Are We There Yet?

Every summer for eleven years, I’d pile kids, luggage, and whatever work needed to go, as well as a two-foot pile of novels (my “summer reading”) into the old, bought-used SUV, and drive a thousand miles to our mountain ranch.

That sounds glamorous until you think of barbed wire fences obliterated by migrating elk, visiting rodents (no more about that, I promise), illiterate fishermen unable to read the NO TRESPASSING signs, neighbors living in teepees with their dogs (invariably named “Spike”) for warmth, and the fourteen-hour question: “Are we there yet?”

Aside from these hiccups, it was two-and-a-half months of bliss. But today is my day.

Are we there yet?

I vote, but don’t discuss politics. I do research, from conservative and liberal sources (some of which you wouldn’t believe). I fundamentally assert everyone has the right, and responsibility, to be informed. Those signposts of adulthood become tangible when a person votes.

But can someone please explain to me why sharing political opinions became public sport in otherwise polite company? You know who you’re going to vote for. I know who I’m going to vote for. Undecided voters haven’t finished their research (and may not do any), but they’re not going to be swayed by you or me extolling our candidate’s virtues. (Do candidates have virtues? Or has “spin” replaced character?)

But people post endless snarky comments on Facebook. Share repeated sarcastic opinions on Twitter. Both friends and business associates read these observations. If it never occurred to us this behavior is bad manners, we should at least know it’s TERRIBLE business.

Are we there yet? I’ll shut up if you will. I’ll be courteous about sharing opinions. And I’ll vote. This vicious battle we Americans fight every four years can’t be won in one election. We’re on this road for the long haul, and we’d better get along.

So please let me know when we get there, because I’m tired of watching the road, and listening to the kids.