Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Veni, vidi, voted

Yes, I voted. Yes, thanks to some apparent conspiracy brewing between Blogger and my computer, this is now ancient history. But I did it, dammit: dragged myself and my two uncooperative toddlers to the polls, and I didn't even get a little "I VOTED" sticker in return. I'm still bitter about this, so now you're gonna hear about it.

The first and most obvious bit of happiness is that for the first time in memory, I cast votes for people who ended the evening showered by balloons and deafened by jubilant cheers, instead of cloaked in humility and grace in the face of defeat. Confession: the winning thing is way more fun.

The other good news is that, even after putting the Randomizer to serious work, I can't find one single bloggy rant from the poor Dallas voter who accidentally said "aye" to a mess o' bonds she didn't support, simply because she had the misfortune to stand behind a frazzled, hysterical woman and her two snot-nosed, screeching children, whose yowls of protest prevented her from thinking clearly, or at all.

I am so terribly sorry, anonymous Dallas voter. If it makes you feel any better, I personally intended to vote a thoughtful, considerate ballot after independent review of the candidates and issues. But once the screaming began, it was straight-ticket city, baby. Apparently, I had good company.

But back to our scene at the polling place: S and K were indeed invited to participate in Mommy's civic duty, and they were in full agreement that this would be a fun morning activity... until I rolled their stroller into the high-school library.

Then Katie saw books. Lots and lots of books. She likes to read books, it's true, and for this I'm grateful. But before the actual reading, she really likes the unshelving. Sweeping tomes large and small from their neat rows with one fell swoop makes her heart skip a beat.

I surmised that this might be seen as inappropriate behavior in this large and quiet space filled with many elderly voters, all of whom had comments about how cute my little voters were and how they would soon be inheriting all of our world's current and future woes. (Happy voting to you, too, kind sir.)

The comments and aren't-they-precious looks stopped just as Katie realized that there would be no unshelving this morning. That's when the screaming began. In desperation, I gave her my purse, which placated her for just a second before Spencer snatched it from her clutches and set her to wailing again. I grabbed it back from him to return to her, and then he began to shriek. And so it went.

Hissing at them between clenched teeth, as I frantically colored in little circles next to bond propositions, accomplished nothing. The decibel levels were hitting a fever pitch as I tagged one last circle, then turned my tail and headed for the door. With ballots in hand. Oops.

Thankfully, a juror took pity on me and steered me toward the electronic ballot box, then covered my stunned muppers in official-looking stamps while I filed my vote. Whew.

Note to self: Book babysitter now for next year's Election Day.

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