Not because I don't want to or don't know who I would vote for. No, I wouldn't have a moral dilemma when it came to pulling the lever, pressing the touch screen or filling in a little bubble with a number two pencil.
You see, I really, really, really wish I had an assigned precinct and was heading off to the polls this icy, frost covered morning.
But I'm not.
I'm actually incredibly embarrassed to even be admitting this, so bear with me.
With the husband in school he's generally gone, Monday through Thursday from early in the morning until very, very late at night. He comes home at dinner time and helps with bedtime and then is off to study again. I tried to figure it out last week and between studying and classes I would say he's doing school stuff a solid 14 hours a day.
I look forward to Friday all week long. Or at least I did. The truth is that these past weeks, with the huge amount of work he's had, Friday's and any other weekend days have been erased, so that when I say: "I really need to go grocery shopping on Friday because the cupboards are empty" he persistently responds with: "I told you that I have a memo due," which basically means "I might be able to pencil you in around dinner time after it's been sent off, but I can't really guarantee you'll be seeing me before midnight.").
And that leaves me imagining myself fainting while waiting in line at the grocery store, because whenever I stand still fainting is a very real possibility (hence pretty much not going anywhere along at this point).
Still, I didn't think I was being completely irresponsible as those early weeks after the move went by and I still hadn't registered. I knew that we needed to get down the the Secretary of State's Office and I had the day at the beginning of October that we needed to be there by memorized. We'd do it. I still had time.
But then oh, how those Fridays' flew by.
Since I haven't been able to lift Mae for more than 10 seconds without ending up in the hospital spotting, we've been a little homebound during the week for much of the time since our move and it wasn't just limited to grocery shopping. And to be honest, even if I could lift her I'd be intimidated about leaving the house, in my gigantic slow moving state, with my little "runner." Once I can actually move freely again it won't be a problem, but for now? It's not a safety risk I want to take. So Friday's are jammed packed. We get up and load up the car and do all the errands that have accumulated in the previous six days all at once.
As most of you know, doing errands with a 2 year old and a 4 year old can be rather slow. The girls and I look look forward to the days as time with Daddy, but let's face it, by 2 pm everyone is a little cranky and in need of a nap. But still I thought we'd get it done, right?
Except that somehow the weeks after we moved here kept on slipping by until there was only one Friday left. Worse than that, there was only one day left.
We could do this, I told myself. It was my number one priority. I studied the Secretary of State website the night before. I went around the house and collected the many documents we would need to prove that we had recently moved. I grumbled when I realized that a) we do online banking and have no banking statements that prove that we live here and that b) my name isn't on a single utility bill for our house.
Finally I had everything we needed. I put it in an envelope.
|A Sadie Frown for Mommy...|
We parked and paid for parking. Paul got out with his paper work and agreed to find the office, while I waited in the car with the two, now grumpy, girls, having the fun contractions I'd been having for the previous two months that reminded over the course of the entire third trimester that yes indeed, I was gigantically pregnant and that The Boy could try to arrive at any time. I watched the minutes on the clock tick by. Where had the day gone? The office would close in an hour and a half. But we'd made it, right?
Half an hour later Paul returned to the car, shaking his head. This particular Secretary of State office had been turned into a hookah bar. He'd been directed by a waiter at the restaurant next door to head over to a nearby shopping center where another office was located.
There was more driving. We circled the parking lot, looking for the office amid the dozens of shops. The tension level in the car was growing. I began to think that we should have done this separately while the girls were at home, but I'd started this whole registering to vote thing naively... in the past I've done it when we've moved, and it's never taken more than five minutes. You fill out a paper and hand it in. That's it. And while I can totally understand having more checks to make sure we have actually moved here, I also completely underestimated what went in to registering in our new home state.
We were running out of time.
After stopping again to ask for directions we found it in a different shopping center, with a few other stores, and a shockingly full parking lot. Paul walked in. A few minutes passed. He walked back out, along with another young man who'd just walked in and I almost cheered. Look at how quick that was. And then he shook his head again.
"There's a line of about two hundred people packed in there. See this parking lot?" I glanced around, wondering if the jammed lot really was for the specialized empty looking stores around us, and realizing that it was unlikely. He continued: "all the people from those cars are waiting in there for their turn." My eyes returned to the clock. An hour until the office closed. There was no way we'd make it and we both knew it.
"Fine." I said, feeling irresponsible and grumpy and guilty, all at the same time.
The feeling has persisted and grown in the weeks that have followed as I've read and heartily agreed with the posts I've read about how important it is to get out and vote and have felt like a big loser as I've made excuses for myself like: "Well you did just move here and have kind of had your hands full, what being sick so much..." but still... do I feel guilty? Absolutely. And irresponsible. Yup. Especially when I occasionally see a poll that shows Michigan as possibly undecided (I am pretty skeptical of it being anything other than "light blue" in reality... what with all the Obama lawn signs that have recently sprung up, defacing our beautiful city...).
Anyways that's confession on why I won't be voting today, and will be missing an election for the first time in my adult life.
It's not a mistake I'll be making again. But I really, really wish that I hadn't made it during this election.
So I'll keep telling myself that either way, by tomorrow both the election and the pregnancy, will have come (or in the pregnancies case, be coming) to an end. The induction is scheduled for 9 am. And the race... well... if it's like last time we'll probably hear the projected winner the moment the polls close on the East Coast (as a native Californian it's always annoyed me how, with the polls open for hours longer, we're being told who's won... I can't imagine what it's like for those who live in Hawaii!).
Anyways... have a Happy Election Day! Go out and vote! The choice of our leader for the next four years depends on those of you who were responsible enough to actually register, so go make the most of it!
And if you're Catholic and trying to figure out who you're voting for or why this election is important... here is an awesome post. And here's another!