During each of the seven previous presidential elections that have occurred since I turned 18, I have voted.
I will do so again come election 2016.
However, in these nearly 30 years of adulthood, only once have I ever told anyone how I voted.
For that year’s election, I opted for a write-in nomination, neatly printing the name of a friend of mine. It was the only way I could think of to continue to exercise my right to vote while not being able to, in good conscience, get behind any of the officially proffered candidates that year. My friend was amused when I told him; and he can now truthfully tell his children and grandchildren that he was once on the ballot to become President of the United States.
I’m a pretty open person. But there are some things I just don’t talk about. My vote (in fact, politics on the whole) is one of them.
Why all the secrecy? As is my way, let me start with a story.
Back when the Internet was new and shiny – when AOL chat rooms were where the cool kids hung out, and emails containing poorly written and saccharine poetry frightened people into Forwarding them by questioning your love for Jesus if you didn’t – I used to get “those” questionnaires from friends. You know the ones. They had 50 to 100 questions (why so many, I’ll never understand), asking such insightful things as “Peanut butter or bologna?” or “If you could only wear one color ever again, what would it be?” And, of course, you’d also wind up getting a whole slew of these questionnaires from the dozens of other people who had received it and spent good chunks of their day answering every question in detail.
A variant of the questionnaire was the online quiz. You’d go to a website, make up 10 questions about yourself with multiple-choice answers, and then send the link around to your friends, complete with the taunt “Let’s see which of my friends really knows me the best.” Of course, this was always fodder for much interpersonal drama when people who fancied themselves your “bestest bud” would get a 20% and then claim that you somehow cheated.
Well, I caved in and made one such quiz (don’t judge me, I was young once). I don’t recall all of the questions I posed, but I do recall this one:
I have befriended all of the following except:
- a porn star
- a deaf-blind Indian boy
- a nun
- a serial killer
And, of course, at the time, the correct answer was …