Paula Hendricks

Author ~:~ Writer ~:~ Book Designer ~:~ Book Producer

Middle aged white women in tears on the phone

with one comment

I am still digesting last night. I chose to stay home and watch the election results alone — so I could channel surf as I wished. I was a bit concerned that I wasn’t reaching out, going out, that my being alone was not a good sign. But I wasn’t alone.

The first call I got was from a woman from the old neighborhood. Our parents were friends and she called, wasn’t even sure she had my right phone number — wanted to connect and reminisce about our parents and how much they would have loved this.

I had been talking to my Mom and Dad (both have passed away) — because they loved the political process. My parents were Goldwater Republicans and I volunteered and voted for Obama. I kept saying to my self “Mom you would LOVE this!” My relationship with my mother was difficult but on this, I have no doubts. Who knows, really, how they might have voted.

I called my friend in New York after Obama’s victory was projected. I was in tears. So was she. I cried when John McCain conceded — and remember thinking “There he is. That’s the John McCain I thought I remembered and missed during the campaign.” His speech was pitch perfect. I believe it came straight from his heart. It brought me to tears.

My sister, from, Tucson, called. And connected about Arizona and Goldwater and McCain and our parents. I didn’t call my brother, in South Dakota — I was afraid we wouldn’t have much to talk about. We did however both volunteer to “watch polls” and help the process.

I called my friend in Corrales, New Mexico, who voted for Obama and who’s husband voted for McCain. Our connection is poetry and books and writing.

A colleague from Sausalito called in tears again, and while we were talking, a high school friend called from North Carolina.

A writer (we are in a writing group together) called in tears because she knew I cared about what was happening and she had to reach out to someone.

A bunch of middle aged white women in tears on the phone. This is what the 60s were about and the Civil Rights Movement, and the Civil Rights Act. And today Thomas Friedman in the New York Times said this was the end of the Civil War and now we can begin Reconstruction.

I am ready. I want to serve in this new nation building. I want to contribute and help make this happen. I feel hope emerging from a long sleep. And maybe there are more middle aged white women who can get on the phone, in tears or not, and help in this great re-birth.


Written by phwebnet

November 5, 2008 at 10:24 pm

One Response

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  1. It wasn’t only women who were in tears — or felt the need to burn up their Sam’s Club minutes calling everyone they knew. The wife of one friend I called was so exhilarated when she answered the phone that I thought she must be either drunk or stoned. She was neither! It was just pure relief and joy. One of the people I called was a college friend, a doctor in rural, Republican Pennsylvania, who together with a group of neighbors had been tirelessly working for Obama for months. I told him that he was my hero — he and the hundred thousand or so others who had made such a difference in this election — made it theft-proof — and of whom he was my personal representative. He said something that night that I have since then heard from other campaign workers: that what he felt was not exhilaration but simple, low-keyed satisfaction. I think the difference is that while I and others like me were biting their nails in fear, unable to turn off the radio or get off the internet in our search for reassurance, THEY were working. This friend also said that the way he felt was that this was not so much the dawning of a new era as a return to the normal sanity of earlier times. A few days later he told me that despite all his efforts and those of his group, 70% of his county had voted for McCain. HOWEVER: this was 5% less than had voted for Bush. I think all those rural 5%s, added to the Democratic margins in the big cities, is what made PA go for Obama. That work was not wasted!

    A couple of random comments: Has anybody noticed the regular derogatory references by right wingers to Obama as the ‘newly-anointed’ one — as though he thought of himself, or anybody else thought of him, as a Messiah? I think this is actually disguised racism, a derogation of the African-American style of religion. Also: If anybody needs a brief definition of Sarah Palin: Nixon in a skift: just as vicious and opportunistic, but not as smart.

    Michael Sand

    November 15, 2008 at 4:41 am

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