Voting Makes Me Hungry ***Updated

There’s nothing like standing in line for 5 seconds, filling out a provisional ballot form, and then snapping some pictures of goofy kids at the polls to make you crave a hamburger and fries, and a Coke. Unfortunately, it was only 10:23 am, and McDonalds doesn’t turn the hashbrown-makers into fry vats until 10:30.

But, dadgum, we voted, and I didn’t cry until I was out in the car! Of course, I had to sing Nine Inch Nails lyrics under my breath every time I welled up, but NOT A TEAR WAS SHED until after I had safely voted.

In other news, I have now recognized people I know at both the Walmart and the voting booth, and so I feel as quintessentially American as Barack Obama and John McCain.

Sally didn’t get to see me vote this year, and I don’t know if she remembers my tearful explanations at our polling place in Florida four years ago. So this is how I’m going to explain the voting process to her today:

For Sally

We have two major political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans. The Republicans are red, and the Democrats are blue, so you pick your favorite color and vote for it. No? Okay: the Democrats are donkeys and the Republicans are elephants, so you pick pachyderms or cloven hooves (kidding!).

Okay, for real: the red people are like the blood that takes oxygen to your muscles — muscles need oxygen just like we need freedom. The blue people are like the blood returning to the heart to get oxygen. We need to recycle and care for our environment just like our bodies care for our muscles.

If she asks me about abortion, I’ll tell her to go read my post and then pray about it for herself.

If she asks about taxes and welfare I’ll tell her that:

Democrats want to trust those who don’t have enough to take only what they need.

Republicans want to trust those who have extra to give as much as they can.

Which is why I wrote in George Washington, and I’m going to be mighty disappointed when he doesn’t win.

How do you explain to your kids who you vote for?

Jane

*I didn’t really vote for George Washington. He’s dead, you know.

***Updated to add***

I had some good, all-American pizza ready for my hungry second-wave voters. Sally asked me after school if I voted for Obama, because Carson’s dad says that McCain wants gas to be higher, like 300, while Obama wants gas to be 100. I had to disappoint her, sadly.

Proud to be

david cook american idolI am not ashamed to say that I cried tonight, and not because Sally and Susan refused to go to bed before American Idol was over.

Honestly, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that American Idol represents all that is good about America today. And I know, yadda, yadda, there’s a lot wrong with America. The streets are not paved with gold, or cheese, and I am not a gazilionaire, award-winning author.

What is right with AmericaN IDOL

Friendship: Though they might never have met in real life (I picture David A ordering a sarsaparilla at David C’s place of work), David C and David A seem to genuinely like each other.

Facing up to Mistakes: When Simon apologized to David C tonight, my heart overflowethed: Simon, God loves you very much, and he is SO proud of you tonight.

Good Sportsmanship: I might not have appreciated rocker-chick Amanda Overmyer’s style, but at least she never skulked around with a tire iron.

Democratic, Free Elections: With a simple nominating system that takes a mere 19 weeks rather than seventeen years, and a vote-counting method that rewards enthusiasm and participation, there’s no need for the Supreme Court to step in. Amendment #28?

Element of Surprise: Fireworks on the 4th of July, A 4th Indiana Jones movie, children being solidly potty-trained by age 4: These things are all quintessentially American, but not necessarily surprising. David Cook winning by 12 million votes after auditioning by accident, never playing it safe, getting trashed by judges and almost shown up in the final contest: Surprising.

Youth! Energy! Hard Work! (Truth! Beauty! Love! Freedom!). Amen.

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P.S. My dad was embarrassed to tell me that he wanted to watch the show last night (I hope they caught tonight’s, because most of it was fantastic). He said he’d even told his parents about it. My grandparents are lovely, conservative, white-bread, middle-Americans (in a good way) who still watch Lawrence Welk on public television. And I have to say that I think American Idol, as a variety-talent-feel-good show is the Lawrence Welk of the 21st century. Also in a good way.

P.P.S. American Idol bringing out that crazy Renaldo guy singing “You are My Brother” was The.Most.Awesome.Thing.Ever. God bless America!

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Hillesha, Baracook, and McArchuleta

Did you vote? I hope so, because tonight at 8 pm, the results of this most protracted primary runoff season will be announced and America will be down to the two major candidates. Will it be Hillesha vs. McArchuleta or Baracook vs. McArchuleta? Will anyone suggest that Hillesha and Baracook combine forces to battle McArchuleta?

You know, of course, that if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain, right?* About taxes or wars or crappy schools or pitchy voices or asinine song choices. I know, it’s disheartening that it’s all so staged and phony. Not to mention demographically rigged. Blue-collar women like Hillesha, ‘tween girls and everyone over 75 likes McArchuleta, rockers and other assorted cool people like Baracook.

THIS is American Idol.

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No real political views were harmed or expressed in the making of this post.

*Unless you vote in the form of conscientiously-abstaining from voting in our troubled democracy, naturally.

I’m linking this up to Writer-Mommy’s Writing Wednesday carnival on Hope, because, baby, this is my hope for America.