You know, I can actually remember not giving a damn about the presidential election. It was about…hmm, let’s see….ah yes. Eight years ago, the very first one I was old enough to vote in. I sat smugly in my dorm room, convinced there was no point it standing in line, especially not in the kind of weather November gives you in the upstate, and I told myself that not only did my vote make no difference, but the outcome made no difference. I was far better off wrapping in a big fuzzy blanket in my papasan and reading Margot Adler’s Drawing Down the Moon while smoking p-funks and blowing the smoke out my window. I felt pretty smart.
What a wake up call that turned out to be.
And I couldn’t even be outraged with the rest of my classmates/professors/ family – because I’d sat like a schnapps-drinking pile of poo while the people who had every right to be upset stood in line and filled in their broken arrow thingys and put the paper in the slot. I could only nod and make appropriately disgusted noises as we watched a painful recount, and wonder quietly how many of me there had been, who sat it out.
So I voted in ’04, and was disappointed, but you know – that’s the lot of approximately 40-49% of us every four years. You cringe every time you hear the non-word “nucular” on national TV and you wish like hell more people thought the way you do, but you accept the pain as part of the process. I didn’t, however, hang on every headline the whole night. I was already sure of the outcome, and I wasn’t wrong.
I have no idea what the outcome’s going to be tonight, and I seriously doubt I’m getting any sleep before 1 am EST, I can tell you that. I’m braced for a far bigger disappointment, because I hope but I also expect, as my mama taught me – but I’m clicking the numbers every 20 minutes. I give a great big damn this time, and I hope like hell all the mes who drank schnapps in ’00 are with me on at least that much.