In the fall of my sixth grade year my middle school held a mock election. Reagan vs. Mondale. Reagan won. My social studies teacher sent us home on the day of the real election with a copy of the map of the United States and a homework assignment. Watch the election results and color in the map. Easy enough. I remember watching with my dad. I sat with my blue and red crayons and colored away, probably up past my bedtime.
The next morning I went to school. My social studies teacher asked us to take out our homework maps. I obeyed. And there I sat and wished I could disappear. My map was red and blue, just like all the others. Oh, but mine was mostly blue, with only Minnesota and Washington, D.C. in red. Completely opposite from everyone else in the class. It might not have been so noticeable if Mondale had won at least a few other stinkin' states. Nope. He had to go and lose big time. And that stupid map was probably the most embarrassing moment of the first 11 years of my life.
I don't remember what grade I got. I'm sure my teacher felt compassion on me since I was such a stellar student. I'll never forget that Mondale won Minnesota and Washington, D.C. though. If I'm ever on Jeopardy I hope that's one of the questions. And where was my dad on that election night? I know he was in the room with me. Didn't he see what a horrible mistake I was making as I colored state after state blue? I may never know.
> > >
Today I sent my kids off to school in their red, white and blue (with a little V for vote). Danny makes me laugh. It looks like he had to really concentrate to make that V.
And just for kicks, I took a picture of them tonight while they ate chocolate ice cream and watched the results roll in. Danny was quite interested until I finally sent him to bed. He loves a good contest, that's for sure.