The Box That Matters Most

October 10, 2020

I’m a bit quaking in my boots because I’ve never done a mail-in ballot. I think I’m going to drive it personally to Woodland on Monday so I can 1) see it in the hands of someone official in the elections office, and 2) get a sticker. I gotta have a sticker.

But man oh man oh man.

When I voted for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton I was giddy and ecstatic. Both votes felt historic for happy reasons. I took giddy, ecstatic, happy pictures of those moments.

Peter was with me (as he most always was) for the 2008 election. They even gave out souvenir ballots for the kids who came with parents. Check out that shirt! We were excited. Peter was 10 years old.

In 2016, I had to go it alone, as Peter was away… in his first year of college…

I asked Peter to take a selfie of himself, too, which he was happy to oblige! Here he is in his dorm room at UCSD, his first presidential election, and a vote for the first female major party presidential candidate. Yay P.

And now 2020. This time does not feel happy. It feels urgent. It feels like a grave response to an existential threat to our future. No hyperbole. I’m happy to vote for Joe, but I’d have just as dutifully voted for a ping pong ball.

I’m anxious. Have been agitated and nervous for almost 4 years. Have waited 1,436 days for this day. And, just this very moment, for this picture, I marked my ballot:

Spent a couple of hours this evening on a Zoom call with a dozen or so others (plus some spouses) — a Beer and Ballot party! Together we pored over the ballot, item by item, local and national issues and races. I’m ready to fill in the rest of the ballot now, and will. But this vote for Biden is what this entire election is about.

I’m angry. I’m relieved we are finally here. I’m scared. Anxious. I’m exhausted.

And.. I don’t dare allow even a smidge of optimism and hope, but the polls look good and Mr. Unhinged is unraveling. We still have 24 days for terrible things to happen, and I have no doubt there will be an avalanche of terrible news over the next three-plus weeks, and then will brace for another two and half months of torturous drama. And, as I’ve said countless times, I won’t rest until January 20th and the transfer of power has happened. Like everyone else.

But I’ve marked the box on my ballot that matters most. It’s what I can do. And it feels monumental.