I ran for office, once. As far as I know, I only got one vote. Mine.
It was for class secretary in eighth grade. Middle school already being arguably one of the most miserable times in any kid’s life, especially that of a distinctly unpopular kid like me, it’s unfathomable why I put myself through this. (I wonder now if my parents knew this would be a debacle. Did they cringe for me? Or if they think I had a shot?)
I made up some signs on posterboard with marker. My drawing is about as terrible as my handwriting, which as everyone knows, is awful to legendary proportions. The signs had terrible puns, too. I remember one which showed someone running off a dock to catch a boat, and missing. Splash! The slogan was, “Don’t miss the boat, vote for Kris.” Cringe, cringe.
Then I saw the signs of my popular and well-loved competition. They were splashy, and decorated, and they were done in volume and posted everywhere, obviously written up by a team of popular people all helping out their popular friends.
It soon became clear to me what a colossal mistake this was. But, there were campaign speeches to come.
In front of the whole cafeteria, at lunchtime, we had to give speeches. I swear, one girl approached the podium in a backless dress, to the hoots and delight of the assembled middle school boys. I wasn’t sure why a backless dress was so appealing (what’s hot about someone’s back? I wondered) but it was a damn sight better than whatever I was wearing.
My speech had some line in it about “I’ve never had detention and I always turn my work in.” Cringe, cringe. My best friend admitted she didn’t vote for me.
You know, I’d still like to vote for the candidate who has never had detention and always turned his or her work in. Why is it a liability to be a goody two-shoes in this world? Don’t we want good little Girl Scouts running things?
Apparently not, as I was reminded during my time covering small town politics as a newspaper reporter. The flashy, bombastic candidates always seemed to snag the attention away from the quiet do-gooders.
I’m clearly not cut out for modern politics, but I hold out hope someday for a squeaky-clean candidate to run on a platform of never having had detention.
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