I have been a ball of fuzzy lumpy crying for most of the last day and a half. We actually went to watch the inauguration on campus, expecting four TVless dorm students, but the room wound up packed with people. There were probably 50 students and a dozen faculty. A woman made a Context kind of speech before hand that was very nice.
We all clapped and cheered, so many times. My god, I cheered. There were other people in Turlock--dozens and dozens--watching with us, happy. I feel less alone here, now.
I also couldn't stop crying. It's taking nothing to set me off, right now. And not just a little tearing up. I mean serious waterworks. (I'll chalk some of it up to hormones, but it really can't account for the quantity.)
I could gush, but I won't too much. Most of what I would want to point out probably everyone else noticed. But there are a couple more things I want to note about yesterday:
First of all, in the obligatory list of faiths of people living together and sharing and so on, Obama actually mentioned unbelievers. He did. I don't think this has ever happened. It's kosher for public figures to talk about tolerance and respect and mutual interest while listing Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, but no one--no one--includes Oh We Of Little Faith. (Did you know that in the surveys about "who you don't want moving in next door or marrying your daughter," atheists beat out Muslims, Blacks, and gays? Beat out, in fact, Everyone, for the number one stay-away spot? And our new president actually acknowledged the existence of the unreligious in a non-negative context. I am impressed. I feel Validated. I feel Loved.)
Second of all (despite the presence of tall buildings with lots of windows lining the route), Barack and Michelle actually got out and walked. Twice. They walked quite a lot of the route, some of it unannounced. They held hands with each other and waved and occasionally talked to people on the route. (I cried and cried and cried and cried.)
Third of all: First dance between the First Couple. "At Last." Do I have to say anything more about that? (Maybe a little: Why am I so invested in their Love? They literally fill me with love. I feel so much affection for them. I can't.. really parse it out, but they make me so, so happy. I bawled.)
...I don't think I really believed it was happening--that he'd really get to take office, start work as president--until this morning when the first executive orders started getting drafted. I was all a little surreal. Every time I realize we have a new president, I'm stunned. And usually I cry.
Anyway, y'all: LOVE.
(PS. I so went out and got duck breast to cook for dinner. I made it with a delicious sweet glaze (but no chutney), and it was very good. ....If that seems like a non-sequitur, that's probably for the best. )