I know that someday you'll find better things.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ralph and Me

They say you'll never forget your first time.

For me, it was Ralph.
November 7, 2000.
A Tuesday.
Possibly at a synagogue.

I'd turned 18 in the spring of 1997, so I had to wait a long time to cast my first vote in a presidential election.

Ralph was my man, and I was devoted to him. I was on the email list and everything. I even had a bumper sticker and the good sense to know not to stick it on that blue Chevy S10. It was a lease.

I'd made a few flyers, too, with quotes from the internet, which was not nearly as vast back then.

"The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it."-- PJ O'Rourke


Under Republicans, man exploits man.
Under Democrats, it's just the opposite.

NADER 2000! 

Mostly, I stapled them to telephone poles that already had other flyers on them. I'm not one to break rules.

As it turns out, my first time was memorable for more than the virgin voting population. That was the year of one of the closest races in history.

And all the drama in Florida, remember?

Dangling chads.
Dimpled chads.
Pregnant chads.

Sheesh. Chads everywhere must have really resented all that chatter.

Apparently I was the only one who was surprised when Nader didn't win.

Later, I found out that I was not the only member of my family to have voted Green.

Both my parents had voted for Nader, too. One is a staunch Republican, and the other is decidedly Democrat. I can never remember which is which, though.

At least one--  possibly both-- of my grandmothers also voted for Ralph.

To my knowledge, nobody declared their intentions in advance.

It just sort of happened naturally, I guess. I remember when we all sat around the table and sheepishly revealed it during my trip back to CT around Christmas.


I've been to the ballot box twice more since that first time.

Never went Green again, though.

Not that I'm anti-green, of course. I compost. I conserve water. I recycle. We even have TWO of those city-issued roly-bins.

I do not, however, support wind-power any longer. At least not on our electricity bill. Turns out that the concept currently has more in common with sponsoring a child in Africa (for just pennies a day!) than pumping clean green energy through the veins of your home. Remind me to tell you all about it sometime.

But, as one of Russ's little sixth grade students so poignantly once wrote,

"With maturity comes adultery."

Some might say I've cheated on Ralph, but I choose to view it as moving on.
Growing up.
Choosing someone who has a better shot at being a winner.

Hasn't worked out so far, of course.
Maybe next time, though.

Maybe next time, I'll finally get lucky.

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