Election Day 2008

This morning, after trying to convince Gideon to watch Sesame Street so that I could shower (no luck.  Instead of loving television the way every other child does, he wanders upstairs and into my bathroom where he alternately attempts to get in the shower with me or climb onto the countertop) and making lunch to take to Jud for our weekly family midday break, I packed up the kiddo and drove to the polling place.

It’s a church just down the street from us and I would probably have voted early except that I knew our little spot would be so much more convenient.  And, mercifully, I was right.  We followed two cars into the parking lot, one of which followed the normal traffic patterns, the other did the exact opposite of what you are supposed to do and then caused a slight jam up, right before she narrowly avoided ripping off someone’s side mirror.  The someone was me, but you know, I just chalked it up to her being a supporter of the other side.  I think that’s what we’re supposed to do today, right?  Make crazy wild accusations about the other half of the country?  At least, that seems to be what’s happening on the television.  I’m just following suit.

One stroller, a fake cell phone and a bag full of rice cakes (I’m no dummy.  I also had a fun sized bag of M&Ms on standby) strapped to the kid and off we went into the basement of the building.  There was no real line, but I waited outside for a second trying to decide if the fake cell phone should be put on vibrate for the experience instead of shouting “Let’s Call Grandma!” over and over again.  I decided to let it slide and walked right on in. 

The girl in front of me was someone I knew.  She doesn’t know me.  She was a wee child when our families attended the same church in Germany where our fathers were serving in the USAF and I was in high school.  But, I could have helped out the old ladies who were trying to spell her last name and failing miserably over and over again.  She just kept saying “Van…Van…Van..” and they were already confused and stopping her.  She finally just broke out her drivers license and handed it over.  Of course, I think we all need to do the same thing to oh you know, VERIFY WHO WE ARE.  I contemplated going over to the polling place for my parents’ neighborhood and trying to vote in my mother’s name just to freak her out, but realized I probably didn’t have enough rice cakes for all of that.

It’s my turn and I tell the octogenarian seated in front of me how to spell my last name.  I repeat it only a few times and then she spots it and says “Are you Judy?”.  I sigh and say “no, that’s Jud, my husband and he’s already voted.  I’m on the next page.”  I’m no ageist.  I just think you should still be able to see the little characters that spell out people’s names.  I tell her my address (which I could have easily read off the paper) and get my ballot. 

Seated at a table where Gideon can watch two children play with Thomas toys while munching on his snack, I fill in the little circles and remember, affectionately, the days of scan-tron tests.  I wonder why we are still using this technology and then check myself because at least this works properly.  I deliver my ballot, affix stickers proclaiming my vote to both Gideon and myself and go about the rest of my day.

I have yet to visit Starbucks. I’m kind of doubting I will (But I read on Facebook that Ben & Jerry are offering a free scoop if you go in there today.  I am near tears over the fact that we don’t have one here.  Everything But The.. I’ll never quit you!).

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  1. I’m with you on the “verify who we are” thing. The lack of seriousness on that issue irks me every time I go to the polling place.

  2. Tesa actually made the previous “Phil” comment (she forgot to verify herself before she submitted). We, Tesa and I, did go out and treat ourselves to a well earned doughnut and coffee. The children got most of the doughnut and the coffee was bitter. Is this an omen for the next four years or so? The “children” will cry and complain until they get their way and the rest of us will have to swallow the bitterness? I believe that this election will be “sweet to the lips” for the United States but “bitter to the stomach.”

    • Kit and Luke
    • November 5th, 2008

    no starbucks or ben&jerry’s here. and I didn’t even get a sticker because I voted early! 😦

    I had to show my liscense when I voted in the primary, but then this time I didn’t?

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