Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Post-Election Syndrome

If you don’t count the time I went to buy undergarments at Filene’s and the salesperson behind the counter loudly yelled at her colleague: “What’s the code on this Calvin Klein?” or the time when I was coming home late from a Diwali party and I got semi-attacked by a drunken Polish guy (there goes any stereotype on would-be drunken sod attackers) who claimed diplomatic immunity to the cops outside my building, or the time when I thought it would be pretty fun to boil an egg in the microwave and guess-what-happened, or the time when a creepy old man at my swimming pool asked, “how’s the water?” while checking me out, I have had a relatively uneventful past few weeks. Oh, there was that thing called the U.S. election which was bigger than any of us, and even the President-elect seemed to know it.
I was at a bar in Dupont Circle with some friends and like the rest of junta, we were glued to Wolf & Gang on CNN. Every time the dramatic music came on to reveal “Projections” we cheered. Then those Star Trekky holograms which was just so random and ineffective. But oh, every time John King came on to point at the electoral map, I swear my heart skipped a beat. By 10 pm I knew history was in the making. The 2 African Americans sitting behind our group were already in tears. By the time, Obama came to make his acceptance speech, the rest of the bar became overwhelmed too. One guy standing next to me kept saying “Yay! David F-ing Plouffe!” or “Oprah, we love you, too!” and towards the end it was: “Work it, Michelle. Lookin’ hot!”
Then we spilled out in to the streets where everyone was marching towards the White House. It felt like a revolution and there was true mass euphoria. I must have hugged at least 4 random people and shouted “Bush, pack your shit!” and then “This is Obama’s house, get out!” and a sign which said: “Why Wait Evict Bush Now.” Besides the smell of pot, cigars, champagne and beer around us, there was the sense of a nation finally breaking from its past.
We finally headed home sometime in the early hours, honking our cars in joy and settling in to watch NBC’s Brian Williams and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos give their final accounts of the day. It was bliss to be alive, and we were all Americans that night.