Eight years ago, at the very beginning of our relationship, I stood next to John in the back room of Kildare’s in Manayunk (close enough to touch, but not) and we watched Barack Obama ve elected President of the United States.
It was a seminal moment. Emotional. A huge step forward for our nation.
Today, I took my place in a line that snaked out the door and around the side of the building and into the parking lot of my polling place at 7.08 am. I stood for over an hour in the brisk November cold. I stared at the plethora of political signs lining the walkway. I was voter #100 (of the M-Z line). I didn’t vote Party. With my numb, fumbling fingers, I fed my ballot into the scanner. And then I walked out — past the free coffee — got into my car, and cried.
I will be thirty-seven in a little over a month. I remember being child in the 1980’s and little girls dreaming of being the first female president. I remember my mother’s first amazing female boss, Jeannette Finkel, and her red-headed daughter Sarah, who declared that she would be the first woman elected.
The experience of walking into that polling booth and filling in the circle next to Hillary Clinton was filled with the hope I feel for women. For myself. For equality. It was overwhelming. It meant more than I can articulate.
I didn’t think we’d have to wait this long to have a chance. To have a voice. To have support. I didn’t think our country was so embedded with bigotry and misogyny.
At the end of this day, America will have elected a new President. I don’t know if Hillary will win. But I hope she does. And I will be in New York City, far away from my husband and our dog. But by some beautiful chance, my little brother will be in New York today as well. So I will see him.
I hope that at midnight I can drink a glass of champagne and cry more emotional tears. For having the chance to vote for a woman. For voting for her. And for watching her win.