Friday, October 21, 2016

Decent Roommates, Falling in Love, and Elections

Every time I hear someone complain that they don’t feel like voting because they’re not excited by either presidential candidate, I don’t know whether to sigh, laugh, or just smack them upside the head with a 2x4. Same thing when I hear people complain about not knowing how these two candidates (and there are only two viable ones) got nominated.

Let’s start with the second issue first.

Those candidates that you aren’t thrilled with got nominated because a majority of the people in those parties voted for them. Pure and simple. Maybe they weren’t your first choice, but they were someone else’s; and they were the first choice of enough “someone elses” that they got the nomination and your person didn’t.

Now let’s move on to the first issue.

When I think about this, I think of the roughly 35 people I lived with in the 14 years between leaving my home in East Orange back in 1974 and getting married in 1988. Now, if 35 people seems like a lot of turnover, consider the fact that if we’re talking about a three-bedroom apartment, that means only 18 *sets* of roommates over 14 years. But that leaves out summer subletters and a few *four* bedroom houses…not to mention roommates who were replaced because they graduated or spent a semester abroad. When you consider that, I didn’t do so badly. I even kept one set of housemates for *two years*.

Why do I think about the 35 or so people I lived with between 1974 and 1988? Because some of you are looking at choosing a president more like choosing a spouse or live-in lover than choosing a roommate. And let’s face it…the president is more like a roommate.

I don’t have to be all excited over a potential new roommate, I don’t have to be in love with a potential new roommate. They just have to be acceptable. They have to be clean, pay their rent on time, and not be a putz. That’s about it.

Over those 14 years, I’ve had some really good roommates and a few really bad ones. I’ve had a roommate who we asked to leave, and roommates who made me feel unwelcome in the house that had been mine for two years before I invited them to move in. There were people who I was thrilled to be getting as roommates, or to be moving in with; and there were people who were “good enough for the moment.”

And except for those few cases where either we asked someone to leave, or I decided to leave myself, they all pretty much worked out.

And then I met the Best Roommate Ever.

But, as I said before, in choosing a president, we’re not choosing a spouse or a live-in lover, we’re choosing a roommate for the next four years. We don’t have to be totally “in love” with the candidate. All that’s necessary is that they pay their bills, are clean, and aren’t a putz. So maybe your first choice candidate didn’t get the nomination.

Suck it up, deal, and pick a roommate who’s not a total putz!

Otherwise, one might be assigned to you who is.

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