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I Mostly Just Want a Nap

The Wolvog greeted me with the news this morning as if he had been the person still awake at 2 am last night after waiting up for Obama’s speech: “Obama won!  Another four years!”

The Wolvog agreed to go to bed last night but had given me strict instructions on how he wanted to be awoken when the results were in.  He wanted me to be grinning wildly if Obama won (and he demonstrated with a wide, hopeful smile as if I may not know how one conveys happiness) and have a straight face if Romney won (once again demonstrating by holding his fingers against the corners of his mouth to keep his mouth straight while he spoke).  That way, he’d know the answer before I started speaking.  He promised me that he was going to “rock out hard” if Obama won.

There was no partying at 11 pm when we went into the ChickieNob’s room where they both were sleeping.  They woke up enough to give a weak smile as their eyes rolled back into their skull and then they told us they were too tired to watch on the television and went back to bed.  We woke them again when marriage equality passed in Maryland.  They saved their celebrating for the more civil hour of 7 am.

My G-d, I am dying this morning trying to function on so little sleep.

*******

I don’t begrudge Romney for wanting to wait, pushing back the speech times until after 1 am.  I cannot imagine how difficult that would be to get up on stage and deliver a concession speech.  He had to be beyond exhausted from the pace of the election and couple that with the disappointment of having your hard work end without success, and it is like a failed cycle times a million.  I thought about how I felt the times I had to call everyone to tell them that a cycle didn’t work, how I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth.  I multiplied the length of a fertility treatment cycle against a campaign cycle, and the fact that I delivered my news privately by telephone instead of having to speak it on national television, and that I could do it mostly on my timetable vs. having to speak before I was ready because the rest of the world was waiting for my words.  Holding your shit together and evenly delivering a concession speech takes a lot of emotional strength.

The ChickieNob and I spoke about it over breakfast, the fact that he couldn’t just curl up in his bed and have a good cry.  That he needed to control his emotions, walk out on stage, and speak.  That idea blew her little mind.  I don’t think the kids had given a lot of thought to what happened to the person who didn’t win, what they were going through.  I want them to have just as much respect for the person who put their heart out there and didn’t win as the person who put their heart out there and did.

The one thing we won’t do in this house is trash the other side.  You can express happiness for your good news, but you can’t celebrate another person’s loss.

Though we did dissect some of the Facebook status updates and Tweets I saved for them for an edition of “Adults Behaving Badly.”  Their assessment: “adults say the meanest things!”

Oh yes, kids, it’s not just your playground.

*******

I cried when they announced that marriage equality passed in Maryland.  It was so enormous, so emotional.  I had been hitting refresh every few minutes on the Maryland State Board of Elections site from 9 pm until after midnight.

When we walked up to vote yesterday, a man handed us a flyer for Question 6 and asked hopefully, “can you help me get to dance at my son’s wedding?”  And the ChickieNob, swept up in the excitement of the election called out, “Yes!  I will help you dance!  Will you help me get to be a flower girl?”

She needed to be reminded many times (many times) that passing marriage equality here will not help the couple in whose possible future nuptials she wants to scatter flower petals because they live in a different state (and I’m not sure where they stand on flowers).  What we really need are federal laws concerning marriage equality.  But the reality is that logistics matter very little to the ChickieNob.  The kid loves love.  She loves weddings and kisses and public engagements. (She witnessed one while we were in London at the Prime Meridian as well as a very drunk, purple-wigged hen party at a kiosk.)

And that’s how I saw the vote: that people were voting for love.  They were voting for their friends or family (or themselves) as a way of showing support for people’s rights.  I was talking last night with a friend, and we were discussing how you can’t reject your neighbours or hold down your neighbours and think that your neighbours are going to be there for you.  If we want communities to work together, we need to treat all people well.  And that starts by giving people equal rights.  With this vote, we were saying that all love is valid.  That the world needs more of it, and we’re not going to reject any love that manages to spring up.

A side effect of the vote is that it made me love some of my neighbours and friends and family more.  See, it made more love.

Because of that, when I was coming back in the house today from the food store, I took in the Ballot Question 6 sign from the front yard.  I usually don’t save these sorts of things, but this vote was historical.  I want to keep it in the basement to remember this election.

*******

The aftermath is such a strange time.  I am both relieved that the election is behind us and also miss the frenetic energy leading up to it.

I mostly just want a nap.

20 comments

1 serenity { 11.07.12 at 10:53 am }

I couldn’t stay up and watch it last night. I went to bed, and I woke up a couple of times overnight, and thought about grabbing my phone and checking, but then I thought it might ruin my sleep so I went back to sleep on my own and dreamed all sorts of odd dreams about Presidents and senators.

First thing this morning, though? Relief. And happiness, too. I have a close friend who was really involved in trying to get the vote out in Maine for marriage equality, and I’m SO happy for him today. Well done. Voting for love. Yes.

xoxo

2 Brid { 11.07.12 at 10:55 am }

Here, here! Congrats, Ford family on four more years! And a little more love in your lives.
Breathing a little sigh of relief here in Canada!

3 a { 11.07.12 at 11:19 am }

I was very happy with the results of the election, and somewhat disappointed in some of the sour grapes I’ve seen. However, I’m mostly just glad it’s over. And that Akin and Mourdoch didn’t win. Now to continue watching how that Bachmann race falls out…

4 Sharon { 11.07.12 at 11:27 am }

I was very happy with the presidential election’s outcome, slightly less so with the results of some local elections in my (red) home state. Ah well.

The posts on Facebook last night and today from my (many) conservative friends have been very sour grapes and doomsday, and it’s mildly annoying. But I remember how despondent I was for days in ’04 when George W Bush was reelected, so I understand their feelings even though I don’t share their views. It’s a really hard thing to see a president you dislike reelected.

5 N { 11.07.12 at 11:28 am }

Damn you for making me tear up at work.

6 Battynurse { 11.07.12 at 11:41 am }

I have to say that all evening when I was looking at FB and some of the really negative comments I couldn’t stop thinking about your previous post. This one of course is great as well.

7 Tiara { 11.07.12 at 12:42 pm }

I love that your discussed with your kids about how Romney must have been feeling. I believe it is what makes good people great, the ability to see anothers point of view & consider how they may be feeling. You don’t have to agree to have empathy & understanding.

8 It Is What It Is { 11.07.12 at 12:59 pm }

While the haters hate, this election restored my faith in the American people to push past the vitriol. The road ahead is not going to be easy and my guy winning does not make me gloat about the other side’s guy losing. I’m just not wired that way and it is a waste of energy.

I was moved to see what Maryland, Maine, and Minnesota did and I hold out hope in Washington. I only wish that my socially liberal state could get its head out of its ass when it comes to this issue (but, we want our porn stars to wear condoms, our death penalty to continue (even though no one has been executed here since 2006 because, apparently, we can’t figure out how to kill them right), and we don’t care about GMOs).

Here is hoping that a true, bi-partisan effort is made to move our country ahead.

9 lifeintheshwa { 11.07.12 at 1:52 pm }

Thank you for teaching your children empathy! Love that you can finally have same sex marriage there (we’ve had it in Canada since 03, so far no plagues of locusts or frogs as some predicted so don’t worry!). I approach it from a Christian perspective. I realize that’s a super charged word and means a whole lot of different things and I shudder to think of how the “Christian” right use it but it’s the concept of “that which you do unto the least of my brothers you do unto me,” and it’s a great guiding principle. I realize your faith is different but it is a similar concept to Kol yisrael you spoke about in that we are responsible for our neighbours, good or bad. Congrats on your fellow citizens making a good decision, we’re glad up here!

10 loribeth { 11.07.12 at 1:54 pm }

Joining Brid in a sigh of relief from north of the border. ; ) I stayed up until 11 & then had to go to bed. Sat bolt upright when the alarm went this morning, grabbed the remote & turned on CNN to see what had happened. ; )

I heard (yesterday, even) that Romney only had one speech written last — a victory speech. As a sometimes speechwriter, I couldn’t believe that — I figured that even if HE thought he had just one speech, his speechwriter no doubt had a concession speech drafted & in his back pocket to give to the boss, just in case. But then I heard that he didn’t concede until 1:30 a.m. (long after even Fox News admitted defeat), so maybe it really was true…!

11 Betty M { 11.07.12 at 3:40 pm }

I was glued to the live blog on the Guardian from 3.30 am finally going back to sleep when Fox News was reporting that Ohio had gone to Obama and I figured I could go back to sleep which must have been about 4.45 am. I worke up to my alarm and the radio with President Obama’s speech live. It made up for the lack of sleep.

12 Cristy { 11.07.12 at 4:38 pm }

I’ve been watching the polls like a hawk for Maryland and Washington (marriage equality is on the ballot here too). I teared up when I saw that both states would potential finally recognize that marriage shouldn’t be restricted to being between a man and a woman. To finally give a couple, regardless of their sexual orientation, the right to marry is something we should celebrate. I hope that that man gets to dance as his son’s wedding very soon.

Wolvog’s demonstrate about being super excited vs. disappointed brought one heck of a smile to my face. Seems I’m the one who could use the lesson. Can I hire him?

13 Esperanza { 11.07.12 at 9:29 pm }

I am so happy marriage equality passed in Maryland and other states this week. I can’t believe Califonia is stuck over here without marriage equality, waiting for a Supreme Court case that may never come. It makes me so sad, especially since my partner and I aren’t getting married until the institution of marriage is no longer discriminatory in California, which feels like it will never happen. But I’m so happy other states are getting right, even when I’m so angry at California for getting it so wrong.

14 Stupid Stork { 11.07.12 at 9:43 pm }

I am BEYOND thrilled about yesterday’s results.. Particularly Maryland (I was a little worried… ) and when VA went blue again I got all teary (and I am a heartless robot, usually). SO happy that people finally seem to be getting it RIGHT.

And I am by no means as restrained as you – but I will say if the Republican party is interested in gaining a few members, they should probably put the kabosh on all the social ‘issue’ nonsense because it sort of makes it impossible to look at the rest of what they stand for. It’s like having a blind date and they show up topless and with spinach in their teeth… it’s a hard thing to look past.

15 Seriously?! { 11.08.12 at 12:19 am }

Such a great and thoughtful post, Mel.

16 Terrisse Arete { 11.08.12 at 2:09 am }

I love how you and your family are so mature in the way that you handle the election madness

17 Mud Hut Mama { 11.08.12 at 3:22 am }

I love, love, love that Wolvog explained exactly how he wanted to be woken up and that you had a discussion with ChickieNob about how it must feel to give a concession speech.

18 Katie { 11.08.12 at 8:09 am }

I have chills reading this. :)

19 Chickenpig { 11.08.12 at 10:57 am }

YEAH for Maryland!!!

All we need is love, sweet love, love is all we need. :) Because without it, everything else is meaningless.

20 luna { 11.10.12 at 3:26 am }

I’m just catching up here. we were just talking about how historic this election was for so many reasons ~ in pockets across the country, people chose love, equality and freedom. look at the record numbers of women elected, including the first women of color, a lesbian and a bisexual atheist. and ousting the old corrupt (white) men including the neanderthals who would set the clock back on civil rights by ages, given the chance. this election was HUGE.

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