--> divine angst: ready for it all to be over

Monday, November 01, 2004

ready for it all to be over

I am ready for the election to be over.

Like many others in the blogosphere (and blawgosphere), I hope this election is cut-and-dried. I hope there are no recounts, that the Supremes don't need to get involved, and that we can all go to bed tomorrow night knowing who will be President for the next four years.

Last time around, I had an election party. A last-minute election party, in fact. I sent an email out around 3:00, and about 40 people showed up to my apartment, food and drink in tow. We had a marvelous time. I did not have cable, so we watched the network coverage, heated up DiGiorno's pizza, baked Brie, and monitored what other coverage there was via a dial-up connection on an ancient ThinkPad.

We drank and ate and what I remember most was a delightful sense of camaraderie. Most of us had voted for the first time in that election—some for the second time, depending on whether or not they'd been living out of state in college. We were excited and having a good time. No one argued about who should win, and quite a few of us laughed about voting for Nader, since we weren't living in a contested state.

When it became clear that the election results would probably not be official until that Wednesday, the party began to simmer down. People trickled out, all in good spirits.

I remember stumbling to bed around midnight, when everyone but the future Mr. Angst and another friend of ours had left. The other friend was too drunk to drive at that point, so Mr. Angst hung out with him until he sobered up a bit. Mr. Angst came crawling into bed around 2 am. I mumbled, "Who won?" and he said, "Bush." I probably said something like, "Oh. Well, damn. Good night."

But the next morning, everything had changed. Bush hadn't won, at least not yet, and national elections were about to change forever.

I asked Mr. Angst a few weeks ago if we should have an election party this year, since the last one was so successful. His answer was an emphatic, "No." And I understand why. I'm an eternal optimist; I would hope that our friends would show up and we'd behave just like we did four years ago. We'd eat pizza and drink wine, laugh at the pundits and maniacally hit Refresh on the laptop. Mr. Angst is more realistic, though. That sense of camaraderie would never materialize, replaced this time with some paranoia, cynicism, and probably a little bit of shouting. Politics are no longer polite conversation.

It makes me a bit sad, in fact. But everyone takes everything more seriously now that we know what can happen. I wish we could take ourselves more lightly this year, but that seems unlikely.

So my hope is for an uncontested election. I know who I voted for, and I know that Mr. Angst voted for someone else. But I'm less concerned about whether his candidate or mine wins. I mostly fear for what happens on Wednedsay.