A Vote For Me Is A Vote For Chimichangas*

I once ran for office.

Granted, it was in high school not in the big, bad world of American politics but still . . .

I was a Junior going into my Senior year at a private, Catholic all girls school. I was lucky to go to this school thanks to my Mom getting a job there. I received a superb education and it was there that my self-esteem really flourished. I arrived as a transfer mid-Freshman year from a local public school which I hated. And I do mean HATED. Every damn day of public high school I had cried. After attending the same elementary/junior high school since I was five with basically the same students, I was in a state of shock having to break out of my shell and make friends and fit in and (gasp!) put together a fashionable outfit every day- a particular challenge as a chubby kid. I was, by all accounts, shy. I know, I know. Sizzle? Shy? But it’s true! I was not always this mass of neurotic, sporadic confidence you read before you. Going to that all girls school changed the course of my personality.

It was a small school with only 91 students in my graduating class and probably around 400 students combined. We had three buildings total. Our gym was also our cafeteria was also our theater was also our makeshift assembly hall/church. You see how it is.

It was in front of all of these 400 students plus all of the faculty that I took the stage to deliver my speech. I was running for the office of Vice President of the entire student body. I had one opponent- an unfortunate girl with stringy, thinning hair. A fellow honors student, she played piano at lunch in one of the deserted halls and didn’t really seem to have any friends. She, sadly, had a particular odor about her which is why we called her Tuna behind her back.** Needless to say, my competition wasn’t that stiff.

I actually really wanted to be the President but my confidence waivered when one of the “popular” girls decided to run for that office. Instead of fighting the good fight, I took the easy road and ran for VP. To this day I regret that decision. If you’re going to go for something that matters to you- go for broke. That’s my public service message to all you youngin’ out there.

My speech was. . . unconventional. The idea came to me the night before as I struggled and stressed about what to say to my minions fellow students. I had words on paper but it just seemed so boring and unoriginal. Then it hit me: I would sing it.

(What the fuck was I thinking?!)

After I was introduced, I grabbed the mic and gave a shout out to all my peeps. (OK, I didn’t actually use those words- it was only 1990- I probably said hommies.) My friends sitting on the gym/theater/cafeteria floor cheered loudly for me. The energy in the room was electric. I was nervous and excited. My sister and her best friend sat in the wings ready for my cue to hit “play.” I said a few words and then the music started. I began to sing. . .

“Start spreading the news

We’re voting today

I want to be a part of it, ASB ASB'”

Oh yes. I changed the words to Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York and sang them to the crowd. I danced and wore a top hat. I made a complete fool of myself for the sake of winning votes. It was, in a word, awesome. And yes, I won.

But man, I should have run for President.

* The cafeteria served chimichangas at break. I ate one once in my entire school career and it gave me horrible heartburn. So bad, in fact, I laid down in the aisle of Spanish class because the pain was so piercing. Senor Martinez had no idea what to do with me.

** I am very sorry I called that girl Tuna behind her back even if she did really smell like tuna.


48 thoughts on “A Vote For Me Is A Vote For Chimichangas*

  1. Yay! Sizzle for Vice-President!

    Hopefully you didn’t stoop to making attack ads against the unfortunate girl with tuna breath. Something like, “Sure, Tuna -says- she’s all about school pride and spirit, but why does she hide away during lunch playing the piano? What does she have to hide from ASB?”

    Because that would be a dastardly thing to do.

  2. New York, New York is always a classic! I think it was a great choice. I always had to avoid the fiestata pizza at my middle school lunch because it was caused similar spicy reactions. To this day I still shudder from my gastronmical distress!

  3. Oh man. I love you, Sizzle. 🙂
    BTW, thanks for the perspective on all-girls schools–I have a lot of opinions on the subject and it’s very cool to hear from someone who attended one!

  4. I won Vice Presiden of my senior class by completely forgetting to write a speech, and completely making one up on the spot. I don’t remember it, but I believe it was a little short of begging.

  5. I love that you sang your speech!

    I went to an all girl catholic high school with about 165 in my class and on the elections there was major drama!

    I never ran but I did not want to.

  6. I teach at a performing arts high school. Next week, on Tuesday, when the students do their election assembly, I fully expect more than half of the candidates to sing or perform another musical-type number.

  7. I had a very similar experience…. new private school, senior year, ran for office. My speech began,”You don’t know me, but you will….” I did not win. (thank god!) I didn’t know this at the time but I was running against the MOST popular kid in the school. In college some guy at a party came up to me and said “I know you.” I didn’t know or remember him. He was a freshman the year I gave that speech and he “knew” me from it.

  8. I am horrified to think of all the people I was mean to, particularly in junior high. I’ll vote for you now, do you have enough time to be governor too?

  9. I never ran for office in school, nor do I really recall ever voting. I do remember the same people running for and being in office. I suppose that’s because other’s never ran. Oh damn! Break through!

  10. What a cute story. I can kind of picture you doing that.

    And poor Tuna. Nicknames like that, even behind the back, will stick around however. Hopefully she’s managed to learn some personal grooming in the intervening years.

  11. It always surprises people when I tell them that I’m painfully shy too. It’s something that I consciously work on when I’m in groups or with new people, so it’s not always apparent, but it takes effort, doesn’t it?!

    I’m doing my best to not shyness along to my girls.

  12. That is one of my favorite memories – I was standing in the back of the auditorium with tears in my eyes because I was so proud of you – still am.

  13. I’d vote for you just for originality, Sizz.

    Seriously though, it takes a lot of guts just to stand up in front of a whole room full of people, but to SING and entertain them…that takes something considerably more.

  14. Can I tell you how much I love that you got up there and SANG? Because I think that’s freaking awesome, coolest idea ever! I’m sorry you didn’t run for President because I’m sure you would have been great. And also? Because regrets are no good.

  15. I would have immediately hurled chunks if I had to do that in front of a crowd.

    I used to have to train social workers how to use a call-in dictation system every month. Every month there would be an average of 150 new social workers sitting in front of me ready to learn.

    Before I could give that speech, I had to throw up.

    I gave the seminar flawlessly each time. And each time afterwards I had to throw up some more.

    My friends at work always told me they could never tell I was THAT nervous.

  16. Great story. Really genius, changing the words.
    And I agree… I think that is why now I must be president of my running clubs- I am making up for something from the 5th grade when I settled for “Secretary.”

  17. In no way are you at all comparable to him, but I couldn’t help but think of Napoleon Dynamite as I read this. You sang, he danced. Except you were cool and probably very funny and we was just..well…funny…

  18. 7th Grade ASB Treasurer here!

    Found your blog through Greeblemonkey and now all of the sudden I am rounding out my blog reader back home here in Seattle.

    From one Seattle blogger to another – CHEERS!


  19. Wow that took a lot of guts! We didn’t have speeches and all that at our school. The popular kids ran and won. If one of them had sung a speech I probably would have like them.

  20. I ran for the student council in my last year of high school (everyone thought I already was one the year before) and it was so scary giving a speech in front of the whole school. I basically said that I would work really really hard. I got in, too.

    Singing in front of the whole school, how awesome! You’ve got guts!

  21. I would totally have voted for you – loooooove the singing! I wish our presidential candidates would have a sing-off. Oh, wait. No I don’t. 😉

  22. I had 91 in my graduating class, too! I won Spanish Club President in tenth grade. Beat this preppy guy who was in the band in an upset of epic proportions.

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