When I was a freshman in high school, I decided I wanted to run for student government. The people involved were always running around with megaphones and capes, and I thought, “Hey, I’d be pretty darn good at wearing a cape and with my lung capacity, I don’t even need a megaphone.”
When I looked into the actual office positions, it went something like this: “President, in charge of everything; Vice President, in charge of making sure that everything the president is in charge of doesn’t suck; Secretary, in charge of keeping track of things that are supposed to happen; Treasurer, in charge of “money;” Historian, take pictures.” I was fourteen, I liked to sing in the hallways, and in no way should I have been in charge of anything, not even my own person. So the obvious choice was to run for Historian.
It was the norm that on “Election Day” that the candidates’ speeches were pre-recorded and played on the TVs that were in each homeroom. For some reason that fateful year, Quince Orchard High School decided to gather up the entire Freshman class and make them watch the speeches on a giant screen in the enormous auditorium. The Historian speeches, being the least important were played first.
I had torn myself to bits over my speech. I wanted to appear fun and cool, but also smart enough to know how a camera functions. My three minute speech had strong words in it, like RESPONSIBLE and ENTHUSIASTIC. I made sure to wear a t-shirt from Pac Sun because back then, Pac Sun was really awesome and what says “Let me document the best years of your life,” quite like a good ol’ t-shirt? I even straightened the front section of my hair and it was only a little bit frizzy. Vote for me!
When my opponent’s speech played, I was horrified. He did not use the word RESPONSIBLE once. He traced the outline of an 8 in the air, implying that the Class of ’08 was like a hot lady. That he would take pictures of. I think he even promised to try to get Fruity Pebbles to come out of our water fountains.
I’m sure the vote was unanimous.
However, I learned an important lesson that day. Running for government requires character and strength and a heavy dose of CRAZY. When I lost my first and only voluntary election as a shrimpy, frizzed fourteen year old girl, I ran straight home to cry on my kitchen table and beg my mom to make enchiladas.
I cannot imagine what our presidential candidates are experiencing right now and how they manage to feel whatever they are feeling without chugging a bottle of whiskey. Or eight. (Traces outline of 8 in the air.)
Stay sexy, America.
Enchiladas for everyone!!!