Wednesday, January 21, 2009

a three hanky day

I should've just bypassed the mascara this morning. But I didn't, and my penance was that I looked like a red-eyed raccoon for a good part of the day. If you want to be absolutely truthful, it wasn't my penance at all, since I couldn't see myself, but a punishment for all the people who had to look at me, people who may or may not have prepared ahead and forgone their own mascara in anticipation of a weepy day.

Well, of course I'm talking about the inauguration. What else would I be talking about? What else is anyone talking about today?

It was a very interesting day all around. The state I live in is deep Red, but the town I live in is pretty noticeably split. There's a large Red faction, but a good part of it is a defiant little blob of big mouthed Blue. And the demographics of my town are unique as well. We have tattooed students with dreadlocks sharing downtown shopping space with homeschooling Mennonites. Sunburned farmers in dark denim overalls idle their Ford trucks at red lights next to Middle Eastern exchange students in full head dress and small sports cars. The impeccably groomed country club set push their carts down the aisles of the local natural foods co-op next to the militant lesbians sporting underarm hair and t-shirts proclaiming The Only Bush I Trust Is My Own. Just about any faction you can think of is well represented.

And we see all of them at the hospital, emergencies being pretty much an equal opportunity kind of thing. In the days and months leading up to the election, there were some tense moments as paths collided. Our department was sharply divided. Our patients were sharply divided. Words were exchanged more than once, as November got closer and closer. It seemed difficult to imagine that, come January 20th, people could band together behind a matter who won.

But that simply wasn't the case today. TV's were on throughout the entire hospital, and there were little clusters of people in front of each of them. In the waiting rooms, people watched in absolute silence as the day progressed. I saw elderly ladies high fiving each other outside of radiology, and older men who I would bet my life voted for the candidate who was not taking an oath today...and they were smiling. One of our doctors - who loathes Obama - put it quite simply. "No matter what I think of him, " he said, "he's my president now. And I'd be a fool to want him to fail."

It's not a bad way to start.


Altaglow said...

Today is a day I never thought I would see in my lifetime and I am awestruck at the number of unlikely people who rejoiced with me. Hallelujah from all of us and God love the new prez and his family.

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

I and the other people in the Netherlands, were glued to their televisions and awe struck by the whole procedure. We are very happy for all of you and for ourselves too. That's how important this is. A triple hurray is in order here.

Janie said...

History has definitely been made today!

Maggie May said...

When we watched the news, it was amazing to see the streets of Washington DC packed shoulder to shoulder with supporters. It was obvious that it would be...... but just to see it was really amazing.

I hope that the new President Obama will be able to fulfill everyone's dreams and do something constructive about the Health system. England recently watched a programme about the poor in America who have no health Insurance.It was heart rending to see people with serious medical conditions who were doomed to die because of this. It was a real eye opener for me. So I really hope he will do something for these people.

Potty Mummy said...

Great - and how come you kept that t-shirt slogan to yourself until it's too late to use it?

Kaycie said...

You haven't had anyone in from Oklahoma, I'd wager. I swear, these are the most politically idiotic people in the country. I was born here, so I can say that. I had a delivery man in my home this morning and I made some sort of reference to the inauguration. He wasted no time in telling me he voted for the other guy and he was afraid for the country. I couldn't get him out of my house fast enough.

Iota said...

I read this post with the preceding two, and they made a nice story all together. The prima donna star who decreed that no-one should look him in the eye and the woman who wouldn't talk to a waitress, compared to the President of the most powerful nation on earth who stops off for a hot dog and chats away with the guys serving him, and spares the feelings of the Judge who fluffed his lines, by hesitating and thus making it look as if he was fluffing them too, rather than proceeding word perfect and showing him up.

And then your uncertainty about your personal future, an uncertainty many of us share about our own, set against the optimism and hope that swept over the nation and even the world yesterday.

Wow. Someone should pay me to do this stuff. And I love the description of your home town. Love it.

Devon said...

Wow, I want to live in your city! Mine is so conservative it is beyond belief! I was the Obama precinct captain for this area and every sign I put up was destroyed within 12 hours, this was over a 10 mile radius!!

The one black family in the area had their home burned to the ground. No one was ever caught.

But, yesterday I didn't wear any mascara! I still smile when I realize what this new reality is that we have achieved!

the rotten correspondent said...

Altaglow - it was really pretty cool, wasn't it?

Irene - have I mentioned how happy I am that you have internet again??

Janie - woo hoo!

Maggie May - our health care system is a disaster. Something has to change...and fast.

Potty Mummy - would you like me to send you one? They make bumper stickers, too.

Kaycie - you may live in the only state redder than us. Were you secretly born in California and smuggled in?

Iota - they do kind of work all together, don't they? hmm. So you think the town description works, eh? Do you agree with it?

Devon - wow. so much for the Left Coast, huh? that's really scary.

Daryl said...

It was such an amazing day .. one of those rare days when everyone smiles in NYC and makes eye contact ... wouldnt it be wonderful if this lasted for all of the next 8 yrs ..

Kaycie said...

Not me, RC, but my mama was born in Los Angeles. Maybe that's where I get it!

Tiggerlane said...

It was a wonderful day - I hope they give him some time to bring about the change we need, and have some faith.

And just b/c a man is our president, doesn't mean I have to support him...I certainly disagreed with Bush on nearly EVERYTHING he did. However, Obama is one man I'm happy to support!