Sunday, October 28, 2012

Old dog learns new trick

I went to my first presidential election when I was 3 1/2 years old. My mother took me with her to the grade school gymnasium, and I remember standing in the little booth with her while she marked her ballot with one penciled X after another. Even as a tot, I somehow understood that this was An Important Thing that grownups did.

When I grew old enough to vote, I was always engrossed by the whole voting experience - the locations, the people, the changing technology. I'm so fascinated by it, in fact, that I never had any desire to vote by absentee ballot, even when they relaxed the restrictions so that you didn't need a reason to ask for one. Voting at the dining table, in my jammies, would not feel like real voting to me.

This year, though, we have early voting - live, in-person, early voting - and one of the polling sites is just a couple of miles from our house. T voted there, since he has a long shift on election day, and voting would be inconvenient for him. Yesterday, I decided I had pretty much made up my mind about everyone, so I voted, too.

The polling location was in a strip mall, next to a grocery store. Two young people stood outside with "Vote Here Today" signs. When I got out of my car, they yelled across the road, "Have you voted yet?" I pointed and said, "That's where I'm headed." "Good" they yelled back. The actual voting had all of the things I expect, including a wait in line with a variety of citizenry, which did my heart great good. The volunteer workers seemed very professional and by-the-book. There was even an infant there with her young parents, experiencing her own first election.

Early voting: Glad I tried it, would do it again.

You're going to vote, too - right? RIGHT? Don't make me come over there!

I was going to sing us out with the song from Grease about Sandy, in honor of my friends who are waiting for the hurricane. Then I remembered that I don't like that song. Luckily, YouTube offered me some other Travolta songs, and this one is perfect. Plus, Chris Walken singing! He was on CBS Sunday Morning today. Did you know he has been married to the same woman since 1969? No wonder he could be so convincing with these lyrics.

No comments: