why voting will make you happy

this is Paul,  the man with two votes

I'll be honest.

My grumpy, American-loving, WWII grandfather had two votes in every election.

He did. His and my grandmother's.

I remember on election days the small gymnasium  in our grammar school would become the voting poll in our district. If I was lucky I would see my grandparents walk up the pink granite steps dressed in their Sunday finest. In their hands they clutched the notes that my grandfather had prepared for them with exactly who and what they were voting for. I don't think my grandmother minded that she was told who to vote for. She respected my grandfather and I think she thought that after he fought in the war, he knew best. I think he did, actually.





I was thinking about him the other night as L and I were at the kitchen table filling out our ballots. We got to the Marriage Equality vote.

I wondered how my grandfather would have voted. When I was a little girl living with my mom and grandparents in a trailer park, several homes to our right lived a gay couple who I adored. If I was missing, which I often was since I wandered, Mark & J's trailer was the first place my grandfather would check. He would knock on their door and say "Have you seen the kid? She's about this high." He gestured to roughly his hip height. There I would usually be, sitting at their kitchen table enjoying a snack with "the boys" as my grandfather liked to call them. For a fatherless girl, spending time with Mark & J was liking hitting the foster father jackpot. I think my grandfather appreciated the time "the boys" spent with me. I remember my grandmother once saying to him "You know they are what they are, right?" and God bless my grandfather.  "It's none of our goddamn business, Marie. They're quiet, neat and they like her," he said pointing to me. I'd like to think that my grandfather fought so we can live where we want, say what we want and love who we want.  The one thing I do know for certain is how firmly this man believed in the voting process. So vote. Make your grandfather proud. If that's not enough of a reason, one of the reasons above should convince you.