Thursday, November 09, 2006

Why I Will Never Register My Parents to Vote Again

My mother and I have been American citizens since I was about ten years old. During that next election year, I asked my mother if she was going to vote. Her answer to me was that she wanted to wait until I was old enough to vote, so that she could vote for the same person I would vote for.

This makes complete sense to me, because as a child of immigrant parents, I was the one who translated my school notes and had my mom sign them. Whenever there was a field trip, I would tell my parents that, yes, it was mandatory - so cough up the $15 so I can go upstate with the rest of my class to partake in a terrible production of Huckleberry Finn put together by people who couldn't even be bothered to remember their lines.

My parents always needed my help filling out any sort of legal form, which used to keep me up nights - because my Taiwanese wasn't that terrific, and I would worry that I explained something to them the wrong way, a way which might cause the government to come and take away our house.

I used to accompany them (and still do) to doctor's appointments. Once, when my dad's hay fever eyedrops fell behind the scalding hot stove at the restaurant, he called me and asked me whether or not I thought it was still okay to insert the drops in his eyes.

Me: Well, how hot does it get back there?

My Dad: I don't know, about a couple of hundred degrees? The drops were pretty expensive, so I don't want to just throw them out.

Me: Sure, use them...if you NEVER WANT TO SEE AGAIN.

During my sophomore year at Barnard College, I registered to vote for the very first time. I also brought home registration materials for my parents - and it was the first time either of them voted.

My dad is a staunch single-issue Republican. That is, he believes that Republicans will defend Taiwan in case of any war with China. I planned on voting for Clinton, and my mother had been promising that she would vote my way.

Cut to the day of the election. I went into the voting booth first and waited outside until my parents were done. My father comes out looking all proud of himself and I told him that it didn't matter who he voted for, because my vote cancelled his out, and I had an extra vote in my mom - at which point my mother looked rather sheepish.

When I asked her who she voted for, she looked at me, then at my dad, and then told me that she had to vote for who my dad voted for - and I said:

"I will NEVER register you guys to vote again. And that means that YOU'LL NEVER VOTE AGAIN."

Because essentially, they're too lazy - and the paperwork? Without me, it's more than they can handle.

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