Shiny, Happy People

It’s not everyday that a friend from abroad congratulates you on your country’s Presidential election, but that’s exactly what happened when my very good friend, Claire, emailed from Dublin last week:

“Congrats also on the election – what a relief, all around the world, I think. Even my mum was delighted – it was the first thing we talked about on the morning of the 5th.”

And another friend reported a similar reaction from her travels down under, testifying quite literally to the fact that whole world was watching.

My children’s enthusiasm on that excellent night, while we watched the returns eating take-out from our favorite Mexican restaurant, resulted in the kind of exuberance one usually sees at a Dan Zanes concert. Finn jumped up and down on the couch shouting, “Go OBAMA! GO OBAMA!” & punching his fist in the air. Ella, always the counterpoint, chimed in with a few well-placed, “Down, McCain!” It was loud and crazy and perfectly appropriate to the momentous, anxiety-filled occasion of the night.

I don’t think I knew what the electoral college was until I was in high school, but there I was, explaining the peculiarities of the system to Ella (who now has the number 260 engrained in her psyche), for whom watching the returns was a decent little math lesson.

Certainly, the joy has been tempered by a number of things, which I’ll write about soon, but for now I note the significance that our own personal exuberance has a collective–even international-aspect.  It’s connected us once more to our government but also to the much larger world.

Which is the whole point.

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