I remember Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 like it was yesterday. That morning, I cast my first vote (ever) for Barack Obama, a man who would end up becoming the first black President of the United States of America. I remember watching the counts come in and the states being called. I remember watching John McCain concede as gracefully as a true patriot ever could. As tears streamed down my face, I sat in silence, in utter disbelief at the weight of what was unfolding for our country. I was, quite literally, watching social progress unfold. I've never felt anything like it and I'm damn proud to have stood on that side of history.
Tomorrow night, I plan on standing on that same devoted side of history as I watch the glass ceiling shatter courtesy of Madam President-Elect Hillary Rodham Clinton.
When my girls are older and a country having been run by a woman is all they'll have ever known, I will tell them about the evening of November 8th, 2016. I will tell them that as they lay asleep in their beds, I sat on our living room watching a new path unveil itself for our country. I will tell them about a man who used fear and bigotry and oppression and tyranny as his platform. I will tell them about a man who made it obvious that his credo was self over country. I will tell them about a campaign that used hate as a shield until a united nation of people came together and proved that human decency-- not partisanship, not politics, not fear-- will always win.
I will tell them that I didn't just vote for me. I voted for them. I voted for the opportunities they've yet to take. I voted for the person they've yet to meet and the love they've yet to share. I've voted for the rights as women they've yet to invoke but could one day need. I voted for their future friends, their future partners, and even their future children-- my grandchildren. I will hug them tightly and tell them that this country is a privileged one to call home, not because of the scale of the opportunities we are afforded, but because of the people who inhabit it alongside us.
I will tell them that what it has and always should boil down to is people.
Not just the people who look like us or think like we think. Not just the people whose experiences we understand or whose tax bracket aligns with our own. Not only the people whose political beliefs we agree with. Not only the people who have our backs because we have theirs. Not only the people who can do something for us in return. Not only the people we come into contact with on a daily basis. Not just our neighbors. Not just friends. Not just our family.
All of them.
Tomorrow night, when my anxiety finally subdues and when history is made, when this political circus has FINALLY concluded and the Trump train loses steam, when reality strikes that this man is no longer a threat to the social progress it has taken a century for our country to achieve, the tears will undoubtedly fall once again. And in honor of the momentous occasion I'll have been afforded to witness in my lifetime, I will open a bottle of expensive champagne given to me by one of my best friends and strongest Nasty Women I know. (Looking at you, Allie.) I will drink champagne in honor of my daughters, in honor of women and families everywhere, in honor of hope, in honor of human decency, and in honor of the people.
All of them.
*If none of this goes down like I hope it will, I'll use the bottle for an equally important cause: putting myself out of my own misery. I'm kidding, of course. Let's all just hope we never have to find out because it'd be a damn shame to waste a perfectly amazing bottle of Veuve Clicquot.
EDIT: I'd like to add this video of Louis C.K. on Conan explaining why he's voting for Hillary. Obviously, I agree with him but I think, right about now, we could all use a good laugh. "We just need a tough bitch mother who just does shit." Basically, yes.