At the beginning of each week, I like to set my sights on one (or a few) latter week plans to stay motivated enough to not go insane at work. By the time this Monday rolled around, I focused in on my plans for Wednesday...Early Voting Day with my Dad.
Still registered at my parents' address, I told my Pops I would pick him up after work and take him to the closest polling location so that we could vote together. "Obama! Let's go make some f-in' history, Dad," I shouted, pumping my fist as I entered my parents' home. As we backed out of the driveway, I recalled Father, Son outings from my childhood and beyond.
Early morning fishing trips, with pitstops for stinkbait and nightcrawlers at K-Mart.
Last minute runs to the grocery store for Mother's Day roses.
Frequent excursions to Home Depot for handy-man supplies and dowel-rod ninja weapons.
Trips to the baseball park (anywhere with a backstop, really) to play catch and fantasize about game winning homeruns. (*I sucked at baseball and never played little league, so this must have been miserable for my Dad)
The time we ate honey-barbecued chicken wings, peppered with earth-grit in White Sands, New Mexico.
The time we took a crowded, nauseating bus all the way from Carrollton down to the State Fair.
The time we both got let down by Cowboys' Wide Receiver Alvin Harper, who failed to show up at an autograph signing session at Sears. (*F you Harper! )
The time we sat within spitting distance of Mark Cuban and Eva Longoria at a Mavericks game.
My Dad is a man of few words. His comfortable silence is the reason why I was able to nostalgically recount all of these events in my brain without wrecking the car. By the time we got to the polling location, I realized that this was another one of those Father, Son outings. Granted, a more historically significant, patriotic duty-type outing, but another relationship-building, hallmarkish excursion nonetheless.
As two lines formed, one for paper ballots, the other for electronic, he and I parted ways. Fearing technology, he opted for paper, while I voted with the ballot-bot 9000.
With our "I Voted!" stickers displayed proudly on our chests, we avoided eyed contact and briefly patted each others' backs as we exited the public library polling center. As awkward as the description of our actions sounds, I found comfort, relief, and joy in our post-voting embrace.
I knew that we had done something that I will never forget.
I knew that we had done something for the sake of change.
I knew that we had done something together.