Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My night with the Pres

So here we are at the end of another election.  There are only hours left now before the votes are all counted and we find out if President Barack Obama will continue forward or if his inertia will be halted by the Romney and Right wall.  I am glad that it is almost over.  This election has been especially tolling.  I once was surrounded by people who, although would not always agree with me, we were at least looking to a future in the same direction.  That is not the case in my life any longer.

I have never really felt like an outsider of thought when I am around other women.  All the women in my life, friends and family, have been very liberal in their thoughts.  Since I started my new job in the Spring, I have found my self surrounded by wonderful women but close to none of them share my same liberal attitude.  It is perplexing to me.  I have tried to understand where they have all come from to reach their political stances today.  Two of them used to own small business, so I can kinda get where their roots are, but the other ladies, I just scratch my head.  One of them has shared stories of her struggle as a woman in business and being a hippy in the 70's and struggling as a young working mom when that was not the norm, but she is so far on the right, that her back ground confuses me.  Another is very well education and down to earth that I can hear the teasing jokes about the right come from her, but she only has those jokes against the left.  I could go on about each woman that I work shoulder to shoulder with, but that isn't my point.  I am happy and enjoy working there almost everyday, but the days when politics are brought into the conversation are days that I feel like I am suffocating.  Being an outsider in political thought in a small office, and voicing that opposition is not a wise decision.  I am silencing my self and it is miserable.  (But I was also taught you don't talk about politics, money or religious at work)  The moments that I have spoken out sets a very uncomfortable mood and low talking from then on out.  Is it because I spoke against the status quo of the location?  Or has it absolutely nothing to do with anything I have presented?  I have no idea, but the feeling of tension chokes me.

When I leave that space on those rough political days, I want to vent about it.  I want an audience of commiseration.  I want to go off on a political rant and bad mouth that republican and bad mouth another and be ridiculous, sarcastic and over dramatic about what I have encountered during the day.  That is my stress release....slander.  I don't have that outlet available to me like I had daily in college and even at JJ.  It is an outlet that I took for granted.  I have a boyfriend who loves me and respects me and does not agree with me politically.  What I want to be a rant and commiseration from him turns into a respectful discussion on politics that I simply don't want to have.  It winds me up tighter and tighter because I have already dealt with that all day at work  And then I tend to shut down.

So I have been stressed out about this election more than any election previously.  The outcome of the next few hours is very scary to me.  I shudder to think of what the country will look like if the President is not re-elected.  But my purpose is not to preach or share all of those fears here. 

Sunday at 2:30 in the afternoon, RP and I took our position in line to see President Obama give one of his final speeches at one of his final rallies held at UC.  We stood in line.  Then RP found some kids to play with.  Then I started talking to the people (mostly women) around me in line.  There were two older women in front of me.  Both recalled rallies they had attended for Jimmy Carter.  I would say one was about my parents' age and the other a bit older.  In front of those two ladies were three UC students.  All three of them were voting for the first time today.  They all had such an energy about the rally and the importance of voting.  Behind me was an older white guy who eventually had his wife/girlfriend (?) show up to join him.  He had a really dry sense of humor and would have cracked a joke about 5 minutes before you realized what he had said.  Behind them were two 40ish black women and behind them, an entire black family.....and then a whole bunch more people.  We all talked, we commiserated, we laughed, we poked fun, we yelled at the Romney supporters that would drive by yelling at us, we all progressed through the line hoping that we would make it into the building.  When we passed the protesters of the rally from the right, we were shocked at how racist and mean their comments were.  We shared stories of our experiences together.  I got the relief from my election tension that I needed about two months ago and it was great.  I could have stayed in line for another 4 fours with those people around me talking about our ideals and how we want to move forward.  But all good things must come to an end and for the lucky ones, the end was getting to hear Stevie Wonder sing and Obama speak.

The vibe of the arena was amazing.  It was positive and up lifting.  There were families, college students, union workers, business people, mothers, fathers, older generations, white, black, Indian, Asian....it was a cross section of the American public all sitting in one giant room with the same purpose.  We all were looking in the same direction.  I am still getting goosebumps reflecting on the feeling and atmosphere of that room.  It was intense.  I am poorly describing it here.  I have never had such an experience before in my life and it was nothing less than amazing.  And then President Obama spoke.  I can only say that it was powerful.  There were two Romney hecklers in the crowd that were so disruptive, they were asked to leave.   I don't know why someone would wait so long in line just to be disrespectful and then get kicked out....I mean seriously, what's the point.

I know the picture I have posted is not the best and I had intended to post a few more, but they don't my memory justice.  My phone had died and apparently you can not zoom so well on an iPad for pictures.  I will never forget going on Sunday.  It is an experience the RP and I will share together forever.  No matter what side of the aisle he falls on when he is an adult and voting, he will always have the memory of the time his mom took him to see the President. 

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