Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An Historic Moment

First, just let me say that I hate the use of “an” in front of a word starting with “H”. Hate it with a passion. I’m sure there is some obscure rule that supports it, but I chose to ignore it. Let’s keep things simple. The rule is that “an” is only used in front of words that start with a vowel. Last I checked, the vowels were A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y. Therefore, “an” should only be used in front of words that start with A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y. Well, maybe not “Y”, but definitely not “H”. I want to reach through the TV and smack every news reader that said, “This is an historic election.”

Yesterday was a very exciting day for me. I couldn’t help but check the news websites to read about the long lines that such high turnout was creating. I loved reading blogs about everyone’s different voting experiences. I commend everyone that took their children with them. You are setting a wonderful example for the next generation of voters.

There was a lot of talk about voting at work too. Everyone kept asking if I had voted yet or not. There was no talk about if any of us were voting. It was understood that we all were. While I may not agree with the political stances of many of the people I work with, I do think it’s wonderful that so many of them exercise their right to vote.

By mid-morning, my excitement had gotten the better of me. I called my dad to find out how long he had to wait to vote. He said it wasn’t too bad, but he’s retired and can go during the off times. He very quickly changed the subject and started telling me about how many squirrels he has live trapped recently.

My dad has an ongoing battle with the squirrels. He feeds the birds, and it drives him crazy that the squirrels interfere with the feeders. So, a few years ago he bought a live trap and started catching them and releasing them several miles away. This goes on All. Year. Long.

“So, have you made a dent in the population yet?”

“Oh no. Ha ha ha. They just keep coming back. I’ll never make a dent.”

“So, um, why do you do it?”

I guess as long as he’s not surfing the web for squirrel recipes that I shouldn’t worry about it too much.

Well, I was really looking more for some exciting election discussion, not an update on World War III - the squirrel insurrection, so I was happy when I had to end the call to go to a meeting.

When I had another break, I called Andy to see what the polls were like in our neighborhood. He had gone during mid afternoon, and commented that there wasn’t much wait for him in the L-M group with a snicker. Have I mentioned that I hyphenated, so I’m in the A-K group. It’s his mom’s fault that I had to do that, so I don’t think he should enjoy my inconvenience quite so much.

As the day wore on, I continued to read blogs, check the news, and marvel at what an exciting election this would be. Finally, after a late meeting, I left work to go and vote. I was concerned about the lines, knowing that Andy, Michael, and dinner were waiting for me at home. But, I’d gladly wait in line to play my part in history. I was looking forward to sharing voting experiences with those in line around me. I was fantasizing about the stories I would tell my grandchildren about what it was like to vote for the first African American President.

Then, I got there.

Hmmm, it doesn’t look too busy.

So I head through the throng of people that hand out paper trying to change your mind at the last minute. I refused them all. We have killed enough trees for this election, and I won’t willing support any more of it.

And then I encountered the adorable 8th graders at the door. Why are there kids at the door? What is this about? OMG! It’s voter intimidation! They are using cute kids to influence voters! NO!

“Ma’am? Please stop at our bake sale on the way out” They are evil, I tell you. Evil. They didn’t even have on Girl Scout uniforms to warm me of their high calorie charity event.

Flustered, I enter the polling room. And there was no one there, not one voter. I gave my name, got my card, and then had to interrupt a woman who was engrossed in a book to set the voting machine. Record turn outs? Long lines? An historic election? Where is everyone? This is it?

So, I voted and exited the building right into that stupid bake sale. Gah! First, you dash my dreams of an exciting and stimulating wait to vote, and now you are tempting me with delicious baked goods? Seriously, this is just wrong. Oh, don’t you dare cock your head to the side and say please you sweet little girl. I’m not that strong!

After making such an important decision as to who I want to run my country for the next four years, I turned to mush. I slinked by the table, stuffed a few bucks in their jar, and mumbled “terrorists” under my breath. So much for my historic vote.

I will say that the election results redeemed my election experience. I stayed up late to watch the returns, and was able to go to sleep with a smile on my face. But, I think I’m going to have to embellish my story a little for the grandkids.

10 comments:

London said...

Hey can your dad come over to my place, I've got plenty of squirrels in my attic for him to catch! My own historic voting experience was quite unexciting as well, although I did wait for two hours. And even though Obama didn't win in my state, he did win by a wide margin in my county!

Maria said...

Joanna-
I had the same 'an historic' issue yesterday, and it feels wrong, darn it! Plus, there was no bake sale at our polling station. Bummer. I guess the result in the election was better than a cookie.
Yay OBAMA!

Joanna said...

London - Seriously, the squirrels are better than my dad. But, we did have a lot of success with live traps in our attic when some red squirrels got in. Just make sure to check the traps frequently and to drive the squirrels REALLY far away when you drop them off.

Erin said...

I just have to say that i really hate putting "an" in front of historic, too!! It drives me nuts!

LauraC said...

Jon and I were discussing "an historic" all night. The rule is that if it starts with a vowel sound, it's "an"

An event
An honorable discharge
A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT!

Julie said...

"An historic" totally bugs me too. Most everyone in my county votes by mail, but when I went to drop my ballot off at the library, there was a HUGE line for live voting! HUGE! It felt exciting, even though all I did was drop my ballot in a box. Lana kept saying, "I voted Mommy"

I too hyphenated, but it sounds like you may have an interesting story. Your mil made you do it?

Heidi O said...

So your dad's story reminds me of my great grampa. But instead of live traps, he just took out his gun and shot the squirrels when they would get in his bird feeder. I think when he was 86, he shot around 80 squirrels, only missing one or two. Then he got a little visit from the police suggesting that he not shoot his gun within city limits. He tried to explain his frustration with the squirrels for getting into the bird feeder but they weren't buying it. That was the end of his shooting birds out his window experience! lol

Becky B said...

Cute post! Love the "an" rant, actually. Poor grammer kills me, especially when it's the media, who should know better. The election, thankfully, should be historic enough to embellish, unlike your bake sale encounter! Thanks for sharing...

patrick said...

it's awesome that there has been this "problem" of long lines all over... people taking a greater interest in public issues is always a good thing

Zoey's Mommy said...

Great blog! Your voting experience was a lot more interesting than mine. I'll have to blog about it later.

Also, I hate the "an" in front of "h" words too!