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For me, literally tears and blood

By
November 5, 2008

My wife and I drink wine, occasionally beer, and not hard liquor. But yesterday, hoping the polls were right, I wanted to buy a bottle of something to drink to celebrate Obama’s victory. I considered a good champagne but ruled that out since we’d only be drinking our limit of one glass. Then with the image in my mind of the two main characters of the TV show “Boston Legal” sipping scotch on the balcony overlooking Boston at the end of every show, I thought why not buy an expensive bottle of scotch.

I envisioned an early declared win and surprising my wife by bringing out the scotch. That didn’t happen. However then Keith Olbermann, under strict network orders not to “predict” the outcome, dropped his “opinion” that the only way Obama could loose was for McCain to win California, plus Oregon or Washington, which would leave McCain needing to beat Obama in Hawaii to go over 270 electoral votes. I knew we’d be waiting until after 11:00PM to hear the official outcome.

Obama and scotchNot wanting to wait, I broke out the 16 year old scotch and we began to sip it every time Obama won a state. My wife drank scotch in college and opined that this was the best scotch she ever tasted. I didn’t like it at all. Even smelling it made me shudder and it felt like a burning in my nostrils.

It was worth it, toasting the TV screen, clicking glasses, shouting YEA, confusing the dogs, and taking a sip. What a scene, two 64 year olds playing a drinking game.

Finally, sleepy and maybe a little tipsy, I took my laptop and we went to bed at 10:00 PM to watch the returns there.

When it was announced for certain that Obama had won tears were streaming down my face.

Even my hands felt wet. I looked down and they had bright red blood over them and there were two drops of red seeping into the innards of the laptop through the crack around the touch-pad.

I had a nosebleed.

This is something I’d only had once before some 30 years ago.

The fumes of the scotch had apparently ruptured a blood vessel.

By the time Obama had completed his speech my nose had stopped bleeding and I thought I’d run out of tears.

But then the Obama and Biden families came on stage and I had to restrain myself from sobbing lest the bleeding start again as I saw the mix of generations and colors on that stage sharing their joy with the world.

Like millions of others, this was a night they will never forget.

For me it was night I bled and cried and rejoiced all at the same time.

26 Responses to For me, literally tears and blood

  1. Malibu

    November 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    My hope is that Television in particular and Hollywood in general will depict the African Americans as well educated as we have seen during this campaign. There is no difference in our brains, or our ability to speak and think and I’m tired of the step and fetchit silliness on television. I remember Anderson at the race track (Rochester) and he was a serious horse person who even on occasion had a winner. Yes, I’m that old and remember the days of Jack Benny and his side kick Rochester.

    Old Malcolm

  2. buckethead

    November 5, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    Three and a half weeks ago I lost my 85 year old mother to inflammatory breast cancer. I couldn’t help but compare Obama with JFK and thought of young John saluting his father during the funeral procession and how my mother cried so hard. My tears flowed the rest of the night until I thought of one family going back to Alaska.

  3. gazelle1929

    November 5, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Hal, old friend:

    I can help you with your problem. I’ll be more than glad to take that nasty old Scotch whisky stuff off your hands. Let me know and I’ll come pick it up the next time I’m in your neck of the woods. I’ll even bring some tissue paper for your nose and enough ice for both your nose and the Scotch.

    As to the state actions on gay marriage, that one’s going to the Supremes, or at least the one in California. You cannot stuff 18,000 rabbits back down the rabbit hole. The bans on gay marriage fail the test of equal treatment under the law. And the same thing will happen to the Federal statute defining marriage. We need to get over this marriage stuff. It’s a civil union, having not a damned thing to do with religion.

    Gaz

  4. Kibitzer

    November 5, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Nice community here. Glad I found you folks. I don’t always have something to say, but I like to listen in, and at least be part of the circle that way.

    As for how I took the Obama win: I didn’t vote for him (I preferred Ron Paul, and, since he wasn’t on my home-state choice list, not even as a write-in, I went for the Libertarian party candidate, as a protest vote for the Constitution, under major threat from the Right), but I’m glad he took it – that is to say, that the American people rose to this occasion. This defining-moment occasion, taking the American Revolution to its next step, in bringing the blacks fully into the fold, of a self-governing, republican form of government. And his acceptance speech was, simply, inspirational. I, too, teared up somewhat. He was speaking for the America I love, and hope to reach its potential.

    I have concerns about the man. But this is not the time for that. This is the time to celebrate America taking its rightful place in the community of nations. Full speed ahead, between the Scylla on the Right and the Charybdis on the Left. That, I will drink to. Cheers.

  5. Hal Brown

    November 5, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Not too many political forums where you can kibitz civilly and throw out the occasional reference to Greek mythology. Call us the “strait” talk express.

  6. Tom G.

    November 5, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Hal, perhaps you should consider the symbolism of the booze you guzzle to celebrate. Remember the Boston Tea Party? Colonial Bay Staters’ annoyance at the British tea tax got Americans started on the road to drinking coffee instead of tea.

    In view of Mr. Obama’s distaste for outsourcing, why would you celebrate his very American victory by drinking scotch? I looked for spirits made in Obama’s home state of Illinois and could only find company headquarters for products actually made in Kentucky. Since Kentucky is a Republican state, swilling bourbon might fall into the naughty outsourcing category.

    There is an outfit here in MA called Berkshire Mountain Distillers, which sounds like a boutique outfit making local gin, vodka and rum. Gin, like tea or scotch, sounds a bit too British-like in origin, vodka might sound slightly pinko and rum has nasty symbolism from the old triangle trade. Garsh! It’s hard for a feller to get buzzed with honest democratic hooch, eh?

    If Obama puts a high priority on renegotiating NAFTA with an eye toward pricing out furrin’ spirits, maybe you should dip into cheap tequila or Canadian whiskey while you’ve still got the chance. At least you’re sharing the profits with other folks right here on the same continent. Then again, if spirits make your nose bleed, there’s always the local stalwart, Sam Adams beer, and the political connotations could hardly be better.

    Once your head clears, you might sign on as a trade negotiator boosting exports of products made from corn. Ethanol for cars turned out to be a big boondoggle, but if you age the stuff in oak barrels, it still makes a passable beverage.

    Tom Gelsthorpe

  7. gazelle1929

    November 5, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    There is always A. Smith Bowman in Northern Virgnia, which is now apparently a fairly firm blue state. They make a really fine sippin’ whiskey called Virginia Gentleman, and they had a more limited and better edition called Fairfax County Gentleman, which was sold exclusively in Virginia ABC stores. Sadly, it appears from their website that they no longer make the FC Gentleman.

    They were and still are privately owned, much like their neighbor the Mars Corporation.

  8. Hal Brown

    November 5, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Tom,

    It was that or French champagne to symbolize our rejoining the world community.

    We were Edinbrough last summer and heard what the Scots, Brits and Europeans we met thought about the Bush administration. To a person they felt sorry for us.

    If you or any other posters drink scotch, and want to try some of this high class stuff, stop by. I’m not hard to locate.

  9. shelley

    November 5, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Add me to the list of teary-eyed Americans. I’m a single mom, and Barack is from a single-parent home, so the best part was being able to watch the election results with my 13-year-old daughter. I want her to understand the greatness of what happened last night! This is a victory for those of us who have felt ignored by our leaders for the last 8 years. Yano, the average Joes…and Janes..

  10. JudyB

    November 6, 2008 at 2:56 am

    We all seem to be celebrating! What a wonderful thing it is to have hope once again. I wrote last night when Obama was declared the winner, that I had chosen hope and warned that I would allow nothing nor anybody to rob me of the wonderful feeling…seems I had nothing to worry about…thats a bonus!

    Listen up folks, theres another sure bonus in having Obama as a president. I mentioned months ago..that it will be a joy once again to be able to listen to a president give a talk and know what he’s talking about, and how to pronounce the words,and trust what he’s saying. Alleluia, whoopie, whoa, hip hip hoorah! I will never take that for granted again..once I heard Sarah Palin talk. I knew there were many more morons waiting in the wings. Savor these moments they have been a long time in coming. Peace out!

    “Once you have chosen hope, anything is possible”

  11. CheckerboardStrangler

    November 6, 2008 at 2:57 am

    Born on the cusp between the Beats and the Kennedy Kids I am unable to detach Barack Obama’s win from the Kennedy vector without twitching visibly.
    Thankfully for me, his speech made it unecessary as he is apparently on his way to filling the shoes admirably.
    I drank with you Hal, and for me that’s usually a once a year proposition on New Year’s.

    Jeff H in TX
    the occupation is over

  12. Hal Brown

    November 6, 2008 at 7:00 am

    There’s a quote in the Newsweek article about how early in the campaign Obama and the 80 year old Ethel Kennedy were together at Coretta Scott King’s funeral and she leaned over and whispered to him “the torch is now passed to you.”

  13. CheckerboardStrangler

    November 6, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    W-w-w-w-w-w-w-OOOOOOWWWWWW!!!

  14. Malibu

    November 5, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Let’s see Mr. Brown; had you worked up a sweat with your lovely wife, you would have gone the whole way with “blood, sweat and tears.” You may have done this and simply not told us…. I understand….

    I celebrated by popping an M & M for every state that McCain lost! I’m older and do not drink anything stronger than sugar free cocoa.

    Malcolm

  15. Hal Brown

    November 5, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Very good Malcolm. But my wife and I are in excellent physical shape and it takes more than that to work up a sweat.

    It would have made more sense, and have been heart healthy, to have splurged on a $20 bottle of merlot. I can’t tell the difference between Two Buck Chuck and a $40 bottle of 1999 Washington State Ciel du Cheval Merlot.

  16. Malibu

    November 5, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Well sir, you have considerably better taste in wines than I and you are considerably much younger too. But, like your expensive wine lists, you too will age.

    Old Malcolm, who still sweats.

  17. Hal Brown

    November 5, 2008 at 8:38 am

    The culture divide, sadly, continues. I was pleased that the three Massachusetts ballot questions came out the way I wanted: not banning the state income tax, making possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine, and banning greyhound racing.

    But I see that it looks like Arizona, Florida and California (link) will pass a ban on same sex marriage. I only hope that this prejudice will change as the older generation who hold so dearly to their conviction that marriage must be reserved for oposite sex couples die out.

  18. Hal Brown

    November 5, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Ladywolf, I deleted your M-80 firecracker post by mistake. Sorry. Please repost if you can.

  19. Ladywolf55

    November 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    No worries. If I recall properly, I said, “Last night, I shot an M-80 firecracker for every state as it was announced for Obama. When he was finally declared the winner, I shot several packages of firecrackers all over my lawn at once, shouting from on top of our hill, “This is for Obama, and for America!!” Our home sits in a rural area littered with McCain/Palin signs, with 64% of our precinct voting for McCain. I was proud to be one of the few who were not.

    McCain won Missouri by a slivver, so racism is well and truly entrenched here. I’m proud to rise above it and to embrace all USA citizens as we go forward and try to repair what has been damaged.

    Oh, and I broke out the wine I had saved just in case. I rarely drink, but this occasion called for a celebration, for sure!

  20. bryan mcclellan

    November 5, 2008 at 11:21 am

    I cried also, but the tears had no soothing effect, as it still remains we are at war and I will never have respite until our men and woman are out of harms way.

    Brave and courageous they show us the manner in which we must conduct ourselves, Duty, Honor, Country. This is not the time for high fives and exhalation of baited breath as they have no relief in their duties.

    On Tuesday next our President elect must go to Arlington, and as he walks among the rows upon rows he must vow to our nation and the world that we, America, will no longer push and manipulate the weakest and the disadvantaged to bend to our will.He must declare that ours is a new direction, that the smallest of voices will have a seat at the table when the business of nations is conducted.

    This is no small gesture, but one of leadership pointed in the right direction that has to become the norm.

    He must vow that never again will a drop of American blood be shed to cover the wanton and willful carnage that the prior occupant has foisted upon planet earth.

    He must stop these damn wars because that is the only true direction that leads to the highway out of this hell.

    He must seek to stem the flow of our blood, sweat, and tears as the price is too high for the return we will reap.

    I hope he is up to the task.

  21. psyopswatcher

    November 5, 2008 at 11:26 am

    My poodle pack got an extra walk in the yard at 3am-ish and I looked up to the clear night sky and said Thank You Lord this day has come. Everything was perfectly still.

    Woohoo! We’ll have someone with some sense for a change and start to bring this country together in ways we could only dream of. Let the Integration of Ideals begin. And please, learn to agree to disagree. But if you’re sicko, take your meds and stfu.;)

    I’m psyched, but I’m not going to relax now. This is a new chapter and I love seeing History in the making.

  22. Tinker

    November 5, 2008 at 11:32 am

    I was in the Obama camp because I followed Joe Biden there. I had been bitter about Obama ever since he flooded our caucuses in Iowa, washing away candidates like Joe, Dodd, and Richardson, so I had to make MAJOR attitude adjustments! What that really involved was giving Obama a chance.

    It began with the Democratic National Convention when I heard Michelle speak. I found that she wasn’t the sort of woman (b**ch) that I thought she was from seeing her. I think part of that had to do with the rather aggressive-looking set of her jaw. Anyway, she was totally comfortable in front of the crowd, and showed herself to be a lovely and loving woman.

    I found it a little hard to warm up to Barack. Being used to the warm, easy-going Joe Biden, Barack seems a bit remote. But I had to give him a lot of credit for being both unruffled under pressure and a great speaker. The debates highlighted that even more. I was also impressed with the fact that he and Joe really like each other and seem as though they would be a good team.

    In the end I have a great deal of respect for Barack Obama, and I too was sitting there with tears running down my face last night when he spoke, and they kept showing the people in the crowd who represented to me that we had all just chosen inclusiveness. Instead of hanging onto old mind sets we chose to accept and engage with our growing racial diversity and with the rest of the world. It was very overwhelming because I have seen so much negativity and fear in the blogs!

    It now feels at least like we have turned the page and are embarking on a great adventure instead of a dark chapter. I hope it works out that way anyhow. Bush never asked us to pull together and do anything after 9/11, except for to go shopping.

  23. Hal Brown

    November 5, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Old Malcolm, my $40 wine cames off Google just so I could pretend to know more than I do here – I know next to nothing about wine except a glass of red is supposed to be good for the heart. In fact we are out of wine and today is wine shopping day when I buy whatever is on sale.

    I don’t know how old you are to consider me much younger than you – in your 80’s – but you certainly think young.

  24. JudyB

    November 6, 2008 at 3:11 am

    Malcolm. I always enjoy reading your posts but I had you figured as a man in his forties with a successful law practice or a professor. whatever it is you do or have done in life, you are one well written informed “dude” and I am glad to hear you still sweat.. it’s agood thing, as for Hal sorry you had to bleed, and I truely wish Gaz had her scotch….Me, I am just happy to see the reason for celebration!

  25. Hal Brown

    November 5, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    I didn’t intend it this way, but as the comments are showing, this is turning out to be a good place for people to share their personal stories about how they experienced the Obama win, and about their hopes for the next four years.

  26. Ladywolf55

    November 5, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Personally, I’ve always wondered how there could even be racism in the world. We’re all human, I don’t care if we’re the color purple.

    Also, I’ve always found the African-American race, as a whole, to be more joyful, showing more emotion, warm, with usually close families. They’ve had to stick together in order to survive.

    Yes, there are bad ones, and I come from a State which has more than it’s share of that type of trouble. I’ve always thought it was because circumstances push the poor and downtrodden down even further in this country. Now that Barack Obama has proven to African-Americans and other minorities that hard work, along with education, can raise ANYONE higher than they ever dreamed, perhaps all minorities in our country will have HOPE. And even poor caucasians, who also have felt the sting of being without, of having less opportunity, perhaps they will have hope now, also.

    And that is the greatness of what happened last night, and why I shed tears. Tears of joy for all Americans, tears, finally, of HOPE, not despair.

    YES WE CAN!!!!!!!!!!!