“It’s the day of the show, y’all!” said Joe Biden to the President, Michelle Obama, and the lovely Jill Biden this morning at breakfast in my imagination. It’s Election Day here in the United States of America. I arrived at the polls before six, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to vote. I was pleasantly surprised to see a line of people eagerly awaiting the opening of the doors. After a decent amount of standing in lines and people watching, I cast my vote (SPOILERS: Obama) and headed off to the gym.
Election season in navy New York City, after a small lifetime in magenta North Carolina, is invigorating, and never more so than when Barack Obama first took office. Election Night 2008, I was waiting tables at my Midtown Restaurant. We had the tv turned up so we could hear the results. As Obama was pronounced the next President of the United States, I stood on the steps to the kitchen, surrounded by men who came to America from other countries, seeking its advantages for their children. The restaurant erupted in cheers. There were tears of joy from all angles. Customers were hugging each other. It was the new America. The next morning, the guy who gave me my AM New York yelled out, “We won!” and I yelled back, “I know!” The city was buoyant.
Obviously that feeling didn’t last long. Between a hostile congress, an infuriated Middle America, and the fact that this is the city, we deflated fairly quickly. Today at the polls, that feeling came bubbling back. No matter what happens today, I am extremely proud of what our President has accomplished. He’s made huge strides in civil rights, foreign policy, women’s rights, and raising awareness of the ever widening wage gap between the haves and have-nots. I am cautiously optimistic about the outcome of today’s vote. Either way, I am wearing new boots, so at least we can all take comfort in that.