No blog posts for over a week because our house was full of friends and we were too busy eating to visit the computer. But, all things came to a halt on Tuesday evening. It was torture to be in Italy, 6 hours ahead of New York time; it made for a very, very long election day. We tried our best to keep ourselves occupied all day, we had a late dinner, we played Guesstures after dinner to pass the time and finally we gave in and started to watch TV and the election returns.
We all knew it would be an all-nighter, and some gave in and went to bed, but I was far too nervous and scared to sleep and at 5:00 am when the gavel fell, and we had a new President, my housemates were awake and we watched in stunned relief that Obama was our new President. Our tears fell along with Jesse Jackson’s, the phone lines were so jammed I couldn’t call our son, text messages flew, and we watched as Times Square, Harlem, Chicago and Kenya erupted in celebration. We applauded John McCain’s very moving and gracious speech, we noted Obama's solemn and grave demeanor as he gave his acceptance speech.
For the past few months we’ve been receiving a steady stream, that grew to a fast flowing river of e-mails all telling us that if McCain won, they were moving in with us in Italy. Looks like we won’t have to build an extra wing on the house after all.
Now the calls and visits are coming from our Italian friends who offer us congratulations. The elation and relief among Italians is palpable, they offer their congratulations as if we had finally done something tremendous, as if we personally had restored the American dream. Make no mistake, people all over the world believe in the American dream, and that glimpse of hope, of possibility has nourished the lives of people all over the globe. The last eight years were years of betrayal, the nation betrayed the American dream, we built physical walls to keep people out, we built towers of cynicism to spy on our neighbors and we broke the trust of our international neighbors. Now we have a chance to redeem ourselves, to whisper that chant that has become a prayer, “Yes, we can.” I’m not that naïve to think that all our enormous problems will go away, we’ve long, hard days ahead of us, but I’m sleeping easier knowing that we have a leader again, a capo at the helm who will try to guide us.
There, I’ve said my piece and I’m happy to return to the world of food and drink and the pleasures of the table!