As Denver draws closer, bringing with it the Democratic nomination, I can say that I am finally committed to Barack Obama. Not committed to him as a candidate so much as I feel we are in an actual relationship. I know much has been made of people with Kennedy-like crushes on him. But--though I do love her short-shorts--I am no Obama girl. No, my love affair with the presidential hopeful has moved past the initial euphoria and infatuation of a crush. I have given Obama the keys to my apartment and we are going to see what it's like to live together. I see his flaws more clearly now, but I choose to ignore them as I often do in "real" relationships. We are going to make this work dammit.
This love affair with politicians was probably instilled in me by my mother, who I vividly remember dancing around our living room to Fleetwood Mac singing "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow," while Bill Clinton beamed at the world through our crappy TV. Those heady inaugural days are long gone. I know my mom feels like she was jilted at the political alter by Bill and is embarrassed for standing by her man during the Lewinski scandal only to find she'd been played, as if it were my mother, and not Hillary, who'd been cheated on. Now she "wouldn't cross the street to see the man." Which is a fact, as he spoke at an auditorium mere blocks from her house, and she remained indoors, her and my grandmother gossiping bitterly about Bill "home-wrecker" Clinton on the phone.
Like my mom, I will hang on until there is no going back. I will believe in change so furiously that if Obama isn't who I think he is--who he has the potential to be-- it will be devastating. I imagine myself, years from now, going through a drawer and stumbling upon a campaign button like an old love letter. I will quickly bury it again because won't be able to bring myself to throw it out. It will remind me that I once believed in hope.