Up at 3:45, had to be in the gym by 5am. I am the lady who checks you in to get your ballot, then adds the numbers at night. this election wasn't like the last presidential election - there were no big emotions or tears, much less exuberence. What was felt was a palpable quiet determination. No anger, smugness. No me vs you. We didn't even get our usual biligerent drunks. There was a different kind of energy on both sides - the feeling that my guy has to get this so we can save the country.
In CT there weren't lines around the block, but for appx 13 out of 14 hours of voting, what I saw was steady streams of bodies to the door, maybe ten, fifteen back, and it only stopped off and on for maybe an hour total, folks on their way to or back from work, very often entire families standing together.
I did have favorites....mothers lugging fat babies with ridiculous hats, some pushing two or three in a stroller. Or dealing with a noisy irritable toddler while trying to think and vote. There was one adorable fat cheeked baby wearing eye glasses with red red chapped cheeks, his young mom and dad together smiling and caring for him while each took a moment to vote.
And the beautiful mothers surrounded by daughters, the fathers with sons just that much taller than they. You could see the children would grow to be much taller than their parents, all those bright eyed beautiful children.
In one case, a family of three women came in smiling, the two stunning daughters so fresh and boistrous, so happy to be voting for the first time with their mom, taking charge of presenting their licenses, pointing out who was who, showing us on the list that earlier in the morning their dad had come in with another sister and voted and informing us the last family member - a brother would be in after working his double shift.
I kept hearing: oh please can you check ......did my son vote? my husband? daughter? then they'd promise (a certain so and so) would be in later. They'd tell us "I'll call and make sure that they remember, get here, wake up..".
Voting in CT is a family affair, the line stopped for an extra couple of minutes while one woman took the time to show my partner and I the picture of her marine son in his official unsmiling tough marine portrait, his very young stern freckled face, slim and angular...and we all smiled with her, admiring him.
I told you about the last election, about the cleaning woman, who had worked all night and then waited on line for a hour in the dark to vote, waiting in freezing cold, she and all the others on that long long snaking line, so eager to vote for the first African American President. She voted, went home, then returned with her daughter voting her first election and came back yet again later in day with her elderly mother. Being an African American, she was determined to share this moment with her mother and her daughter.
She was so happy, she did not sleep that day.
Women and their daughters were here again today...daughters four years older, some just coming of age, some didn't wait for mom to bring them. They came on their own, some voting for the first time. There were MANY first time young people and damn! it did my heart good to see them.
Today I saw serious determination. And I even saw the relief that this ghastly demoralizing election cycle is finished! I think we are all - left and right - sick to death of and unnerved by the relentless hate and deceptions.
Today we cast our votes for the future. I believe what won was a rejection of a manufactured return to the fake good old days, days that weren't that good or that great for many, maybe most of us.
And then there's this half of America - for the moment our eggs remain ours! Ovaries produced by us will not become public domain; self determination AND PRIVACY in private medical and reproductive matters was supported by the majority. America rejected the idea that women's bodies should be a national point of political jockeying, boistrous intrusion and imposition, ignorance, magic and hoodoo religious ritualism.
I was not surprised to see this as an important woman's election but I was more than a little pleased that the women who turned out seemed to feel it too, whether they articulated it or not. Women came out in numbers today. mothers, daughters, grandmothers, friends.... a 95 year old woman, actually two of them accompanied by their daughters, these women of an advanced age were casting their votes for the women, the America of tomorrow.
FACT: Americans have voted our intent is to continue moving forward, even in these economically perilous times. We go forward, not backwards, not in a goofy moon walk, not in someone's magic act or as a player in someone else's dipshit sexist theories.
We have voted that we are equals. We belong to and OWN ourselves, our bodies and this grand dream of America. We spent the day today acting on our intent to keep our nation moving forward together.
We are a nation of courage!!