My vote on Saturday for the next president went to my good friend, Jeff Howe, and his first lady, Andrea.
I have known the Howes for a long time: Andrea for 15 years and Jeff for 10. In fact, I introduced them and was best man at their wedding. Some who know the Howes might argue that Andrea should be president and Jeff should be first lady, and I pondered that myself. But the more I thought about it, Jeff will make the ideal public face while Andrea is better suited to serve her country by prescribing torture upon suspected enemy combatants and pushing red buttons.
Since I felt quite sure that no one would stand in my corner at the caucus, I decided to cast my vote from the deck of the M.S. Dixie II in Lake Tahoe. The Wife and I were the only ones who voted for them, which probably won’t get them the nomination for the Oval Office, but we made our decision and we’re sticking to it.
Why, you ask, would we throw our votes overboard into Tahoe’s icy depths? It’s because the Howes, who are probably our very best friends, planned their trip to see our new digs before I realized that their trip overlapped the caucus.
So, in one sense there is a matter of courtesy and obligation. I sure wouldn’t be impressed if the situation was reversed and our friends took several hours voting when I had spent a wad of cash to come visit them for a weekend.
But then my friends wouldn’t do that to me, and I wouldn’t to that to them.
How is it that my priorities are so unpatriotic? I think of it this way:
Sure, the next president of the United States may pass some law or enact some policy that has a tangible effect on my life. Sure, they may piss off some foreign country or culture that then decides to hijack a plane I’m flying on or sends a nuclear weapon flying toward my house. Or there is a chance the next White House occupant could enact a big tax refund and stick some much-needed cash in my pocket (the one good memory I’ll take from the Bush Part Deaux years).
Good or bad, I could act my little part in our great democratic play. In all sincerity, that’s not something I take lightly. Voting is an important task in our American lives.
On the other hand ...
Two years ago The Wife and I visited the Howes in Seattle after they first moved there. Nothing spectacular happend on that trip (in fact, The Wife was ill part of the time), but it was an important moment that we shared with our friend. It was a big move that they had been dreaming of for several years, and it was big since it was the first time either of them had lived far away from family. The Wife and I had never been there so it was a big deal for our friends to show us around their new city.
And now, the Howes are returning the favor by visiting us after a similar change in our lives.
I’ll keep thinking about it, but so far I haven’t come up with any such significant moments in my life that involved a president.
If one of the aforementioned catastrophes transpires between now and 2012, I won’t be old and probably won’t have a deathbed. Barring that, when The Wife and I are old and in our rocking chairs looking back on our memories, chances are I won’t reminisce about the 2008 presidential election or anything associated with the next administration.
We will, I’m quite sure, remember with great fondness the time the Howes visited us in Reno — the first of our friends to make a special trip to see us here. Come to think of it, this is their second trip here. Last spring, when we were here for a few days looking at houses, they drove — that’s right, drove! — from Seattle to see us. They spent more than 24 hours on the road so they could see us for just a few hours. That alone earned them my vote.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go home and have a drink with my friends.
Nathan Orme is the editor of the Sparks Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.