Hugs and tears under the headlines

A pair of button down white shirts with blue and red Mardi Gras bead necklaces greet me as I walk up to the bar at SushiSamba. The two women sport red, white and blue paper Obama top hats, Obama earrings and badges, and they are giddily tipsy even as the election results are just beginning to come in. My friend orders the restaurant’s bright blue Election Night cocktail, the Obamarama.

“There ya go. There’s a real drink,” says one of the women. “Drink the Kool-Aid!”

We already have. A short while later, as we snack on an order of miso-glazed edamame, the notice goes up. Obama has won, and a cheer erupts throughout the bar, strangers hugging each other under CNN’s live headlines. And that’s when my phone rings. It’s mom.

“Obama’s our president!” she babbles into the phone, half screaming-half crying with joy. Hearing her voice brings tears to my eyes as I grin wildly in the Palazzo’s marble hallway.

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