Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One Padded Cell Coming Right Up!

Sometime within the last week or two I began imagining all of the terrible things that might befall me as I went to cast my vote for our country’s new commander and chief. I saw myself standing in the pouring rain with both of my children huddled under an umbrella inhaling the cold pneumatic air into their lungs. I quailed at visions of insane voters hurling threats if they discovered whom I intended to vote for. I anticipated the long, long lines stretched as far as the eye could see, and began to formulate plans for keeping my children from running into the nearby traffic-laden road.

I realize that all of this is ridiculous. It only took me about sixty seconds to realize just how ridiculous. But during those sixty seconds that is where my mind took me: threats, gunshot wounds, and hail, snow, and sleet. Even if any of those things were to happen, they were completely out of my control so I decided to get control of myself and tried to take a more Que Sera, Sera attitude toward the whole thing. Happily, I did very well. Until this morning.

The day dawned warmly with a hazy sort of sunnyness, and there was no rain (or hail or sleet or even snow) in the forecast. The plan was to wait for my husband to get home and then decide whether to take the kids along or go separately. For about two hours after I crawled out of bed I did really well. And then it hit me. I just had to go vote. Right away. Get it over with. Immediately! When this mood hits me there is no use trying to ignore it. I tend to wander around like a person sick in the head. No dishes get washed. I can’t eat. I can’t focus. I get cranky.

Once I make up my mind to do something no matter what awaits me, I feel better almost instantly. I really do. So the kids and I got dressed and cheerfully hopped into the car. When we arrived at our destination the sun still shone and there was no line. The three of us, and our you-must-stay-with-mommy accoutrements were in and out of the polling place in less than ten minutes. No one threatened us. The poll workers were friendly and extremely helpful. Neither of the kids mashed buttons on the voting machine, making me vote for the wrong candidate. It was a lovely experience.

There were, however, plenty of lines to be found elsewhere. The wait at Wendy’s was two to three times longer than at the voting booth (I felt that the kids deserved a treat for listening so nicely when Mommy gave an impassioned speech on NOT TOUCHING ANYTHING!). And then there was the line at the grocery store, and also the construction traffic we hit on the way to and from the store. Just another reason why it is foolishness to try and predict conditions and circumstances: lines where one doesn’t expect them and no lines where one does. I find it helpful when silly fears are proven to be false; it helps me to control them better the next time around. It may just rain yet though. There is a suspicious darkness falling outside, and my husband informs me that he is on his way home to vote. And it’s raining on him.


Ceidra said...

I didn't have to wait, either! And I'm 99% certain that I voted for the right person--by which I also mean the person for whom I intended to vote. Anyway, I'm hoping that eventually I will notice enough times that my worrying was wrong and I may realize how dumb of a waste of time it is and give up on it altogether.

fawndear said...

I just love it when our minds play havoc with reality! Mine does it frequently.

Glad you voted!