well. Anyone who has ever been to our house for a social event has seen..or rather not seen me...silently exit a room and disappear into my bedroom. I love having people over and I love going to sleep with the sound of people having a good time. I have hopefully encouraged a home where people feel that it is their home as well and don't need me around to make them feel that way. It could be weird...but I like it.
Anyway...about an hour later...I guess around midnight, I woke up to the sounds of our party guests leaving. The radio was still on, as well as both TVs and you could hear the boisterous sounds of celebration from parties around the country coming over airwaves. After a while though, I was finding it hard to get back to sleep with all that noise. I called out to Stefan, "Can you shut off the TVs? It is really loud.

Off go the TVs.

Off goes the radio.
The boisterous celebration not stop.

It is almost 1am in the morning and the streets of my neighborhood are filled with people screaming with joy and cars honking horns. It is louder than New Years Eve!
On go my pants. "Stefan, grab your coat...we have to go outside and check this out."
Out we go to find hundreds of people lining the streets, coming out of bars, hugging and high fiving and crying and yelling "We did it!" Cars and taxis and public buses and garbage trucks are honking and waving out their windows.

It was incredible! I have never seen anything like this. The excitement and happiness was like a could grab on to it. It felt like Stefan and I were walking in slow motion, arms around each other, through some sort of documentary we had stumbled into through a bad plot device.
The nicest moment was when we were almost back to our corner...we ran into the couple we had voted with that morning. We saw each other at the same time and literally ran to each other and hugged and laughed and congratulated each other. While the fact that they were an interracial couple makes no does paint a nice picture. Actually, it does make a difference to me, growing up in Alabama, where interracial dating was taboo or a SCANDAL to some people when I was a teenager. (Luckily I ran with nerds for the most part..and nerds tend to be above that sort of thing. ¡Viva las NERDS!) has been a long year, and while I am sad that I was not cheering the election of Hillary Clinton, I am proud of our country putting aside old and possibly new baggage to elect someone who can really make a difference during a very difficult time. I hope that we all keep the same level of enthusiasm and involvement in our government as we enter into this next phase.
I would like to share with you my favorite image of the night. This is the heiress to the cohort, Jordi and her her husband Ted's beautiful daughter...Evangeline.

Here is to you Evangeline, and growing up in a world where you never know that this wasn't possible.



At 1:17 PM, Blogger DG said...

This is an awesome explanation of what it was like to be at your house and out and about in the Slope last night. Great job.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger ds said...

Aw, ya got me all choked up all over again.

At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Kevin Hussein Chesley said...


We did the same thing...but with magic DirectTV multi-channel screen craziness! It was nuts.

Also nuts? How much darker it
was where you live when they
called Pennsylvania!

I lost my sticker...sniffle,
California Stickerless.


At 2:08 PM, Blogger Elise said...

I didn't get a damn sticker either. I do have a little slip of paper that is my "receipt" which I am totally saving. And you're welcome for PA. We're happy we could do that for you, though I'm sad I missed flooded streets of brooklyn.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger nowpicnic said...

what a great night! yay! thanks for writing about it, biz! :)

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Jordi or Biz said...

Biz, I have read this EIGHT times and it still makes me cry. I love you.

At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your man has a sweet mullet...he would have fun back here in Alabama


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