Well that went much better than last time...
And included free drinks, always a plus. A group of us headed down to Warehouse to see their new art show and hang out at their "election party," which we thought might be a change of pace. Um, no. There were lots of people mingling in the cafe, but there were no freaked out people camped wide-eyed in front of televisions. We asked the bartender what was up and she was like, "Election party? Oh, um, I think they're going to turn a tv on later..."
Right. We did finally see a tiny tv in a corner where no one could see it, but it wasn't even turned on, and it was 8:30pm. So we hightailed it out of there and went to Solly's, where at least we knew there'd be lots of tvs. Upstairs there were a couple of big groups occupying the tables, though we managed to squeeze ourselves around a small one until they left. The first group, I kid you not, had detailed, full-page score cards and were placing bets. I admit to wagering over a race before, but in the casual, "My guy is going to beat your crazy Republican" kind of way, not with a detailed analysis of polling data and vote-by-vote tracking. One of them even had a laptop. At a bar. (Though, Solly's does have wireless, but still.)
The other group were a bunch of blow-hards who I'm pretty sure were Republicans, except every once in awhile you'd hear one of them (always a different one) say, "Eh, I'm not that into politics." When some guy arrived he sat down, noticed the eight televisions tuned to CNN and said obliviously, "Oh, you guys are watching the election?" Wow, that's on tonight? Hot dog.
I admit to not following the races as closely as last time. On the other hand, I don't think I could ever follow races any closer than I did n 2004. I could have listed the names and current polling data for the 30 most contested races in the country. I was completely wrapped up in election fever, and was so heartbroken afterwards that I went into a news coma. I'm pretty sure I didn't even pick up a paper for months. No way could I go through that again, so aside from the local MD/VA races, I only had a cursory knowledge of what was going on across the country. I have to say, it was a little less exciting when a race was called and I didn't really know who the candidates were. I'll have to find some better middle ground next time.
However, thanks go out to whatever ANC commissioner won her race and came to Solly's to pay for a four-hour open bar. We all quickly switched from the $3 beers we were guzzling to the finest whiskey in the bar and Good Beer. For four hours. We even got food and the only thing we paid for all night was the bartender's tip.
So, compared to 2004, when a group of us all sat in a friend's apartment, letting our beers get warm as we stared in disbelief at the television, muttering "this is a bad dream," waking up the next morning with a feeling Paul aptly described as, "a knife in the heart," yeah, I'd say this was much better.