Paternal suffrage

Originally Appeared in : 9712-6/8/17

Democracy was shining its light on our house just as the supper table was starting to clear for chores and nighttime routines, but the once diffuse glow became a blistering spotlight directly on Yours Truly...and did I mention it can get hot under the gleam of Lady Liberty’s interrogation light?


“You have to vote,” Magan said. “Everyone else has.” 


“Yeah, daddy,” Simon said, “I voted, and Jesse voted, and Noah voted.”


“What about Eli?” I asked, trying to buy a few more minutes before I had to take part in my civic duty.


Eli was quizzed and gave a quick reply, which sent six sets of eyes (Isaac was bored with the whole thing) staring back at my spot at the table eager for my chad to be punched.


“Has AnnaMarie voted?” I asked, obviously stalling.


“Okay,” Simon said, watching as I asked AnnaMarie quickly for her vote. She blurted out her answer in a near dead sprint through the kitchen, which had only given me maybe five more seconds of respite before six sets of eyes were once again affixed back in my direction.


“C’mon,” Magan said. “Even Noah voted, and we all know how wishy-washy he can be.”


“Okay, first let’s tally all of the votes thus far,” I said. “We have Jesse, Noah and Eli for, and AnnaMarie and Simon against...Well, considering I’m chairman, my vote can only be cast in a tie, and since we don’t have a tie I don’t need to vote.”


"Jason Robert Halcombe," my wife said with a tone that resonated with import. 


“What?” I said coyly.


“I’m serious,” Magan said, seriously. 


I knew she meant business by the flat furrow of her brow and the purse in her lips, so it was time to go to the ballot box and get an “I’m a Georgia Voter” sticker or risk a night on the sofa.


“Okay, okay, okay,” I said. “I vote short.”


For the past four years, Magan has been back and forth about the length of her hair, and she has always gotten mad at me for being honest: “I like your hair long, and I like your hair short. I think you’re beautiful either way.”


“But you have to like it more one way or the other,” has always been her reply.


Keeping this in mind, she continued to quiz me as we got into the car for an out-of-character unplanned evening shopping trip.


“You just said that so I’d leave you alone,” she said.


“No,” I replied as I turned the ignition. “You wanted my vote and now you have it. Did that help?”


“Well, I had already made an appointment for Tuesday at 10.”


“What?!” I said. “So what was the point of all that?”


“I just wanted to see if I should cancel it or keep it.”


While Magan knows that I think she’s beautiful any way she comes, she needed to hear from my own lips my true feelings about her hair.


God calls us to do the same when professing our faith. In Romans 10:10, Saint Paul said, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”


So now that all lots have been cast, and the spotlight dimmed, I can officially profess that I love Magan’s hair short.


And long.


And every length in between.


Here comes that look again.


Jason Halcombe has five sons and a daughter. He and his wife, Magan, are members of Immaculate Conception Church, Dublin.

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