Next Tuesday, you will get up early before work. You will skip breakfast so you can get to the polling place. And you will stand on an excruciatingly long line, wedged between a 19-year old woman who won't, (correction: can't) get off her new Droid phone and a 58-year old plumber who has already smoked a pack and a half of Marlboros before 8:30 AM, and has the clothing stench to prove it.
And I'm not talking about you in the metaphorical Christine O'Donnell, I'm-you-but-I'm-really-not-you, hocus-pocus kind of way. I mean this will literally be you. And millions like you.
The line will move slow. Achingly slow. So slow you'll be thinking about a thousand other things you'd rather be doing. Having your teeth cleaned with a dull scraping tool will be near the top of that list.
And throughout it all, you'll be trying to keep your mind straight about your selections. Governor, Senator, District Attorney, those are the easy ones. No, you'll be fiddling around with the very confusing Propositions which seem to be written by the parents of democracy -- the Greeks.
"Let's see, Prop 63, repealing the ban that overturns an earlier measure that allows oil companies to contest the local governments ability to pass legislation regarding the imposition and/or the elimination of additional taxes per the earlier-passed Proposition 62."
But it's all worthwhile, right?
My wife contends, "I'd stand in a line a mile long just to cancel out your vote." Of course, now with my mixed views about Republicans, Democrats, Tea Partiers, Coffee Partiers, Greens and Reds, she has no idea how I'm voting.
Actually, I should use the past tense, because the truth is I've already voted. Through the magic of absentee balloting I've already exercised my civic responsibility. I did it at home, in my comfy sweat pants, and with all the pertinent research necessary to make an informed decision at my fingertips.
I'm a firm believer in absentee balloting. In fact I wish they'd extend the concept of not having to show up and mailing it in to include 'absentee working', 'absentee Department of Motor Vehicle registration', and, as I acquaint myself with painful life as a father of two teenage daughters, 'absentee parenting.'