I voted today. My dad took me to the fairgrounds early in the afternoon. The trip there and back was terrifying. Riding in a car with him driving is like bungee jumping without checking your ropes first. He almost got us killed at what he thought was a four-way stop, but I could tell it wasn’t; and we were almost hit by a pickup truck, at which point I shrieked and covered my head, and my dad finally hit the brakes. The rest of the trip wasn’t much better. And he was driving my car so he could hear his radio program.
So we entered the exhibits building and found a table where a woman took our IDs and asked if we were in the same household. We nodded. “Are you his wife?” she asked me.
The nodding stopped.
“No, I’m his daughter,” I said.
She had the decency to make a face, like, oh hell, I’m an idiot.
“Good guess,” I said encouragingly. I gave her a thumbs-up.
My dad was flattered. Like, heck yeah, I’ve bagged myself a 43-year-old wife. Look at me!
So then we took the paperwork she handed us to a secondary check-in spot, where the man behind the table went and got our ballots. My dad very jokingly said, “The only thing I’m upset about is that we have to walk all the way across this huge room to vote.” He laughed weakly.
My dad thinks he’s funny.
The man took offense and said, “Hey, it’s not my fault. Don’t get mad at me. I had nothing to do with it.” He wasn’t messing around. I can feel energy coming off people, and he felt hostile and threatened.
Where’d my Jesus facepalm go? (Thank you, Jesus! You can facepalm with the best of them.) I was so freaking embarrassed. My dad was joking, but this man told us off for it. Despite my aggressive tendencies, I’d never have spoken up in that situation about walking across the huge room, unless I had a broken leg, or something, in which case I might’ve asked for help. But here we were getting told off because of my dad’s sense of humor.
I waited for him to get his ID back, and then we crossed the large area to vote. It went mostly smoothly after that, except that I had to ask a third worker where to put my vote. It was all the way across in another corner of the gargantuan room. So I found a vote counter, slid my ballot in, waited for the screen to tell me my vote had been tallied, and that was that.
My dad and I left, and he located his cigar from an outdoor ashtray, and he lit it up, and I’m proud to say that I found my car before he found it.
I’m not sure why voting is always an ordeal for me. Four years ago, you all might recall that I took out my voting booth, which clattered to the floor in slow-motion, after which point I did the only sensible thing I could do: I took a bow and waved at everyone pageant-style. I’m not sure things went much better this time around. But hey, I voted.
I’m a huge believer in voting. People need to make their voices heard. I don’t think people should be forced to vote, because the desire to be heard should come from within; but I do feel that people need to tap into that and vote. Every vote counts, and we should all contribute to the collective decision.