A millennial won the midterm election here yesterday. I left unfinished Part Two of Two Girls and Their Adventures in Washington, DC just to relate our role in this epic midterm election.
A millennial is that young-ish adult, child of a boomer parent, who is headed for his 30s.
I think. Not “I think” about my son’s age, but the fact that even the person who coined the term for the millennial generation doesn’t seem too sure about the age range. The Baby Boomers don’t shilly shally like that. We have a definite range for the years we were born.
Election day, November 06, started out an ordinary day. We had neglected to vote during early voting, so we planned to do it late in the day on the 6th – like five minutes before the polls closed. We thought that was smart.
This is the kind of person you let help choose your leaders, people.
I had errands to run yesterday afternoon, so I started out in my car to run them. Not three minutes after I left the house I got into a street brawl. Street brawl sounds so much better than what it was. I love the idea of a “street brawl.”
I had crossed two lanes of a busy street and took up my place in the middle lane, right signal on to merge into my closest lane. I’m a safe, considerate driver, because there is no other way to behave on the road, and plus, I drive a mini van. Give me a Mustang and things might be different.
The last car passed me on the right, a red one by the way (just so you know I was paying attention), and I began to move into that lane. At that EXACT second, a silver compact moved from the far lane into my lane. The driver blared the horn, passed me, and started waving its stupid hand out the window in a manner not generally meant to be apologetic.
I pulled up behind it (The driver, not the car. Which was blameless), at the left turn lane. Awkward! thought I. I could see its stupid face in its side mirror, but made no sign of recognition. The driver felt no such compulsion to let it go and proceed with its day. No, it leaned out its window and yelled, “Watch where you’re going, bitch!”
Oh, to lead off with name calling whether you’re in the right or in the wrong is a guaranteed match to kindling waiting to be lit. The fact that she was in the wrong was the lighter fluid.
I responded in my best full throated scream, “You saw me waiting to change lanes, asshole!” I refrained from using a stronger term for nasty women, but I was sorely tempted. The driver kept squawking, so I grabbed my phone to take a picture of her car. I couldn’t get it to work fast enough and the light changed. It was really just for effect, anyway. I hoped she might think I work for the DMV and have access to the database. Suddenly, she’s driving without a license or insurance. Tut, tut.
Off the car went with its driver waving again out the window. I entertained fantasies of following her and smiling in a sinister way whenever she looked in her rear view mirror. But who has that kind of time?
I was so angry it was actually scary. I would cheerfully have beaten her to a pulp. Cheerfully and joyfully stomped her.
I went on to have more unproductive encounters and accomplished only one of my errands. By the last errand, a fatalistic attitude had crept into play. An MRI CD that was supposed to be waiting for me, wasn’t, and I merely replied to the young woman that it was par for the day, and went on home. Sugar didn’t even get her run at the park, since it took me three hours to NOT accomplish anything.
I plopped on the sofa after plating some dinner and sat a glass of blackberry brandy next to me. I had found it poking its head out of the freezer like it was looking for me. It’d been in there for awhile, but I have no clue when it first arrived. I began to sip and decided to kill the bottle. It was almost empty anyway.
The MOTH and I, after commiserating over rotten, rude people who are an integral part of his days, decided to forego voting. Why, I’m not sure. He was tired, and I was getting drunk without realizing it. Is this the norm for alcoholics? They don’t even realize they’re getting drunk? I sure didn’t. I haven’t even been tipsy for several years and rarely drink. I have no immunity built up.
My millennial son told me not long after I’d drunk most of the second glass that he’d like to go cast his vote for his right leaning and/or, independent cronies. So, I boozily agreed that we would go. I had planned on just passing out in the car in the parking lot while he went to the polls because I was in no shape to exercise my democratic rights in a sober, patriotic manner.
We set off for Roy Martin Middle School, the place where I’d completed my student teaching for my degree. We ended up in some elementary school I’d never seen before, but finally found the right one. I decided I’d vote anyway, and we found ourselves in a line that went snaked across the quad and around the gym. It wasn’t moving.
We took our places in line and talked about other elections, like the time I ran for governor of California and received one vote. Gray Davis (whose name I couldn’t remember until today), was being recalled as governor, and Schwarzenegger was running. I like Gray Davis for his championing of the worker and resented his recall. So I wrote in my own name and voted for myself.
We began to talk to the man in front of us. By the time we reached the gym, we were all old friends. At intervals, a poll worker would come out and ask me to come inside and have a seat because I was sitting on my rollator and the ADA has a powerful lobby. I asked if I got to vote ahead of the one hundred other people and when she said “No,” I decided to stick it out with the guys. After all, I had a seat and no one else did. How was I suffering? I need to vote for better privileges for the likes of me.
Dina Titus was shaking hands and thanking people for waiting so long to vote. I shook her hand and said something to her. I can’t remember what. Maybe “Who are you?” But she’s a Democrat, so it’s alright. I voted for her.
The MOTH told me today, after he brought me coffee, toast, and aspirin in bed, that I was “babbling in line.” Babbling? I am positive every word of mine dripped with wit and erudity-ness. It was hard to focus my eyes, but that is really the only problem I was having.
We finally reached the gym where I was signed in and given my voting card. The poll worker didn’t ask for my ID. Not even for the presidential election did anyone ask me for an ID. I could have gone back and voted many times.
Vote Early, Vote Often.
I discussed the various flags hung up on the walls with two young people in front of me and we agreed that more colors should be used in flags. Pink, purple, black, beige, all colors that could be used to distinguish flags. Stars and stripes are used indiscriminately as well. There are triangles, rhombus(es?), and cylinders that ought to be utilized.
I finally got to vote in one of the four working booths. At least eight or more of them were out of service. I was very glad it wasn’t raining that night. I did get to cut in front of at least fifty or more people, but then I had to wait for my guys to vote, which took another hour.
In the meantime, an older man, named Leroy, and I, had an interesting conversation. He said a few pithy things about what kind of jobs I could do as a senior, and in the course of the conversation, he said he used to tell his kids there were “three things that matter.”
I can only remember two of them. They were “the color of our skin” (he was black, before anyone loses their mind – notice only he could have gotten away with that statement), and “our word.” The third escapes me now and forever. When the MOTH finished voting and came up to us, Leroy was telling me to “sue the landlord” if there were stairs where I lived. I said to Don, “Kill yo’ landlord,” and I told Leroy that by all rights, Don was my landlord.
We all behaved like civilized citizens of a developed country, waited three hours to vote and went on home. We didn’t get home until 9:30, but some of the polling workers had been there since 5:30 am. They get paid for that, by the way, or else they would have gone home by noon.
Today, I am a hung over wreck, but hey, I voted. Thanks to a millennial.
Here’s how I carried on a noble voting tradition: