When I was a kid, I remember asking my Dad to divulge who he voted for in the presidential election, but he'd never told me.
I'd plead with him to fess-up, but he wouldn't, even though I could be what a child psychologist might define as "acutely persistent."
I'm not sure why Daddy Bones never disclosed which lever he pulled, but I'm guessing that he believed it was none of my beeswax.
Part of his secrecy may be due to the fact that my parents were registered with one party because it was prudent to do so in our suburban town, but they may not have always voted along party lines. My Dad knew that if I learned his candidate of choice, I'd tell everyone in the neighborhood. "Good morning, Mrs.Kelly. Your garden looks quite vibrant and did you know that my Dad voted for Barry Goldwater?" My Mom was fond of beginning a lot of her conversations with me with the phrase "Don't tell anybody" and I guess my Dad took heed.
I think of my Father's dignified reserve as we mercifully trudge toward Election Day 2016. I remember last summer, when the first political television ads ran, all I could think was: Sixteen more months of this? (That's not true, I also thought: "Gee, no matter which party sponsors an ad, they all seem to use the same voice-over lady.")
But those 16 months have finally lapsed and, regretfully, so has much of our dignity.
You've heard all the stories - couples breaking up over this election; families not speaking to each other after screaming about which candidate is the lesser of two evils; and Saturday Night Live producers praying that the next presidential election is half as juicy as this one.
Who am I voting for? Well, as a humor lover, I gotta go with the one who was funnier at an annual roast-style Catholic Charities fundraising event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan that - for some reason or another - typically attracts both presidential candidates during election years.
Only 24 hours after battling in a televised debate like King Kong and Godzilla, Clinton and Trump were perched at seats between the Archbishop of New York. Who says politics are boring?
Its called the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner, but it was more like an Alfred E. Neuman event.
Both candidates did a little stand-up routine - what's next, tap dancing? - and neither one has the chops to become America's next late night television host. And granted, asking an amateur to perform a stand-up monologue at a society event with - this year, anyway - the whole world watching is like making them perform Madame Butterfly at the Met.
But one President-to-be was definitely more at ease with the role.
Of course, having a sense of humor does not a great president make. But having absolutely no sense of humor certainly doesn't help matters when you're residing in the White House. (See: Richard M. Nixon.)
When I became an adult and my Dad assumed that I had matured ever so slightly, he finally let it leak that in 1960, he voted for John F. Kennedy. Not only that, he said that he stayed up all night with a bottle of whiskey (Irish Catholic president, Irish Catholic voter, whaddayaexpect?) until, near sunrise the next day, it was confirmed that JFK won.
I'm only going to predict that it will be a landslide.
And, in true big-mouth form, I'm going respond to all your "my vote doesn't count" or "I hate both of them" by urging you to shut your traps and GET TO THE POLLS.
Why? Because, despite all evidence to the contrary lately, this is America and that's just what we do.