History in the Making
Last night, just after the news started rolling out across the land that there was a good chance that Obama would be elected, I went to dinner with my mom at a five-star fancy restaurant. We were celebrating Election Day. The air seemed to crackle with anticipation all throughout the restaurant, although it could have just been because we were crackling with anticipation. About halfway through the dinner, Grumpy Grumperson in his late sixties, early seventies sat down near us. His wife was demure, small and slumped. She trembled all through their silent dinner, as though she had Parkinsons or some other nervous disorder.
He was so gruff and growly that, from the first moment he walked in, I wanted to install the biggest wall between he and I. I did everything in my power to ignore the angry waves of energy slamming all around the room from his vibrating body. He had a permanent scowl on his face, the lines of which were deeply ingrained in his skin, possibly even his skeletal structure. He was one of those men that you just knew ya didn’t want to piss off. He rarely talked to the woman cowering at his side. When he did, it was muffled behind his clasped, fidgeting hands.
“I just wish they would have killed him. Those two skinheads had the right idea. They should have let them finish the job. It would have been easiest while he was out campaigning.”
It was the only thing he said loud enough for everyone near his table to hear him. My jaw dropped and I stopped mid-sentence, so angry to have heard his statement. My mother stared at me, both of us completely blown away that we had heard him say something such as that, that he had balls big enough to say something such as that. I turned to look at him, seething with anger and stared him right in the eyes, hoping to high hell that he could read my thoughts and would begin to disintegrate there in his chair. He stared back at me, daring me to stand up to him and appearing completely confident that his expression was perfectly appropriate. I wanted to club him in the nuts.
I was so taken aback by his explosion that I just gaped at him, astounded that he had so bluntly stated out loud something so offensive. I felt angry for more reasons than he was talking about the man I voted for. I felt angry because he was talking about another human being. I felt angry because his line of thinking is the biggest reason that our country is such a mess. Somehow, that cantankerous old man was better than this young black man who has a vision of change for this country. His divisive thinking is too prevalent – although not as prevalent as it was throughout history – and, if allowed to continue, will be our ultimate demise.
I don’t know how to deal with men (or women) like that. I didn’t know what to do last night. All I knew was that meeting him with my anger would only have fueled his fire. He seemed to be wanting to get a rise out of someone. And it certainly wasn’t going to come from his frail wife who shrunk lower into her chair at his outburst and whose tremors became more evident as the night wore on. I think I would tremble too had I had to live with that man for as long as she appeared to have.
I feel really honored to be alive at this moment! I feel so excited about the future of the United States of America. I feel grateful that people turned out in hordes to exercise their rights and make a difference. I love that, as the news started trickling in that Obama would be our next president, I was surrounded by people I love. I feel happy that I participated and that I got educated about the process and the platforms. I feel happy that my daughter was educated, as well, about what this election was truly about – what the two main candidates stood for – and that she was able to decide for herself (even though she is not old enough to vote) who she would like to see end up in DC. She and I discussed the candidates and she had a very clear opinion of who she felt best suited the role as president and discovered she was almost 100% in line with Senator Obama, as was I. I feel grateful that my tearful fears about the citizens voting in a man who lives 24/7 with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as the next president went totally unfounded.
I feel impressed by the campaign Obama ran, that he did so with integrity and bold-faced answers, that he did not shrink from uncomfortable questions and that he was always able to bring the conversation back to the true matters at hand. I feel honored to have a man as President of the United States who obviously loves, respects and is still attracted to his wife. I feel excited to be supporting a man who is a seemingly approachable and very likeable man. I feel hopeful. For the first time in a long time, I feel hopeful about the future of the America.