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.