Of Champagne and Elections

I’m sorry I bought that champagne–a better bubbly than I usually buy (as if I am a connoisseur of good champagne). Truth is, I tend to buy prosecco if I want something sparkly.

But last Tuesday was special, so I walked to the liquor store and I spent some time in the champagne aisle, holding the bottles up, squinting as I read the labels, finally picking one, forking over the money, bragging to the nice man behind the counter–“I’m going to toast the first woman President tonight.” I carried that bottle home in my backpack and the sun glittered in the promising sky. Damn, it was a good day, a brilliant day, only gonna get better.

I’m sorry I showed my girls (yes, the 17-year old was getting a glass too) the champagne, how that crinkly white foil top peaked (still peaks) up over the milk jug, how I winked when I said, “That’s for later when we toast the first woman President.”

That night, a week ago, as the bottle of champagne got farther and farther away from our reality, my girls and I tried to smile. We said things like, “Ohio will go our way–it just takes a while.” or “Michigan is blue. No worries.” or “We can win this without Florida.”

I’m sorry we weren’t prepared. I’m sorry that contrary to everything I believe, love didn’t trump fear, that fear and hate and anger and displacement trumped love. I’m sorry we didn’t drink the damned champagne.

I’m sorry I do not yet feel like getting to work, do not feel like bucking up or getting with the program. I’m sorry that Hillary conceded and that the media got on board with nary a word to the appalling lack of experience Mr. Trump possesses. I’m sorry that the KKK has planned a rally for December 3 to celebrate. Sorry that Steve Bannon will be a chief strategist in this new administration. Sorry that everyone seems to believe we just need to get together behind Mr. Trump as if the republicans haven’t played obstructionist politics for the last 8 years. We haven’t had a full Supreme Court for months!

I’m sorry that when my husband pulled the Clinton/Kaine sign from our yard, all I could muster was a bitter laugh and another deluge of tears. I’m scared and angry and I’m so fucking sorry that anger won’t save the day and that the electoral college won’t save our country. Did I mention that Hillary won the popular vote?

Here’s something else I did–I appropriated my daughters’ grief.  You see, I felt so damn dumb, so tricked, so ridiculously naive. I remembered how I sauntered home with that champagne on my back, how cool and sure I’d been.


“I’m so sorry,” I cried.

“Sorry for what?” they asked.

“Sorry for teaching you to believe, for letting you believe we could win this thing.” Yes, I really said that. I may have been feeling a teensy bit sorry for myself, maybe even wallowing. Okay, for sure wallowing.

If I can blame myself for their disappointments, their sadnesses I will. It’s my MO. After all, blame is a pretty good insulator. If I’m all pissed off at myself for failing my kids, then I’m not spending a lot of time feeling their pain, or my own.

They set me straight pretty quick-like. “Don’t be sorry, Mom,” they said. “You didn’t let us believe in anything.” They didn’t say dumb-ass, but I’m pretty sure they were thinking it.

They already know I’m not the fairy godmother of happiness and well-being and safety. They already know that pain and grief and anger are handy emotions to harness when change is necessary. And it’s more necessary now than ever.

I’m pretty sure it’s time to crack open that champagne.



7 thoughts on “Of Champagne and Elections

  1. Once again we feminists were left disappointed and angry. Iwas so hoping that Hillary would be able to pull the female gender into a cohesive voting unit, but once again I was disappointed. We are going to have to unite as a gender. We are going to have to support each other before the country will support us.
    Enough negativity! Another wonderful post from you, Bridget. It helps me see my world and helps me to realize my emotions are accepted.


    • Thanks Karen! I am still flabbergasted that women voted for Trump. I honestly cannot wrap my brain around it. I think one of the most important things we can do is not forget our anger.


  2. I was suffering too. Very much. Woman issues became my #1 agenda of my choice. I made a video meant for my 8 year old Summer and my future grand kids to let them know of my role of trying to reach parity sooner than 500 years.
    This defeat will be one of the saddest moments of my life as a first time voter .
    My daughter said ” I’m sad mommy, but I’m actually inspired by her.” Hearing that, I began to lick my wounds and mend my broken heart.
    Until just so recently I was talking with a friend, both of us being adults. She couldnt see that connection between Trump and racism. Not a speckle! She isn’t denying. She just couldn’t see it at all. Then she looked at me eyes piercing mine, searching, wanting to know so honestly and she asked:
    Is racism really that bad? I was stunned. Numbed. I couldn’t verbalized my reply. You don’t think it’s bad? you can’t see it? I mentally asked as I felt a huge lump in my throat. I covered my face, reducing myself to sobs, painful sour pouring sobs. My God, is it possible that she and many many others really don’t and can’t believe that it’s pretty bad? Must she see crosses burning to realize it’s here?
    It will take me another few weeks to sort my heart out.
    Thank you for sharing.


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