Two Days In The Life Of An American Voter

Dear Readers,

100I’m excited to announce that this is my 100th post! I couldn’t have come this far without your readership, comments, and support. I cherish each and every one of you. THANK YOU!!!

Now, on to more serious topics. I’m bypassing my usual mid-week quote to share with you my two-day experience on this wild, historic, American presidential election ride.

November 8, 2016: Election Day
I arrive at the polling station (a local elementary school) in the morning to perform my civic duty. Regardless of whether or not you like the presidential candidates, it’s always a good idea to vote for your state and local representatives.

 

After sneaking on to the Internet all day at work to get election updates, I finally head home, where I cook dinner and then plant my rear end on the sofa, armed with a glass of wine and a romance novel, to watch history unfold.

 

By 1:00 AM, it’s clear that Trump’s going to win. I go to bed.

November 9, 2016: Day after election

 

My work schedule is too busy to call out. In the class I teach, we ditch the lesson plan because the students want to talk. Some of the females cry. They don’t want a president who brags about grabbing female private parts. The males are more subdued, except one, who vows to learn as much as he can about civics. In the afternoon, a student-led anti-Trump rally is held on campus. Some students boo it.

Is it me, or does this kind of remind you of The Hunger Games?

The Empire State Building, NYC, lit up with Trump. Is it me, or does this kind of remind you of The Hunger Games?

 

Two students, a male and female, watched Hillary's concession speech in my office with me. The female was crying; the male was stoic.

Hillary Clinton doing her civic duty. Two students, a male and female, watch her concession speech in my office. The female cries; the male is silent.

Until today, I’ve avoided posting anything on Facebook about the election. I didn’t comment on any Trump or Clinton bashing posts by “friends”, despite all of the mean-spirited rants, memes, articles, etc. about both candidates. Today, though, I finally cave in and write this:

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The post incites the wrath of my aunt. She lives in another state, has no idea who I voted for, or if I even voted for a presidential candidate at all, yet she makes lots of assumptions. She assumes this post has something to do with the Clintons, brings up Bill’s intern scandal, and demands I tell her if Hillary has ever volunteered in a soup kitchen when cameras weren’t watching. All of this is happening while I’m out to dinner with my husband and son, trying to relax and forget all about this election. Well, what did I expect when I posted this, right?

This post has nothing whatsoever to do with the Clintons, I say. I am merely looking to hold our next president accountable for some things I noticed during his campaign. But since she brought it up, both Bill’s and Trump’s behavior toward women is disgusting and unacceptable. Another Facebook “friend” adds that Clinton was rightfully impeached for it; Trump was elected president in spite of it. I refrain from commenting on this. As for the soup kitchen, I don’t know, Aunty, just as I don’t know if Trump has or not. Your guy won. Be glad. I hope he does a good job.

I truly hope, for our country’s sake, that he does a good job. And I’m so glad this election is over.

Hanging Chads and Election Silliness

With another U.S. presidential election only days away, I thought it might be fun to bring a new definition to the term “hanging chad”. Remember those from the 2000 presidential election between George Bush and Al Gore? Officials were trying to determine if the partially punched out holes on some ballets were votes or not. Some chads were hanging, others were pregnant, and America and the world were shaking their heads. Ultimately, the Supreme Court made the final decision, which goes to show you that Mark Twain’s quote, “If voting mattered they wouldn’t let you do it” is spot on. I hope you get a chuckle, and may we all survive this year’s election. PEACE!

 

What a Dumb Thing to Say

My nine year old son started school recently and, as usual, I took the day off from work. First day of school is a half day. I like to pick him up after school and spend the afternoon with him, to help with the transition back.  It’s our little tradition.

After I dropped him off in the morning, I headed to the gym for the first time in a month. As I worked out my legs, a man I hadn’t seen in a while approached me. He’s one of those guys you try to avoid because he loves to talk your ear off. Before you know it, a half hour has gone by and you’ve done nothing but listen to him ramble on when you should have been working out. However, given the fact that I had three hours to spare before I needed to pick up my son, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to be friendly.

That was my first mistake.

At one point in the mostly one-sided conversation, he asked me how old I was. I told him, and watched his eyes widen with what I like to think was disbelief, but the truth is he appeared to recoil from me, as if I’d just told him I had leprosy. Then he said the dumbest thing imaginable, Well, you don’t look as good as you used to. I mean, you don’t need to lose weight, but you could use some toning up. Your skin’s not bad, though, no crow’s feet or anything.

I sat in stunned silence, before making my second mistake. I told him I’d lost close to 15 pounds since last year. To which he responded with the even dumber, I can’t believe you let yourself go like that.

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What a dumb ass. That’s what I wanted to say to him. That’s what I wanted to title this post, but decided against it. This guy knew nothing about me or why I’d gained the weight, during a stressful period in life while I was working full-time, pursuing a master’s degree, and dealing with some major family issues. (And yes, numbing myself with cheese and crackers and wine too many nights, and not exercising, but what business is that of his?) Yet he had the audacity to think he could comment on my appearance, on my body!

Instead, I politely said that I had to pick up my son soon from school and needed to get on with my workout. He left me and went to accost another unsuspecting female. If only I’d had the courage to tell him what I thought of his dumb remarks, though it probably wouldn’t have mattered. I doubt he would have fully understood how dumb they really were.

How do you handle it when someone says something dumb or inappropriate to you?