Remember when Ronald Reagan was elected to a second term as President of the United States?
The year was 1984. My parents thought it would be a good experience to take to me to the place where Americans choose their leaders. They also probably could not find a babysitter. Our polling place was the school gym, and it was weird to be at my school at night.
I also ran into a classmate of mine who had been brought by her parents who were also duty their civic duty. It was one of my earliest experiences of that awkward feeling you get when you know someone from only one setting and you see them in a different setting. Stranger still was meeting her parents. Just like I did not think my teacher had a home, but stayed in the classroom all night, I did not think the other kids had parents. I know that sounds strange, but I could not imagine that a person could have different parents than I had. It was as if they were living on a different planet.
But the strangest thing all night was that my parents had firmly voted for Walter Mondale. I distinctly remember telling them on the way over that Mondale was going to lose. Just like I could not imagine having different parents, I could not imagine having a President other than Ronald Reagan. He just seemed so…Presidential.
Since then I have gotten used to having different Presidents. I have also gotten used to people having other parents. I still think the teachers sleep at the school.