At least once a week I volunteered at the finance headquarters helping the amazing Obama staff process checks, make phone calls and just talk shop! This first time I went I thought my heart would rocket out of my chest, I was so excited. I couldn’t talk straight, my cheeks hurt from smiling and I had to clench from peeing like an overexcited dog. “Oh Warner, do you remember when we spent those four amazing hours in the hot tub together after winter formal? Well this is so much better than that.”
Rumors were starting to buzz about an election night party in Grant Park, mere steps from our office. A week before the election, I won the golden ticket and somehow finagled my way into the rally! I was in a daze. All I could think of was my new fate; Obama would become president and come to Grant Park, I would hear his speech and meet him and he would bring me on stage to thank me for all my help, hey a girl could dream, couldn’t she?
Then it happened! At Grant Park with 250k+ Obama fans, we watched as CNN announced him PRESIDENT! The crowd went wild, jumping up and down, screaming, crying, laughing, signing, it was a joyous night. Tears streamed down my face, I hugged random strangers, I felt oddly patriotic, something I wasn’t used to feeling! Whether you were an Obama supporter or not, this was a moment of unbelievable resilience and hope, a moment you wanted to be a part of.
In the weeks following the election, I began to notice, people were nicer! Why you ask, because “Everyone’s nicer know that Obama’s President.”
- Walking to the El on Nov. 5th: people smile as I pass them on the street; a 30-something man holds the door open for a rando student; no one pushes their way onto the train; a girl gets up and offers her seat to an elderly man
- My roommate leaves her wallet in the cab and 24 hours later, a very cute boy buzzes our door, “I think I found your wallet in a cab last night.” He brings it upstairs and low and behold it is intact with all her cash and credit cards. She offers him a monetary reward and he declines and walks out the door
- A group of us took the train to the OSU/Northwestern game and it was free!
- Taking a cab home I thought I had enough money, but miscounted. When we got to my apt, I offered to pay with credit card or go to an ATM. The cab driver said the $10 was more than fine and to have a great night!
- At dinner the waiter brought us free donuts with roasted apple sauce, just because
- Two people walked through the same door at the same time and they both insisted, “no, please after you”
Then my world came crashing down! My conservative, Republican-crazed aunt hosted Michelle Obama’s going away party at their families bar, and “forgot” to invite me! The one person they know in Chicago who actually likes her and supports her husband’s politics. Not only did she fail to let me know, she then had the audacity to send me pictures, “Michelle comes to visit _____, wish I liked her politics,” WTF, who the hell did she think she was!
I guess only some people are nicer now that Obama’s President! You know who you are!
Attraction is not a choice