Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Vote. — Ode to the Blue Drape Curtain of Old.

on November 5, 2012

The day is here. It is finally here. Tomorrow is the Tuesday after the first Monday of November.

Presidential Election 2012.

If ever there is an action verb that makes a difference tomorrow, November 6th, it is this one. Vote.

No matter what side you are on, Blue or Red, Donkey or Elephant, Republican or Democrat. Just Go. Vote.

It is our right. And it’s the right thing to do.

Personally, I love to vote. I love to walk through the line of volunteers in the cold at the local high school. Some of them I recognize from different times and places around this small town. We smile and nod and sometimes I spend a few seconds searching the depths of my mind for their names and how I know them. (Yes, this is how bad my memory is these days.)

There are some in red and some in blue. It feels like a bit of a parade, walking through the last of the yard signs before it clears as we get closer to the door. I traditionally accept the ballot forms and handouts from both parties, just because it seems like the polite thing to do.

It’s too late for arguing. It’s too late for debating. This is go time. Vote time.

As I get closer to the door to the auditorium, I toss the handouts in the garbage. I know it’s a waste. We should recycle these. I’ll work on that someday.

Once inside the doors, I love to approach the table of older ladies and retired civics and government teachers. I proudly display my driver’s license, when/if asked. But you should know, I always have my registered voter card with me as well. They never ask for it. We are a very small town after all. They do ask for my name and I tell them and let them know it will most likely be next to last on the list. My best friend/partner/hubby will be the last. They take out their wooden ruler and line it up with my name to double check that I am indeed in the right place to vote. I love that move right there. It is simple and old school and somehow comforting. A wooden ruler. Keeping the lines straight.

They hand me a little worn blue card with a number on it and I am told where to stand to wait my turn. I’m never concerned, there is never a long line and soon it is my turn.

“Next.” I hand over my card to the booth attendant and she holds the blue drape curtain open for me. Ok. Ok. I don’t think these are there anymore, but I miss them and I like to pretend that they still are. Now its just a 3-walled cubby kind of enclosure next to a wall.

I will pull this now imaginary curtain closed. I want my privacy. I take my time. Really, I like to make it last. Seriously, I wait all year to get to do this, why would I rush it?! I like to look it all over. I read through my choices and options. I click on my selected positions and candidates. I check them twice.

Another admission here. I miss the old school way of voting. I miss the heavy blue drape curtain that went almost to the floor, so you could just see people’s shoes behind it. I miss the little black handles on the screen that you could actually turn to the left and a little check mark would appear by your candidate. I actually miss pulling the old school lever with the red-tipped handle. It made this awesome mechanical punching of the card sound with a simultaneous dinging of a bit of an obnoxious bell. The whole experience was so much climactic than the touch screen computer these days. Thanks a lot stupid hanging chad nonsense of 2000. Ruined everything. 🙂

Now, instead of a bell, you get some kind of warning message, like, “Are you sure you want to do this?! Check your answers one more time!” Then click the large VOTE button. I don’t know if there is a ding or not. I still hear one in my head. I think there is a message, like, “Good Job. You have voted. You good and faithful American citizen, You.” Or something like that. I’ll confirm that tomorrow when I go. Vote.

I love finally peeking out from behind ‘the curtain’, and I swear the lovely lady gives me a look that reads, “What took you so long?” That is when I smile. Because I know I get a present for my good deed. I’m like a kid who is looking anxiously at the bank teller in the drive through lane, hoping she will see me in the backseat and put a sucker (or lollipop for those not in the South!) in with the cash withdrawal for my Mom. Yes, I do want my “I Voted.” sticker. It is my proof. It is my message for the rest of the world for the rest of the day. I did it. I voted. Have you?

Then we wait. We look forward to the evening when the returns start, well returning. We watch CNN and local news as the ticker posts updates and percentages. It is all very exciting actually. The wait. The anticipation for the winner to be announced.

I think everyone will agree that this has been a particular hard campaign season. We are divided. Our families. Our friends, on facebook and in real life. Our neighborhoods. Our states. There have been lots of arguments. (See Argue post.) Some good, some, well, not so good. Some feelings have been hurt. Some friends lost for the time being. (See Friend post.)

Whoever wins the race, know this: There is work to be done. And on November 7th, we start. We accept the new leadership, celebrate or lick our wounds, and we get started. That’s what we do.

Vote. Let’s All, Go. Do that.



6 responses to “Vote. — Ode to the Blue Drape Curtain of Old.

  1. Jan says:

    I feel exactly the same way about voting! I have only missed voting once since 1972 and that was when my plane was late landing in Roanoke! I passed the voting place at 7:10 p.m…heartbroken…but it wasn’t a presidential election so that comforted me somewhat. VOTE!

  2. I just nominated you for a One Lovely Blog Award!

  3. […] But wait. First, we have to celebrate…Election Day.  And I do love some voting on Election Day. I wrote about it here. […]

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