Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Cory for Prez: A Tale of Defeat on Repeat

During this Election Day, I couldn’t help but reminisce on my time running for the White House.

It was my 4th grade year and for some reason I really believed I should be and could be Vice President of my Elementary. I was bound and determined to be elected to serve my school. A vote for Cory is a vote for the people!  Cafeteria chicken fried steak every day! If you have never had the opportunity to enjoy a chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy with a roll at an elementary school cafeteria, you truly have not lived.

At my school you were able to run for two offices. If you won both you would then choose the better office and the first loser runner up would fill the spot. VP and Treasurer were the only offices allowed for 4th graders, so naturally I chose both. Now in spite of my rough looks, I had a lot of friends! So again, I felt pretty good about my campaign trail.

I designated a campaign manager (aka my mom) and the sign making commenced!

I My parents wrote my speech the night before and it was perfect. To all the haters judging me right now for not writing my own speech, haters gonna hate and playas gonna play. Sorry not sorry for my parents being awesome speech writers.
We played off how I’m the middle child so I’m good at taking orders and giving orders. My parents, the geniuses #JanaAndDannyforPrez.

I was prepared, well versed and was ready to blow everyone out of the water. Except for one small issue. My competition, Brenna O’Toole. She was probably just about the cutest kid you’ve ever seen. She was tiny and fun and everyone liked her. Except for me, because competition duh. *Spoiler alert: we actually became great friends and co-captained our cheerleading squad to a national victory.*

Speech day was here. I presented my VP speech perfectly. I had parents of other running mates standing and cheering for me. That’s when you know you need to pack up and take it home losers. I had this in the bag. Then it happened. I was O’Tooled.

My arch nemesis strutted toward the tall podium, stepped onto the step stool and spoke the 5 words that would ultimately win her the election. “Yes, I am standing up.” The crowd roared! Laughter, applause, people cooing as if she were a puppy or a newborn baby. She knew what she had done and she was proud of it. I mean what could I have said to top that? “Yes, I can eat a large pizza and I’m only 9?” “Yes, I am the size of an 8th grader.” Doesn’t have the same effect.

Later that day after the votes had been rigged counted, the candidates gathered in the library before the official results were presented to the school. 4th grade offices were first. “Brenna you have received the most votes for VP AND Treasurer, which office would you like to hold?” Praying she would choose Treasurer (ya right) she looked me straight in the eye – “I’ll take VP.” Well of course you will. Treasurer went to the boy who threw candy out to the crowd, which was against the rules and you know Cory don’t play like that. I was hurt but knew this fight wasn’t over.

5th grade started and I was back with a vengeance.  This year I would be running for President and I would be pulling out all the stops. My good friends decided to also run and I envisioned me on my throne with all my friends around me. Perfection.

My parents were more fired up than I was. They constructed the best speech that really hit home. The title – Cooking with Cory. Brilliant. I went through the ingredients on what really made up the perfect President. Respect, Honesty, Responsibility and the secret ingredient – a whole lotta votes! I then stirred all of the ingredients and out came a big banner – Vote Cory Kennedy for President! It really was the best speech I’ve ever seen. I honestly feel bad that I didn’t share my tips and tricks with the 2016 presidential candidates. Sorry Donald and Hillz!

Speech Day 2.0. Just like before, others presented their sub-par speeches and spoke about wanting more recess. Lame. Then it was my turn. My cooking show set was fixed before me including my huge pot, utensils and “ingredients”. I went through my speech with ease, pausing for loud rumbles of laughter. Parents were standing on their seats screaming for my autograph, children were crying tears of joy. Their elementary school savior was here. Make elementary school great again!

I had done it. That was it, I pretty much shut the place down. The other candidates were crying, one ran off the stage in embarrassment. I mean did we really even need to vote? There was a clear winner here.

Oh but wait, there was one speech left. “Yes, I am standing up.” My ears perked and a chill ran down my back. I heard the words that sent me back into election PTSD. This could not be happening again! Surely no one would fall for this a second time!

I campaigned HARD that day. Maybe even bribing the 3rd graders with leftover Halloween candy. The bribe may have been a lie because honestly do you really think I had LEFT OVER Halloween candy? They could see right through my fat lies.

My amazing fifth grade teacher who was over Student Council was the one to deliver the news. She announced all of my friends as winners first. Secretary,  Treasurer, Vice President. How perfect that I would get to rule over with them! Now for the grand finale. “With the most votes, the office of President goes to….”

Honestly, it’s hard for me to relive this moment… I want to believe she said Cory Kennedy but sadly, Brenna had crushed me once again. IMMEDIATELY, while the others were tearing up and protesting for a recount, I reached over to Brenna and congratulated her. You know why? Because you don’t hate the player, you hate the game. And because I am a great loser – I just don’t usually lose.

 I suppressed my tears until I got home. I felt so conflicted. I was so upset that I lost (again) but so happy for my friends. I also got a delicious cookie, balloons, sympathy cards and stuffed animals so that helped with the sting of defeat (especially the cookie – food heals all wounds).

I walked away from the big loss with a few valuable lessons:

1.   Always stay humble. Congratulate your opponent no matter what.

2.   If at first you don’t succeed, only try again if Brenna O’Toole isn’t running.

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