I didn't really care about politics until my mid twenties. Before that, I'd vote for who my friends liked or for what hot issue was the topic of conversation on campus. I would never really put thought into it.
2004 came about and, well, I still didn't really care about politics. I had started my first job , a teacher in an inner city school, and I was busy. Who cares about politics when you have three hours of work after the kids leave?
I remember election night well. I had dispassionately sent in my absentee ballot and flopped on the couch to relax. On a school break that had just started, I wanted to just sit there like a bowl of jello and do nothing. No housework, no intellectual stimulation, no politics or anything. Just me and my ice cold beer.
My husband had different thought and was glued to CNN. I tried to find a distraction and came up short. I slowly peeled the label off mybbeer, too lazy to do anything more exciting. I tried to let the tv turn into white noise as I melted into the suede and tried to craft beer-label paper airplanes.
Suddenly, my plane was half made and I was sitting upright. Numbers flashed on the screen, maps turned red, and the real excitement began. It looked like a winner would be announced. In all the hoopla and excitement, I got intrigued. Or maybe i like sparkly things, cheers and jeers, and info graphics complete with musak. Or maybe I had too much beer. Either way, I was drawn in. Who would win? Who did Delaware, a state I knew nothing about, vote for? What is proposition- whatever about and why is everyone cheering? Wait, if he wins, what does that mean? Why didn't I pay attention before, dammit! This moment would determine my future. My future was at stake!
My husband and I watched the results on the screen as the President accepted a second term. We lifted our beers and toasted to the future.
We toasted to OUR future, symbolized by Election Day. Sure we had the same president again (for better or for wprse) but to us, we had new beginnings. We celebrated not a second term, but a second night together as a married couple. On that honeymoon, I really grew up. I became a wife and an adult who cared about politics. I had our future at stake.