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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yo Vote! (Children Mentioned)

No nipples were shown at the polls today. I had considered dressing the Wolvog in a full-body snowsuit both due to the cold and due to the promise that no nipples would therefore be shown. But this is America, damn it, and a man has to have choices--to show your nipples to other voters or not show your nipples to other voters, so he wore his shorter winter coat and chose to keep his chest geography to himself.

We also may have had a talk before we entered about appropriate behaviour.

My morning was as American as apple pie, if the apple pie happened to be baked by a vaguely-Middle-Eastern-looking-maybe-Latina-or-somewhere-
in-Eastern-Europe woman. Senior citizens worked the polls, informing me that my husband voted earlier that morning and did I know that? They said it in the same voice used by someone who had seen your husband getting out of the car of a prostitute. I smiled and said, "yes, sometimes I let him out of the house. You know, for really important things like voting."

A former student showed me to my booth and taught me how to work the touch-screen computer, reminding me that I probably wanted to check off that I needed my ballot in English. Let no one say that this boy learned nothing in my class.

I allowed the Wolvog and ChickieNob to check off each vote for me by touching the screen. I whispered in their ear, "check off the box next to Harak Oblinton" (a lady never tells!) to which they would scream out to the room, "you're voting for Harak Oblinton!" And every head would turn and we'd go through the same 30-second lecture about whispering and privacy and how maybe I didn't want all of our neighbours to know who I was voting for because some of these people were the same people who annoyed me with constant phone calls about the candidates.

The whole thing made me proud to be an American, proud that I had done my civic duty even if I hadn't pulled my shit together today to get the rear view mirror in my car fixed. We walked through the food store afterwards with that same self-satisfied expression of those who give blood or help little old ladies cross the street. We did our part to save America, to vote for the person who we think has the best chance of being a figurative transfusion or a arm to grip as you dodge fast-moving cars. And everyone at my polling place knows who I think that person is; thanks to the Wolvog and ChickieNob who exercised free speech and told the room my voting record.

12 comments:

Beagle said...

I feel so left out (as opposed to written in).

I, beagle, hereby pledge to get my citizenship in time for the next election.

You read it here first!

Julia said...

Monkey wanted to fill in my oval on the optical scan ballot, so we had to discuss who as well. In her school they had a mock election that day, so she had herself a favorite, but it turned out that was because she likes the sound of the name. Well, she'll learn. And her school is so into civil rights and civil duty that I don't even have to do the whole thing by myself. Although I did begin indoctrinating her nice and early-- for '06, I called people and she colored nearby. I couldn't do my usual on the ground stuff because I was pretty big already and developed sciatica. Oh, fun times. But she got to learn about why parents think elections are important, what we believe the government is for, and what criteria we apply to selecting among the candidates. She was 4.5, but some of that information is still retained. Cool, I say.

Jendeis said...

Good job on the voting thang! We voted early this morning too, and I even wound up on Channel 7 at noon for 2 seconds (in a ponytail and no makeup)! My only problem? I just found out that I have the largest head ever. My head took up the whole screen! Ach!

Io said...

Whoohoo! Go Harak Oblinton! I love that your kids helped you vote, but *especially* that they are exercising their right to free speech :)

Lori said...

So you're not going to tell us who is sporting a brand new albatross necklace?

luna said...

love the civics lesson (the constitu-wha?). I have vivid memories of going into the voting booth with my mom as a kid. before the days of chads and touch screens, she let me pull the lever. love it. ~luna

katd said...

Hooray for voting! Like I said, I'm very, very jealous. I can't wait:)

Southern Comfortable said...

I never got the experience of seeing my parents vote. They're totally secretive about it. I remember going to the polls with my mom as a kid, but I didn't get to go in the booth. To this day, they won't tell me who they vote for. Georgia has an open primary, and they wouldn't even tell me which PRIMARY they voted in. Too weird.

sharah said...

Yay! Nothing like starting a civic education early in life :)

SarahSews said...

I used to love voting with my Dad. I registered as soon as I was old enough and always vote. I love that the kids went with you. So fun.

SarahSews said...

I used to love voting with my Dad. I registered as soon as I was old enough and always vote. I love that the kids went with you. So fun.

Monica Fayth said...

I remember when my mom went to vote for Reagan (the second time). I don't get to vote this time until March 4.