Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The morning after. I woke up feeling jubilant, bright and light. No strangers in this bed!

And then the day went on and amidst all the sharing of joy between like-minded friends, I went on Facebook and had a big, fat online argument with someone I went to high school with. Someone who I've only been reacquainted with for a few weeks, ONLINE and someone who I never was really acquainted with during high school, anyway.

Jeez. Like a moth to flame, like a fly to ..., well, what was I thinking to spout off my mouth in such a way? I think it was his comment about impending socialism, about people who get handouts, about no tolerance for the Democrats, etc. etc. I just couldn't help myself. I left our back and forth volley and went to drive my son to religion class and when I got back saw that I'd been "defriended." Ouch. I'm tempted to chuck the whole Facebook thing and pretend like I never got sucked into it in the first place. There's something so addictive, so seductive about it. An intimacy that isn't really an intimacy -- it's a place to be ironic, clever, interesting. Except when you're not. And then you can be excised with the touch of a key.

A good friend had a bit of a spat with one of her closest friends who voted the other way. I haven't even spoken to my mother, yet. My point is that even though Obama won and I'm shocked, thrilled, thankful, etc., there's still this pall, this icky feeling in my stomach. I'm not sure what it's about -- the fact that the closest of friends, members of the same family, can't agree. The fact that this election was, as one friend put it, HEATED?

My dear husband isn't on Facebook. Thank God. He's also not a United States citizen (although he works very, very hard and pays taxes) and claims that he doesn't want to be one because of jury duty. I've long since stopped arguing with him about that and instead just gently mock. He gets me, the whole raw deal of me. HE's happy today with "the Americans." We found this poster from his native Switzerland. Terrific, right?


  1. I'm really sorry that on such a day you had that crappy Facebook experience. I intentionally shied away from blogs where there were any kind of sour grapes about the election. Last night Scott and I drank champagne and I cried and cried and we watched history happening and people celebrating all over the world and I didn't want anything to rain on that feeling. Every time I saw a clip of people in another country celebrating with us, I had that crazy Sally Field at the Oscars feeling of "they like us! they really like us!", unlike that weird -- I think I'll pretend I'm Canadian when I'm in Europe -- feeling I've had since 2003.

    You know, Paul Begala on CNN made a funny comment as we were closing in on election night and the McCain campaign was sort of crumbling before our eyes. He said something to the effect that when liberals lose, they go off to a yurt somewhere, smoke a bunch of dope and ponder what went wrong. Conservatives get into a knife fight. I can remember sort of quietly going off to a corner and licking my wounds when Bush won the last two elections and I don't remember lashing out. I think we just quietly shrugged our shoulders and got on with it.

    There has never been an election where the people -- we the people -- felt so empowered and celebrated the election of a leader the way we did last night. For each snarky comment I glimpsed and then refused to read or acknowledged today, I had the comical image of that crabby old man at the end of every episode of Scooby Doo who'd shake his fist in angry frustration -- if it wasn't for those meddling kids!

    People are bound to be disappointed as we enter this new and difficult era and mistakes are bound to be made, but I still have faith unlike any I've ever had before and for the first time in my whole life, here in America, I feel like we've finally become a "we". I hope the people who are unhappy about the election results will eventually understand that they are a part of "us" and our collective arms are open.

    Yeah, I sound pretty sappy right now, which isn't like me, but I'm going with it. It feels good to shed eight years of cynicism.

  2. Wow. Thank you so much for that. It made me cry, actually. Weird how a stranger can make one gnash one's teeth, but another stranger can make one cry in relief! You need to post that beautiful comment on your own blog. Then I'll reference it on my own! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  3. You inspired me -- I just posted most of what I left here :)

  4. I agree with Lisa. Even before the loss, I saw crazy and stupid posts from conservatives decrying the new socialism. Our revenge will be sweet when the country emerges from this recession bigger, prouder and better. I snub those folks and do so happily.

  5. Elizabeth - I know exactly what you mean. I picked the scab of my very Rebuplican best friend in Ohio, sking her indirectly whom she would be voting for and then was mad at her when I found out it was McCain. I knew deep down it would be, but I had this fantasy that she had somehow changed and voted for Obama (this was on Monday -- and I think I wanted a sign that Ohio would go blue).

    Anyway, I said something critical in an email and then haven't heard back and I feel sick about it, like I want to talk to her, but I am afraid of what I might still say.

    Anyway, just know you are not alone in your conflicted feelings. I am having that New Year's day depression -- omg it's a new year feeling too. Along with the elation. It's all a lot to take in.

    Lisa's comment was very moving and made me feel better too.

  6. I love the Swiss poster!!!!!
    Screw Facebook.!!!!!! I lump it in with online dating.......

  7. I know exactly how you feel! I just got an email from another mom who knows full well what my political leanings are, but somehow felt that she just had to tell me an election day occurrence - someone had scrawled "Vote Obama or Die!" in lipstick on the window of a car, and it upset her son. Inferring that somehow all the wonderful goodwill and exuberance was invalid because this single person decided to express his beliefs in a less than polite way.

    Am I supposed to be less overjoyed about this amazing election because of this? I agonized over how to respond to her for far too long, and I'm still rewriting my response in my head, even though it's long since sent.

    I should have suggested that she go off to a yurt somewhere, smoke a bunch of dope and ponder what went wrong!! (Thanks for that, Lisa and Paul B.)



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