"I voted!"

by Lorin Michel Monday, October 24, 2016 8:01 PM

Justin is in England, specifically in Birmingham, at least for the next couple of days. He’s in England through the end of the year, and as when he was in Japan, appears to be loving it. The weather is a bit cooler. Japan was very hot and humid. And he loves him some good pub grub. 

Because he’s out of the country, he signed up for an absentee ballot. The ballot was, naturally, sent here to the house. Because he literally moves to a different city every week, it would have been difficult to have it simply sent directly to his hotel-home. We got the ballot last week. In order to get it to England in a timely basis, meaning before he moved again, we had to pinpoint his location starting this week (he usually changes locations on Sunday or Monday) and then figure the best way to get it over there. 

Our go-to for quick, overnight shipping has long been FedEx. They’re a little expensive but for more fragile items, they seem to take slightly better care. For a long time, UPS seemed to be a bit haphazard with their handling of packages. I think they’ve gotten much better. But I’m not sure they do international. USPS couldn’t guarantee delivery and FedEx was ridiculously expensive. 

Enter DHL. Kevin took it down to their office on Friday morning. Today we got a text: “I voted!” 

Justin was still in high school when Barack Obama was elected in 2008. Kevin and I stood in front of the television for hours, watching the results come in. When Brian Williams said that it was just after 8 pm on the West Coast “and we have news” in that wonderful anchor-y voice of his (yes, we remain fans) and then proceeded to announce that Obama had been elected, we popped open a bottle of champagne and stood crying. We couldn’t have been prouder to be democrats, to have campaigned and voted for Obama, prouder of the country. Justin remained up in his room. We called up to him, wanting for him to share with us the moment where our country changed its history. He came to the top of the stairs, smiled, said something about “cool” and then went back into his room. He was young and the outside world didn’t quite exist yet.

In 2012, he was in college. I don’t remember and neither does he if he got an absentee ballot that year but I tend to think he didn’t. I would think he would have remembered filling it out; I would think we would remember sending him one. 

This year, he’s 25, soon to be 26, and actively engaged with the world in all of its entirety, figuratively and literally. He and his girlfriend were Bernie Sanders supporters. After Mr. Sanders failed to get the nomination, Justin switched his allegiance. While Sanders was his first choice, there was no way he was voting for The Donald, and no way he was wasting a vote on a third party. At 25, he realizes the futility of that. And the danger. And he wanted to make sure that regardless of where he was, he could cast his vote for president. 

Today, he voted. How ironic that he cast his vote for the first woman president in the country we fought for our independence from more than 240 years ago. A country that has already had its first female leader. It’s poetic. It’s exciting. It’s breathtaking in its symbolism. I’m not sure he sees it that way. He sees it as doing his civic duty. But I see it. And I celebrate it; I celebrate him.

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live out loud

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