Friday was the day of reflection before we cast our vote in a referendum that should not have been and that had a weighted question that should not have been even more. I promised myself ages ago I wouldn’t talk divorce let alone write about it. But promises and reality are hardly compatible so we should get them divorced. Or is that unlawful or sinful?
It was the day of reflection when we, all contemplative and reasonable, weigh most intelligently whether to give an aye vote or a nay. Friday morning I had warned all around me not to mention the “D” word in case they influenced me with their words and looks and deeds.
I had nearly suggested to my wife, whom I love dearly, that we should save ourselves the trip to the polling booth on the dreaded day. You will surely, I said, vote the opposite of what I will, so once our votes annul each other we might as well stay at home. How do we know how we will be voting I hear someone ask? Married for over 30 years gives you special intuitive powers; and being married for so long makes you disagree with your beloved spouse even if deep down you want to agree. In spite we trust.
Back to my contemplative Friday. After discarding the idea of remaining in bed to really reflect on the issue and to keep away from the temptation of reading some more bilge about the not-to-be-mentioned divorce issue, I slowly crawled out of bed and grabbed all the Iva and Le propaganda that had piled up on my bedside table. Not a huge pile except for some battered woman, innocent children and some other strange endorsers─like God and his Son─ we were spared the many obnoxious faces on postcards which we get during elections.
Anyway while throwing away all this detritus I tried hard to keep my eyes off pictures of pompous politicians and pious pastors who could sway me with their wholesome or nefarious ways. That done I switched on my laptop hoping to keep all corrupting stuff from reaching my brain. Alas that was impossible: messages unseen the day before were glaringly trying to sway me. I took a cursory look at my Facebook page and bam! more images, more messages, more words of wisdom asking me to save our families or give new families a legalised future. I inwardly cursed laptops. I even had a cryptic message from a Catholic group asking me to vote yes to divorce. Why were these interfering agents trying so hard to keep me from reflecting alone on how I should vote?
Satan smiled at me and said that the yes vote was his doing while a horrific Jesus begged me for my vote (sorry Jesus for calling your picture horrific but it is just that. If I were You I’d come down again, rip up the picture and place a proper one of the real me, I mean You). I nearly blew my top and felt like permanently closing my Facebook account. Couldn’t the electoral commission reach an arrangement with Facebook and make them stop all this corrupting ware from reaching us? We had a Green person trying hard to attend as an observer and the electoral commissioner tried hard to stop him. Couldn’t the commissioner also do something and block this Facebook and blogging interference on my reflection?
I left home and headed for my car. I tried hard not to look at the bumf strewn all over the streets. The yes and no camps might have been at loggerheads about everything but in getting our country to look shabbier they heartily agreed and managed. I then drove round a bit to contemplate more on my vote on Saturday. Then horror of reflective horrors, more propaganda, all displayed in resplendent boredom, greeted me. Billboards bored into my brain ordering me to vote “yes” or “no” in the referendum. I tried hard not to look but didn’t wish to meet my doom before my time by crashing into one of the billboards. Although come to think of it maybe that’s what we should have done: crushed all billboards out of existence. I tried hard not to look at the boards. I think I could have looked at them till kingdom come and I would not have been swayed one way or the other.
The two camps, the aye-seekers and the nay-seekers, didn’t come up with the most exciting of stuff. Some billboards nearly literally drove me up the wall because I had to look at them a few dozen times to understand what they were trying to convey. Most times I didn’t understand what the hell or heaven they were saying. Thankfully all came conveniently with the “yes” or “no” neatly ticked at the bottom so I could work out who was desperately trying to appeal for my vote. As we are admonished at all times: look at the small print. I never knew that this advice actually referred to referendum billboards.
I kept trying hard to keep away from these corrupting, illegal messages which were trying to convince me one way or the other but the day went on with hardly a moment when someone or something didn’t jar my reflective contemplation.
Friday then was thankfully over and we moved to the big Day, voting day. The suggestion that my wife and I stay at home never materialised. So off I went together with my wife to cast our votes. As I was jotting my choice I reflected a bit more: how many couples were voting together and whose next step was going to be to ask for their divorce papers?