i wrote this days ago while sitting in a library, waiting on my next class to begin.
yesterday was a debacle. i went to vote in the primary for an upcoming local election.
i always vote. early. i'm the perfect voting citizen; i show up early, current voter registration card in hand, with a smile on my face. i'm always polite to the poll workers, even when they can't seem to figure out the computer.
i've voted in every election--local, state, and national--since i turned eighteen. i've braved horrifically long lines, freezing temperatures, snow, and really rude people to exercise my civic duty and make my voice heard. my voting experiences have always been good. until now.
for nine years, my early voting location has been the same. yesterday, i crawl out of bed, grab my registration card, brave the cold, and head to the polls.
but they weren't there.
being a responsible voter, i called the number on my registration card, discovered that the location had been moved, and drove to it. i knew as soon as i heard the new location that voting was not going to be fun.
upon pulling into the parking lot, i saw two rather disheartening things: sleazy politicians out to shake hands and kiss babies in a desperate attempt for some last minute additions to their constituencies, and something even worse: geese.
i am terrified of geese. they're shifty and untrustworthy. the new polling location, a charming stone building next to an idyllic pond, was teeming with them.
after parking and making sure that the coast was clear, i hopped out and ran inside. i was greeted by a friendly older woman who could not get my card to scan and required the help of three other poll workers. eventually, it worked and i was asked the question i dread and consider a violation of my civil liberties: which party primary do you want to vote in?
if our votes are supposed to be private, why do i, a true independent, have to publically declare allegiance to a party, have that announced allegiance go into the official record, and have my clean, beautiful card stamped?
i don't wish to be the member of any party. i enjoy the autonomy of being an independent voter and thinker. when i vote, there's no pressure to tow the party line. instead, the pressure is to choose the candidate that best suits the job, regardless of the party they are affiliated with.
so why, then, must i be put into a box and stamped "rep" or "dem"? why does my county/state need to "know" my political affiliations? why is it okay to ask someone voting in a primary who they're voting for, but not okay during the general election? what's the difference between the two?
that was the beginning. it went downhill from there. i successfully cast my vote, walked out the door, and attempted to shrug off the box i'd just been forced into. i rounded the corner to my car and was struck dumb by what i found: a gaggle of geese had surrounded my vehicle.
they stood there, necks outstretched, chests puffed up, feathers ruffled, making the most horrific sound i'd ever heard, taunting me. i couldn't. i just couldn't.
so i stood there. paralyzed. waiting. thinking that surely they would grow bored and waddle away. but no.
our standoff continued for several minutes. i stood, wishing i could take the whole experience back, wishing i wasn't a good voter who had left her cell phone in the car according to polling rules. i was helpless against what i consider to be a vicious enemy.
finally, a car pulled up right next the mine and the gentleman who got out shooed them away. the rabid geese, plan then foiled, shuffled away.
i got in the car as quickly as i could and locked the doors.
i needed to relieve some stress, so i headed to the place where my creativity is always sparked: the grocery store.
some look at grocery shopping as a dull, meaningless chore. i don't. i look at it as exciting. a challenge to create and explore.
while there figuring our what to make for dinner, i decided to see if they could order a sodium free variety of a brand they carry. my dad is on an uber-low sodium diet, and finding packaged food for him is a bit of a challenge, so to find out that my local grocery store might be able to carry this product filled me with glee.
this grocery store is always a happy place.the employees are nice, helpful, and funny. but this was a different kind of day.
i asked my question and, without a word, was handed a customer survey. i filled it out and started to hand it back when the woman behind the counter snatched it from my hands, turned around, went into the office, and began eating cheetos.
i left. disgruntled and confused.
when i got home, i collapsed in a heap.