We walk through life privy to conversations that mean nothing to us as we pass along on sidewalks, sit in cafes, cue on bank and grocery lines, and generally go about the mundane activities that make up daily life. Occasionally though bits and parts of conversations stick to us and with us. This post is about one such conversation which took place on November 8, 2016.
In my post-voting haze of the early morning (I was at the voting poles at 6:30 am), I darted through the streets of Manhattan trying to keep my mind focused on the topic I was to discuss at an early morning meeting. The thick and toxic political environment of the political campaign had taken its toll on everyone in my circle of friends. And, though I had no illusion about it ending at any in the near future, I did have moments of dreaming that occasionally the edges would not feel so hard. In any case, it was a sunny day and I had done what I could.
As I moved to the streets, I overheard a short conversation between (what I imagined to be) a mother and her young daughter.
Daughter: Mom did you vote?
Mother: Yes, I did?
Daughter: How do you know who to vote for?
Mother: We sometimes its hard, but today I voted for the person who would allow the family to have nice summer vacations. This way we can see more of daddy.
Daughter: Uh… Are we going to have a nice vacation? Will we get to spend more time with daddy.
Mother: I hope so. If the right person wins we will get to to have a long vacation.
In my mind I frequently imagine the undertow of this exchange between mother and daughter. Who did mommy vote for? Are they having/planning a nice vacations? Has anything in the political moment inspired the daughter or mother to reflect on voting conversation? What price are we willing to pay for a ‘nice’ vacation? What price are we comfortable in asking others to pay?