Goodness, I’m offline for a day or two and Word Press gives me a hard time when I try to access my blog. Geez. I suppose everyone else will forget me too, but the days of writing a post every day are gone.
I might be retired but I’m awfully busy. Take yesterday for example, David and I stood in line two hours to cast a ballot in our election and no one we voted for won. While we were standing in line, I leaned on the fence to the playground (we vote in our local public school). and then propped myself on the wall when we reached the building.
I felt like I would collapse before we reached the multipurpose room where elections in our precinct have been held the past few years. Suddenly we were inundated with about 40 “observers.” We had read the UN was sending observers to our voting sites, and should have been ready because our site is the closest to the downtown hotels, but the sudden influx of unwelcome visitors was a bit much.
I was just about to make a final approach to a row of chairs the election officials had placed along the wall for the disabled and seniors like me, when about a dozen of these people, oblivious to my plight (or the woman behind me with a walker), swarmed around and settled like unwanted insects at a picnic.
I wasn’t about to take this behavior lightly, and leaving my customary charming welcoming self behind, I held up my cane threateningly, and said in my sternest voice, “Do you mind if I sit down!” The whole group of observers suddenly rose as a group and floated silently away to annoy other voters.
Welcome to America where nasty old ladies with threatening canes are not to be toyed with.
Voting is a serious affair for most of us, and except for one idiot talking on his cell phone in Swahili or some strange dialect, the polling station was silent as a church or a library. Everyone else the multiethnic crowd of voters was extremely well-behaved. A few children tagged along with a parent to observe voting.
After we processed through the external line to reach the station where we showed our ID, I did my usual bit which involves me handing David my cane (thus tying up two of the people at the reception desk) while I plop my bag on the table and search through my wallet. (I could not do this while I was in line because I had no free hands.)
Every election, I look for my voter card and can’t find it. After I have pulled everything from my wallet, including car registration and insurance cards, unfilled prescriptions, and other cards (health insurance, long-term health care, etc.), I finally toss my driver’s license on the table with its 10-year old photo of me looking like a wanted criminal. ‘Oh yes, that’s you,’ says the guy at the table.
Next the ID fellow directed David and me to a woman in a purple sweater who showed us two more lines, one for the paper ballots, the other for the machines. Although we have used the paper ballots in Democrat primaries when the polling station is practically empty, this time we both used the electronic machines to instantly record our votes.
And it was over in a flash. I returned to the chairs along the wall to wait for David who always takes longer to vote. I yelled ‘Pop’ when I saw him (his nickname from age 5) and everyone in line stared at me as if I had yelled fire in a crowded theatre.
When they saw the crippled old man hobbling with a cane, and wearing his red Tam o Shanter hat and his new grey grandfather sweater they smiled indulgently.