If life's about the journey, does it matter how many bathroom breaks you take along the way?

Yesterday I expressed an unmistakable political preference through my outspoken alter ego, Gemini Girl, and if the thought of two voices running through one head makes you uncomfortable, try taking a look at the secondary characters rolling around up there. Some people seem to like her. Others don’t. When I was sixteen years old, the direct nature of her point of view would have intimidated me to the point of paralysis, but now that I’m forty-two? Bigger things than winning Homecoming Queen keep me awake at night. I still kind of care about wearing the right jeans and all, but don’t tell anyone.

It’s 3:30 a.m., and many of those larger issues (not to mention half a bottle of a solid, if cheap Malbec) have turned on a mind that swore at about midnight it would dream peacefully of greater days ahead for our country; of a nation redirecting toward the right side of it’s immigrant roots, a more forgiving silhouette of equality, and the sense of spirit and idealism that once led a disenfranchised group of colonists to reach for something more.

Under the artificial light glowing in my kitchen, though, my Utopian fantasies look more like hallucinations, as temporary as the confetti that rained down in a blur of glory last night, already swept up and thrown away.

Our nation was at war with itself before the Declaration of Independence was even penned, and today? It still is. Thomas Jefferson famously insisted that all men are created equal, but it doesn’t feel that way to me in yet another election where almost half the country declared, through a constitutional right to vote, that “this is not my guy.

This morning, the hope and optimism I felt four years ago has been replaced by a sober sense of urgency and purpose, because not as Democrats, not as Republicans, but as a nation, we need to get it right. What do I mean by “it”? Everything. How do you define everything? The same way you catch confetti falling from the sky. One piece at a time.

With an almost unfathomable amount of debt busting through the lining of our collective pockets and an economy that’s only recently shown sputtering signs of life, I don’t feel like celebrating. I want to work, because a promise that doesn’t meet the greater good of all the people it’s meant to serve quickly becomes a hollow reminder of what could have been. And we aren’t a nation made of yesterday’s news. Not at all.

If we’re to live up to the challenge of our forefathers; to exist as a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people, we must respect yet set aside our differences, move quickly and methodically toward a platform of common ground, and sacrifice for the greater good. We can’t let partisanship succeed any more than allowing our school systems to fail. We have to hold our President, our Congress, and perhaps most importantly, ourselves accountable for future generations, because the re-emergence of this great country depends on every single person privileged enough to call it home.

Last night, while striking his trademark inspirational chord of hope, the President looked and sounded more mature than he did four years ago. But we’ve grayed a little around the temples too. Let’s hope we’re all wiser for the wear.

64 thoughts on “What Do You Do When The Party’s Still Going But the Hangover’s Already Begun?

  1. Lesia says:

    Well said Stacie! Why can’t we all just get along? If we don’t, it is our children and grandchildren that will bear the brunt of the animosity.

    1. I truly feel like the next four years are critical to the strength of our resume as a nation. I’m ready to move back to the top of the pile. I know you are too.

      Thanks for the comment, Lesia.

  2. Even though I’m outer-limits as far as politics, I enjoy reading your thoughts on the current state of the country, etc. Food for thought, hmmm…

    1. That’s what we’re all doing here on WordPress, right Sandee?

      Hopefully pushing ourselves, and if we’re lucky others, to think.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I wish Obama much luck and peace. He sure has inherited a mess from the incumbent!

    1. It’s great to see a sense of humor. Even in my sleep-deprived state of mind, your comment made me smile.

  4. stellacastro says:

    I don’t envy the President. He’ll gray more around the temples than most of us, I’m sure. It’s going to be a difficult 4 years ahead. Ownership and accountability are key. God bless America.

    1. I was just thinking about how incredibly thick your skin would have to be to run for any office, regardless of political party. Regardless of who’s in office, you’re right, we’ve got a long road ahead of us.

  5. Susan Lanam says:

    I agree!! Couldn’t have said it better!! You are inspirational to all of us!! Thank you for being you!!

    Sent from my iPad

    1. Thanks so much, Susan. Your continued support of me via blog and print, means the world.

    2. Thank you for being YOU Susan, and for all of your amazing support. xoxo

  6. Well said, my friend. I particularly like the confetti reference, one piece at a time. That’s how we do it. But seriously, that Homecoming Queen gig would be sweet.

    1. Tell me about it. Karen Groene beat me out senior year, and if she wasn’t such a nice person I would have totally cut her.

  7. Well written, and I share your sentiments. I feel badly for the President because one part of his nation needs him to succeed, and the other part hopes he doesn’t. Talk about bad options.

    It made me sad to see so much hate being spewed on social media last night and today. We weren’t even out of the election day, and already people had their heads jammed.

    1. Jen,
      Thanks for “liking” my plea for FBers to embrace the spirit of Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights. Regardless of what he said during the show’s four seasons, he’s fully embraceable. My plea was between he and Tim Riggins, but “Texas Forever” didn’t seem partisan enough.

      Clear. Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose.

      That quote seriously makes me want to learn how to throw a football.

    2. Hi-

      Great post. I do have to disagree with your statement, Jen and Tonic, that those that didn’t vote for Obama don’t want him to succeed. That’s nonsense. It’s far too easy to lump all Romney supporters into a convenient stereotype. If Obama succeeds in getting our economy back in shape and people working again, I’ll be the first to praise him. I didn’t vote for him because I have fundamental differences with the HOW. Not the end result of a healthy stable, sustainable country. I’d argue we all have more in common (jobs, good healthcare (who pays is debatable), strong schools, making sure we have a strong foundation to leave our kids) than we disagree about. The disagreement is in what steps to take to achieve those goals and who should be the driving force behind it. Now that he is our President, I am hoping he will succeed – it’s our country’s future!

  8. Bondseye says:

    You are a sweet and thoughtful person Stacie. It’s refreshing to see someone in their 40s (but the new 30s, right?) who still believes in and hopes for peace. If everyone could just be a little more open-minded and less pushy about their beliefs, things would run more smoothly perhaps. You said it so much better than I. Wishing you a better night of sleep tonight and did I say Woo-hoo? Woo-hoo!!

    1. Wait. I thought 40 was the new 20ish. I’m kind of bummed that I have to return my Daisy Dukes to the store, but if you say 30, I’m past my prime. =)

      Thanks for such a sweet comment, Lisa. I’m looking forward to moving forward and getting things done.

      1. lmao I remember once a friend commiserating with me with the words “Never mind, mate, they say 50 is the new 40.” I replied, “Sure, but it’s not the new fu*king 25, is it?”

      2. Right. If I can’t wear my Daisy Dukes any more, does it really matter? =p

  9. Oh, Stacie, you have articulated beautifully what so many of us feel. I’m thankful the evening ended as it did, and thanks for clarifying where all my own gray hair has come from. LOL

    1. See? Your gray hair is really the fault of Congress, so write your representative a letter and demand a case of Clairol (JUST kidding, your hair is gorgeous).

      In all seriousness, thanks for your sweet comment. I appreciate it. =)

  10. Wow…very well said Stacie-girl. Just when I think you can’t be more perfect, you show me just how knowledgeable and articulate you are. I almost cried reading this…and I’m not even American! 🙂

    1. Wendy,
      I love making people cry (in a nice way), so next time I’ll include some pictures of puppies, baby birds being fed by their mama, and a sunset just to put you over the edge. =p

      Thanks for the sweet comment. You’re too good to me.

      1. No such thing as too good…if I were really being too good you’d have left your husband and flown to Quebec by now. 😛

  11. This is a great post, and too often people don’t ever reach this conclusion. Although I didn’t vote for Obama, I actually do hope the next four years go well. We could all really use an upswing, especially in the economy.

    1. I think the upswing will happen (assuming Congress can get itself together with the tax situation) regardless of who is in office. It’s funny to me how so much is blamed on Bush, blamed on Obama, blamed on fill in the blank when one man (or woman someday!) in office only has so much power to enact change without a Congress playing nicely in the sand box.

      Thanks for the comment. =)

  12. purplemary54 says:

    Lincoln said once, “As a nation of free men, we shall live forever or die by suicide.” (See what you can learn by watching PBS, Mitt?)

    1. Spoken in the secret partisan spirit in which I wrote this post. Just kidding. Sort of.
      Thanks for the great quote, Mary!

  13. I think you mean partisanship not bi-partisanship towards the end there, Stacie. Bi-partisanship is when people work together for the common good.

    Sorry, BA English Lit and all that blah blah blah.

    And incidentally, bi-partisanship IS a great goal – and my goodness me America needs more if it. But not at the cost of principle. “We’ll stop trying to fuck up Obamacare if you let us ban a woman’s right to choose”, for example. Nu-uh, doesn’t work. As British politician Shirley Williams once memorably remarked, “People standing in the middle of the road get run over.”

    But in general – in principle – well said. Again. As always. And we’d all still vote for you for homecoming queen, kiddo, you know that 😉

    1. You know what’s scary, Yolly? I was an English Lit major in college too. I’d like to blame that misprint on writing at 3:30 in the morning (or) being hungover (or) my mom, but I’d be lying. In truth, I spent way too much time in college trying to become homecoming queen and not enough time in class.

      Please feel free to edit any mistakes moving foward,

  14. Simon says:

    This is really good, glad you and the wine decided to stay up. I am a fan of the Gemini Girl.

    1. As I am a fan of sweetandweak, but mostly the weak stuff. =p
      Thanks, Simon

      1. Simon says:

        that’s good because the weak is what I have in spades.

  15. El Guapo says:

    Excellent summation (as always!).
    I think you’ve summed it up perfectly, and I hope that with the challenges we do face, politics falls by the wayside of public service, or that a leader (with common sense) arises from the fray.

    1. Your point is excellent. When did politics shift from public service to pandering for votes? I have a feeling that “we the people” aren’t going to let our politicians (on both sides of the aisle) off as easily this time around as we have in the past.

      Thanks again for your shout-out. I’m honored to appear on your FF post!

  16. bronxboy55 says:

    This post almost sounds like a victory speech, or a State of the Union address. It’s lofty and beautiful, but at the same time, solid and grounded. When are you going to run for president, Stacie? I’d campaign for you. Meanwhile, I think I’ll start writing at 3 a.m.

    1. You’re too good to me, Charles. As far as running for office? I’m afraid the skeletons in my closet would forever be one step ahead of me.

      Thanks for coming by. You always make me smile. =)

  17. Living in a bipartisan household, we are still sweeping up the flotsam of animosity and division. I may have to check Hubs into election detox. It leaves me thinking wistfully about dictatorships and lamenting that we get to exercise our right to choose again in 4 years.

    1. Living in a house where each votes sits on different sides of a shared fence can be rough. Might I suggest a girl’s trip to Colorado to give Hubs some space to cool down? Cristy is going to be in Oklahoma soon, so we could road trip and meet at a Golden Corral buffet restaurant on the border to kick a few back, or at least eat unlimited fried twinkies if they don’t serve beer.

      Please tell Hubs I always have his best interests at-heart, even when I vote the opposite way. =)

      1. Girls’ trip! Oh the Golden Corral Buffet. Lord knows, I love an establishment where I can pile on as much fried chicken and Jello salad as I want.

  18. Great post. If only, eh? I’m not looking forward to the next four years at all. Honestly? I think we’re fecked.

    1. I think a lot of the next four years depends on whether or not Congress will play nicely in the sand box. Only time will tell, right?

      Thanks for the read and comment. =)

  19. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Very well written. I’m from Australia, but I enjoyed your sentiments. You seem hopeful, and I see a lot of it out there. Yet, I see on twitter there are people who say they’re moving to Australia because of Obama being elected!!! I wish USA the absolute best, the next 4 year & beyond…

    1. Forget about politics. I’d move to Australia just to visit all the Lord of the Rings sets. What a gorgeous country you live in. Thanks for the read and the sweet comment. Here’s to hoping the entire world’s economy moves forward over in the near future.

      1. Anonymous says:

        Stacie, I’m sorry to correct you again, but LOTR was filmed in New Zealand.

        Come to Australia for endless beaches, the World’s best wine, food, and horse racing. Great people too.

        New Zealnders are nice as well but most of them live in Sydney and Brisbane, so you may as well come here, really.

      2. Wait. New Zealand and Australia aren’t the same country? =p

  20. aFrankAngle says:

    First-time visitor via Guapo. Well done post as you reflect on our nation and its problems … not the who won or lost. You may enjoy this one I posted early Election night.

  21. I’m with Charles, I’d vote for you in a heartbeat. So well written and you’ve said everything I’m feeling (only much better than I ever could)

    1. Coming from you, that comment is as much as a compliment as Charles’. The problem with politics though, is that I don’t think constituents would really get into how much I like to talk about my vagina. My mom keeps sending me emails to stop, but I think she’s got her eye on the Lincoln bedroom so I have to factor in her motivation in following her advice.

      Thanks for the read and comment, Darla. Love seeing you here!

  22. Sid Dunnebacke says:

    Reading this four days late, I’m wondering who has more work to do: me, with my ever-growing pile of blog posts to catch up on or… the president. Actually, what I’m wondering is whether you’re this smart or this fabulous a writer. I’m going with both – Côt Noir or no Côt Noir.

    1. I’m not smart or fabulous, just sleep deprived. =)

      Thanks for your incredibly generous compliment, Sid. I truly appreciate it. I, like you am often late to the game when it comes to reading blog posts. By the time I comment, most bloggers onto the next best thing. Better late than never, though right?

  23. i mayfly says:

    Eloquent and passionate and very logical. How the hell did you manage that trifecta?
    And sign me up for that work detail. I’m a much better Indian than Chief. -Nikki

    1. You’re in, no background check or body cavity search necessary. Thanks, Nikki!

  24. cestlavie22 says:

    This is a really well written post! Refreshing to see a political post not completely leaning one way or the other.

    1. Awww, thanks cestlavie22. I like your handle by the way. I know know one uses the word “handle” anymore because the days of CBs are over, but I like to pull it out every now and then, just for nostalgia’s sake.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  25. bharatwrites says:

    I think who the President is matters less than we’d like to believe. Especially for domestic policy. Economic downturns are hard to recover from, and while it would seem irresponsible to not do much, time is all this economy needs. And perhaps a little bipartisanship. To that end, this post goes a long way.

    1. Well said, as always Bharat. It’s nice to see you here.

      1. bharatwrites says:

        Thanks. I’m in India till the start of December. So not online as often or as much as I’d like!

  26. daniheart21 says:

    indeed lets hope. I have always felt there shouldn’t be any parties. It should be about the issues and quite simply which candidate you feel is going to best address them. Great post.

    1. Wouldn’t it be great if there were no parties…just candidates supporting their own issues without an overall agenda.

      Thanks for the comment, Dani!

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