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What do you think will happen on Election Day?

By Isabel Kallman

November 4, 2008
9 a.m. Henry reminds me at breakfast of our deal: if Obama wins, we celebrate with ice-cream sundaes on Wednesday night; if McCain wins, we stuff our faces with ice-cream sundaes so that we can’t feel the pain inside.
10 a.m. Scott calls to tell me that I shouldn’t vote anytime soon because everyone and their mother is out voting right now. I act as if I were on my way out the door, when in fact I am still in my pajamas.
11 a.m.: Henry, who has the day off for Election Day, asks me when we’re going to go vote for Obama. I consider getting dressed.
Noon: Finally dressed, we start to make our way to the polling place, which happens to be Henry’s school. On the way there, Henry can’t help but notice that his friends are all in the playground. Can he go over there for just a minute?
1 p.m.: I manage to drag Henry away from his friends and toward the polling place, when I see the Election Day bake sale still going on and remember that I said I was going to bring something. Crappity.
1:01 p.m. I have to buy two chocolate cupcakes to make up for my failure as a bake-sale contributor. It is my civic duty. I have approximately five minutes before Henry goes batty from all the sugar coursing through his system.
1:05 p.m.: The polling place is still surprisingly busy—although everyone here is over seventy. The poll workers are even older. Do I know CPR? Henry is eyeing my cupcake, and I cram it into my maw before he can even suggest that he deserves seconds.
1:10 p.m. Somehow I manage to vote as Henry leaps up and down beside me and my eyeballs vibrate inside their sockets.
1:30 p.m. Now that I’m home, I’m certainly not going to look at news sites and obsess.
1:35 p.m. I begin obsessing.
3 p.m. Still obsessing.
4 p.m. Did you know that the Internet is large? And there are many web sites with election information?
5 p.m. Henry has had it with my obsessing and demands that I read to him. Quality time with my child? Torture.
6 p.m. How can I cook dinner when I’m so busy obsessing?
7 p.m. Having somehow managed to feed my family, I am now watching television. Also, I am freaking out. The exit polls seem to indicate that this is going to be a closer race than I had told myself it was going to be. There are more votes for McCain than, say, 0.
8 p.m. Ohio looks like it’s going to McCain. It’s over. It’s all over. We might as well move to Canada now.
8:05 p.m. The drinking begins.
8:30 p.m. Ohio is now too close to call. I continue to drink.
9 p.m. Florida loves Obama! This calls for a drink!
9:15 p.m. Henry insists that he can’t sleep because of all the history being made. We almost fall for it.
10 p.m. The pundits are being all pundity as the numbers roll across the bottom of the screen, and I require way more alcohol to keep myself from bouncing off the walls.
11 p.m. The swing states are mostly going in Obama’s favor, and it really looks like he might win. I am now gnawing on my knuckles. Then I gnaw on Scott’s knuckles. I don’t want to get my hopes up. But maybe? Maybe he might win? Unless McCain does. GAH.
12 a.m. It’s all over. McCain concedes at the stroke of midnight. Obama declares victory, I don’t throw up from all the alcohol consumption, and everyone gets free puppies. Also, there’s sex.
Okay, so maybe an Obama victory by midnight is a tiny bit optimistic, but a girl can dream.
And you? What do you think will happen on Election Day?


Published October 31, 2008. Last updated August 21, 2013.
Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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  • Cobwebs

    October 31, 2008 at 10:04 am

    I think you’re overly optimistic about the length of time you’ll have to stand in line to vote. (I voted absentee, which means I won’t be in line for hours, but it actually feels a little anticlimactic.)
    Other than that, you’ve pretty much described exactly how I expect to be acting next Tuesday. Obsessing and drinking.
    (“9:15 p.m. Henry insists that he can’t sleep because of all the history being made. We almost fall for it.” made me snort coffee out my nose.)

  • edj

    October 31, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    I think it will happen exactly like you said. Totally. You’re a prophetess. Embrace it.

  • Adrienne

    October 31, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    I think it’s going to take longer than just until midnight to decide, but I think (cautiously, cautiously, hopefully) Obama will take it. I will be having a little party with games and snacks to amuse my friends while we drink ‘swing state punch’ (grape juice, vodka, club soda – it’s purple!) an freak out.

  • Kristen

    October 31, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Oh, I hope that’s exactly the way it goes!

  • Torrie

    October 31, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I don’t know how I’m going to handle election day. I really don’t the worst part is that I’m pretty sure it will be to close to call at least until the middle of the night. Which means I either stay up and get no sleep and then have to take care of a toddler by myself the next day, or go to sleep and miss it.

  • sarah

    October 31, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    i will expect to be absent from work the next day due to chewing my fingers off watching all-night coverage from the election center and secretly wishing everyone except david gergen would shut the fuzzup.
    i have no support here in canada, but i sent in my absentee ballot, and i will be watching to see wisconsin’s obama tally click one more up. i know it doesn’t work that way, but in my fantasy… it would.
    please, please god don’t let that troll and his folksy devil-troll counterpart win. woah! was that biased?

  • Amy

    October 31, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Dear God, I hope you are right! And we are throwing caution (and our minds) to the wind and letting our kid come with us to an Election Party at his Grandparents house just so that he CAN (hopefully) watch history in the making.

  • Chookooloonks

    October 31, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    From your lips to God’s ears, man.

  • G

    October 31, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Well, I’m over in Berlin and we expect to be up all night and hope to find out at breakfast who has won. In fact, I plan to be out at an ex-pat party and leave the husband to put the children on the bus, therby allowing me to freely roll home sometime after breakfast and then sleep until the kids get home from school. Hopefully, tired and very happy, not tired and despairing for the future of my country and my world.

  • Anonymous

    October 31, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    I am taking the day off after election day. I figure I won’t let my company pay me to be on the internet all day and not getting any work done. I won’t be able to peel myself away from the news. Wait…that sounds awfully responsible. The themes here seem to be ….Working for my money? Not wanting to get paid for surfing the web? Taking personal responsibility…..Why….I must be a Republican!

  • kym b

    October 31, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    amen, sister

  • suburbancorrespondent

    October 31, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    On Election Day? My husband will breathe a sigh of relief that he will no longer have to listen to me babble on and on – in bed, no less – about the latest election news. And I might just start paying attention to my children again.

  • Donna

    November 1, 2008 at 10:06 am

    I agree with suburbancorrespondent. I’m obsessed with this election and can’t stop talking or worrying about it. Praying that Obama wins!

  • Beth

    November 1, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Oh I so hope you are right. I keep having these intense daydreams where McCain wins and we’re all weeping, except for my toddler, who thinks the world has ended, which it more or less will have if he wins. I met the first McCain supporter I have ever met in person (I live in SF) and I really like this woman but when she came out to me as a McCain supporter I just stood there with my jaw hanging to my knees. I could only squeak out, in horror, “So what do you think of Sarah Palin?” At which point she wisely changed the subject.

  • EOMama

    November 1, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    You’re only going to start drinking on the afternoon of election day?!?! I’m already drinking away my anxiety over the closing gap btw Obama and McCain. God, I am nervous!

  • MamaCass

    November 1, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Okay, this is hysterical, and sounds like a lot of fun. I, too, would enjoy cupcakes and alcohol on election day. I’m in North Carolina. I cannot believe we’re a swing state this year, as we always seem to go red. I voted a few days ago. As romantic as it seemed to go on the actual day, I decided I didn’t want to be any “new voter’s” excuse for not voting because the lines were too long…assuming all new voters are voting for Obama…which I am assuming because I too am being totally optomistic.
    I bet we won’t know for a while. I bet Florida will screw us. I bet Sarah Palin will be going all “rogue” in interviews on every channel that she wouldn’t speak to before. That’s the little negative voice in my head that remembers how much I cried four years ago watching that cool little map on CNN go red, one state after another.
    Plus, my husband just got lectured by his dad that the only reason we were Obama supporters is because we are less experienced with the political process, and he, in his years of wisdom as a father, has been around the block a few times. And I’m thinking, yeah, because we’re young, and oh, I don’t know, maybe because we think people should have health insurance, and jobs, and not die in unnecessary wars, and oh so many other things.
    I can’t write about this on my own blog too much. I have to censor myself, though I’ve made it clear where I stand. So, thanks for the outlet…and for voting for Obama!!!

  • Lynn Vraspir

    November 2, 2008 at 1:36 am

    Quit obsessing y’all and do something about it!!!
    You can help Obama by calling urging people to volunteer for Obama’s campaign. Moveon has a great online script and program that tells you exactly what to say. All you need is a phone and a computer with internet and 20 minutes to spare. I figure that is about the length of a typical Dora movie for my 5 year old and instead of obsessing over polling numbers I can do something productive.
    Don’t get mad, don’t get scared—get to work. Obama needs us now. Click here to start making calls:

  • kat

    November 2, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    i imagine i’ll spend all of tuesday a nervous wreck, & eventually snap at my 10yo for singing ‘rock obama, rock rock obama’ for the bazillionth time.
    after it’s announced that obama is indeed our next president, i am going cry with relief, & joy, & hope. or i’ll run down the street, naked, screaming ‘wooohooo’ at the top of my lungs. not sure which.

  • ozma

    November 3, 2008 at 4:00 am

    I’m ozma and I approve this scenario.
    (And hope it occurs with little or no variation.)

  • OvaGirl

    November 3, 2008 at 5:06 am

    I’m in Australia and I’m not American so I don’t get a say except…we’ll be watching and hoping and drinking as well. And in the immortal lyrics of Roy and HG (hey Obama)…go you good thing!

  • Ellen

    November 3, 2008 at 8:31 am

    I’m so nervous about it all, I’m thinking I’ll not watch any returns and just wait until Wednesday morning to see who won. Returns drive me nuts—I hate it when they “call” a state with 10% of the returns in, and then 2 hours later reverse themselves.

  • RLJ

    November 3, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Oh please, let it be true, but just a little less tense; like Obama SWEEPS Ohio, Colorado, Virginia; in fact just about everywhere but redneckville. (Is that racist? Feel free to edit.)
    Perhaps I worry too much, but if Obama doesn’t win, I think there will be trouble on the streets of America. Noone is going to believe at this point that a McCain victory would be untainted (not saying it would be tainted, but what do you think folks on the streets of Chicago at his little gettogether are going to believe?)
    The World waits for you guys to do the right thing. Whatever happens at the top, the Dems will sweep congress which would leave McCain pretty much a lame duck even were he to emerge triumphant. You’d still have to hope his heart doesn’t stop and leave you with the prom queen. But with a Dem packed congress, how much damage could even she do? You guys voted Bush a second term so it’s a bit late to worry about international credibility.

  • Robin

    November 3, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    To avoid a Tuesday fraught with obsessing and knuckle biting I decided (since I have permanent vote-by-mail status in California) to volunteer to work the polls. I start at 6:00 am (blarh) and work until 2:00, at which time I will head home for a quick scan of the box scores. At 2:45 I will head out to pick my kids up from school to return at 4:00. I have already planned to cook a dinner which requires my minimal presence in the kitchen. Once dinner is made I will be glued to the TV until McCain gives his concession speech. And he will! My husband just informed me that he has given up all pretense of trying to avoid compulsive election watching. He is working from home on Tuesday so he can “keep the TV on all day”.

  • Anonymous

    November 3, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    I understand why people would vote for the message. I don’t understand why people would vote for the man.
    Tomorrow is Election Day here and the world knows it and is watching. (As if we need another reason to believe we are the center of the universe.) If McCain wins the media will immediately decide for us that it was because America is a racist country and the so called “Bradley Effect” came into play. It won’t be because of McCain’s years of service and experience and his long record of bringing both political parties together. No, the media, which is responsible for catapulting Obama to stardom and running his campaign, will make the determination that we weren’t ready for a black president. I am already unbelievably insulted. Bring me Condaleeza Rice! Why didn’t she run? Of course, her loyalty to George W. Bush would have sunk her campaign early.
    If Obama wins, and the polls are certainly showing this as likely, we will have elected the most inexperienced person ever for the highest office in our country and the Democrats will be in complete control. Our government was designed to prevent single party rule. I can only hope that if he wins there will be a major changing of the guards in Congress in two years and the Republicans will take back the Senate and the House. That’s usually what happens. There has to be a checks and balances. That’s the way it was designed and meant to function.
    Why is nobody talking about Obama’s aunt who is here illegally AND who illegally contributed to his campaign? She’s probably registered to vote too. Imagine if she were McCain’s aunt.
    Why does the media not seem to think that Obama’s association, no, his relationship with a racist minister for 20 years is important? He attended his church, listened to his sermons, got married by him and his children were baptized by him. Imagine if he were McCain’s minister.
    Why is his association with a known and admitted domestic terrorist not important? Imagine if McCain was the one with this association.
    And here’s the big question….why is it that when anyone brings up these legitimate points and a long list of similar ones that person is called “hateful” and “racist”? Instead the media has to harp on Sarah Palin’s wardrobe but yet not blink when Obama spends millions on an infomercial. Hey. that money could have fed a lot of hungry people! Speaking of money, where is all Obama’s money coming from? And more importantly, why don’t we know?
    All I am saying is it will be a total economic and national security disaster to elect someone that we know so little about….whose campaign and handlers try so hard to obscure the details and facts about his associations and relationships and who has been elevated to the status of Jesus Christ himself. He has never even run a company…never managed employees, never held an executive office…never made tough national security decisions, never fought for his country (that’s important to me), never served in the military….
    I believe his very skillfully crafted message resonates with millions. Yes, we are hungry for change. I understand the excitement of electing our first African American president and we are WAY OVER DUE for a president who is not a Caucasian male. Barack Obama is the wrong person.
    If he is elected the facts about him will slowly start to emerge and we’ll realize too late, what we have done. And I will have a bumper sticker that says Don’t blame me, I voted for McCain.

  • Kirsty

    November 3, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    I’m British and I live in the south of France but believe me, your election is just about all anyone talks about here, too! Even my daughters (who know virtually nothing about French politics except the name of the president and his wife) are pro Obama (because, and I quote, “John McCain doesn’t like sharing” and “Barack Obama wants to help poor people”), and they’re only 6 and 4 years old!
    I have no idea what time (here) the results will start to come in, but my guess is my (French) husband and I will be glued to CNN most of tomorrow night and Wednesday morning (the girls go back to school on Wednesday after half term – we can watch TV during the day as a result!).
    Go Obama!

  • Leslie

    November 3, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    My husband and I are both Republican and my husband was going to vote for Obama. He said that he wanted hope and faith restored for Obama supporters even though he doesn’t think that Obama is the better candidate. We both feel the wrath let loose if McCain wins will be much worse for the country than an Obama presidency. I don’t think that either of us can in good conscience vote for Obama, but if (I think when) he does win, we’ll be happy for you.

  • B

    November 5, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    So funny, I called some friends ( a couple ) to “celebrate” night of and they said, we’re going to bed now to celebrate.

  • Sumo

    November 5, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    A little late on the timing of the concession speech, but otherwise I’m guessing you were pretty much on the money.

  • Deb

    November 7, 2008 at 7:30 am

    I’m with Leslie. I voted McCain begrudgingly. I’m glad Obama won. I’m so sick of hearing all the republican bashing. Now we can have four years(eight or maybe a lifetime) of perfection. A perfect economy(even thou we’re in a recession and taxed out the wazoo), and peace(even if we have one terrorist attack after another-we’ll just sweep them under the carpet and do nothing, like the Clinton years GOD help us not another 9/11). Everyone will get their government funded happy pill and be told to watch their mandatory 2 hours a day of PMSNBC.
    So drink up Obamanites and drink often! Don’t worry the the tab will be sent to the hardwoking tax payer who doesn’t have time to drink because he’ll/she’ll be too busy with one more dependent that he/she can’t claim on his/her taxes.