To those who lost a campaign to serve on a local village, school or library board of trustees in the recent municipal elections, I have one word for you: Congratulations.
First, you put it out there, whether your message was to pry loose some of the $112 million (or so) kitty held in reserve by Oak Park and River Forest High School or to keep village hall on a steady course. You knocked on doors, attended teas and generally made yourself available, while most people sat home with the clicker awaiting the latest Downton Abbey episode.
Second, you now get to reap the ample rewards of losing a local election for public office. Foremost? You will never have stay awake at a board meeting that runs past midnight.
If Oak Parkers are good at one thing, it's talking and talking and talking. But by losing the election, you will not have to monitor your intake of drinking water as windbags, elected and unelected, jaw on before a bathroom break.
Here's another big plus: When people stop you on the street with looney ideas, you will no longer have to listen politely and give a sagacious nod.
You will not need to have an opinion on what constitutes the humane execution of viaduct pigeons. In a town that has four indoor pools at various clubs and schools plus two public pools, you will not need to humor those who want yet another public pool.
And you will not need to address matters of public policy that in any other city in America would be considered nuts, but in Oak Park are de rigueur.
You will not have to debate the wisdom of installing heated sidewalks in merchant districts in the northern half of the northern hemisphere.
You will not have to think about spending half a million dollars to redo a library lobby even though the town spent $30 million to build the building only 10 years ago.
So again, congratulations. Rest up. Take a well-deserved vacation and count your blessings.