11/6, Election Day
6:00 pm: It is time to stop writing and start watching returns. I park myself on the red couch in the basement and turn on CNN. My partner, Adam, texts from the east coast lamenting how late it is there. We know absolutely nothing about our adopted state of Washington and won’t for another couple hours. So I turn my attention outward for a bit, because, in this election, all of it matters.
7:15 pm: Good news comes in about women — the sound defeats of Akin and Mourdock are promising. The past twelve months revealed a stunning amount of stupidity and scorn by candidates who clearly misunderstand women, science, and decency. It is a mistake to think that kind of reasoning is localized to some specific part of the country. In our state, I await the defeat of John Koster who said “the rape thing” was not a good excuse for abortion. He has a right to say whatever he wants, however, we have the right to demand better of our candidates on both sides of the spectrum. You say stupid, hateful shit, then we don’t elect you. It’s that simple.
7:50 pm: Washington is a mail-in ballot state, but the drop boxes will close in ten minutes and counting will start. I pry myself from the couch and head to a dance class — hip hop — where we discuss the election between routines. A few are still too young to vote, but they’re smart and engaged. It’s something I really love about living here.
9:10 pm: I locate some wine in the fridge and head back to the couch to celebrate the re-election of the President. I begin hunting for some local results. Adam texts again — he and another Seattle coworker are watching results from the hotel in Boston — and we discuss the early success of the equal marriage referendum, the marijuana legalization measure, and Jay Inslee, the Democrat running for governor. It will be tomorrow before we’ll know about marriage and the governor, but MJ has won by a landslide.
9:57 pm: Romney gives his brief concession speech. At this point, I’ve joined the Twitterverse to celebrate en masse. I have a very liberal Twitter stream and it’s a virtual party — everyone retweets and favorites and forwards everything. Everyone needs another drink.
10:17 pm: I check the Seattle Times and see that, if the marriage referendum passes, Seattle’s mayor will throw a party at City Hall on December 6th, as it’s right across from the courthouse where couples will finally be allowed to marry. I think of how much I’d like to go to that party to celebrate with my friends who’ll finally have the same rights as I do. I desperately hope that the numbers come in correctly — that love really will conquer all.
10:18 pm: I wonder if anyone at the Chicago Obama celebration being shown on TV has a flask on them. Then again, I imagine that the atmosphere is probably so joyous, that you wouldn’t need one. I also wonder who made the playlist, because it’s excellent.
10:35 pm: Our President emerges. I get weepy because I wish my grandfather could see this. When he died three weeks ago, he was as depressed about politics as he was about his cancer. But at least his wasn’t calling his oncologist Dr. Santorum anymore. The races in my home state of Montana went the way he would have hoped.
10:54 pm: I’ve barely breathed during the President’s superlative speech. When he calls out our qualities of “love and charity and duty and patriotism,” I’m sobbing instead of weeping. I am so glad I’m a part of this future. I’m so glad I get to live this time of change. I’m so glad my state is on the forefront of that change — smart people on all shades of the political spectrum choosing progress over fear, love over exclusion.
11:00 pm: The people on TV have confetti. Why don’t I have confetti? I resolve to have more confetti in my life.
8:00 am: It might have been better if there had been less wine. But in Advil I certainly trust. The night brought good news for liberals everywhere, especially here in Washington. We’re told we’ll have more “official” results at 4 pm.
3:00 pm: Marriage Equality is declared in Washington after number crunching reveals that we no longer have to wait until 4 pm. Washington joins Maine and Maryland in legalizing same-sex marriage. Friends of ours worked tirelessly also on the Minnesota campaign which will hopefully pave the way for legalization of marriage there someday, too.
3:03 pm: I decide which dress I’ll be wearing to the City Hall reception to celebrate marriage equality.
4:00 pm: Official results for Washington State pushed to 6:30 pm, but I realize the election is over for me. Love wins. Love takes it all. Now for that confetti.
Camille Griep is a writer based in Seattle, Washington. She can be found on twitter: @camillethegriep.