Yesterday as I turned in my library books, I asked the library tech whether or not she had voted in the Super Tuesday primaries. "Nah," she answered, "I never vote." Climbing onto my bandstand, I reminded her that every vote counts. "So, who did you vote for?" she replied. Caught off guard and momentarily silenced, another library tech joked, "Oh, Kathy, didn’t your mother tell you that there are three things that you don’t talk about: politics, religion, and money?" The three of us laughed and I quietly replied, "I voted for Barack Obama."

An ardent, early supporter of Dennis Kucinich, I had found myself in the last few weeks between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Looking over my New Jersey sample ballot with my teenager, he noticed that Dennis was still listed, "Hey Mom, you can still vote for Dennis if you want," he pointed out, triumphant that he had found a solution. "Yeah, I guess I could, Sam. Only Dennis has dropped out, so I would be wasting my vote." "Aw, go for Barack, Mom. He’s okay," Sam responds, shedding his support for Dennis like dead skin. I’m finding it a bit more difficult to switch my allegiance. I do all the "right" things, I review the contenders’ websites, continue to watch the debates, make comparisons, and yet, I just can’t find the passion.

As more and more celebrities, lawmakers, and just plain folks, join in song for one candidate or the other, I begin to wonder if something is wrong with me. After all I remember being fired up over Clinton (Bill, that is). I remember the overseas phone calls to my family pleading with them to at least listen to Bill. I remember watching the dates so that I could make sure that I received my absentee ballot, the peace of election night, feeling secure that a wise choice had been made. Through the years I always managed to feel passionate about a candidate that captured the primaries. Heck, I even convinced my mom, a staunch Republican, to drop Bush and join in the Kerry campaign. I do admit, however, that my passion for Kerry would be more accurately tallied as passion against Bush.

I study the websites again, jotting notes on who supports what and how that fits into my way of thinking. Time and time again, Obama narrowly beats out Clinton. I look at the videos from YouTube and hear voices in sync, shouting out the HOPE that Obama brings into their lives. I complain to my husband, "I just don’t get it. I like Obama, I believe in what he says, I believe that he is the better candidate. I trust him. His policies are ones that I support." So why do I feel like he is the man that everyone tells you is the one to marry, but you just can’t see it?

I stand in the voting booth, wavering over the two names. I press the space next to Obama’s name and continue to stand. There is no line behind me, so I feel no pressure to hit the "cast vote" button. I hear my husband joking with the voting official. After twenty years, he is the man I trust, the one person whose decisions I support, a man I believe in. The man I love. I don’t need passion to tell me which direction to choose. It is enough to simply believe.

In The Fray is a nonprofit staffed by volunteers. If you liked this piece, could you please donate $10?