Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How I spent 3 hours returning a library book


I was turned away from the polls. Here’s how it happened. I parked at the library and walked over to the middle school, my voting precinct as identified by a web search. 

I had with me the library book for book club. I had only just started it and book club meets next week (oops).

I stood in line for two and a half hours. I’ll spare you the details of how cold it was. I had on my Ugg boots and a fleece. 
There is a time for every purpose.

I won’t mention how everyone wanted to complain but didn’t. We all know how ridiculously lucky we are that we are allowed to vote and that we were safe at the voting place

We also know there are procedures for voting. I thought I’d followed them. I thought I had gotten my new driver’s license and registered to vote at the same time.

On the website where you would change your voter registration it says, “change your driver’s license first” with a link that carries you away from the voter registration.

I never went back.


Apparently.

So election night, after two hours of waiting, and still another 45-minutes away from my chance at one of the four working machines, I was told they couldn’t find my name.

They walked me around, passed me from one official to the next. No one could help me. I’d screwed up. I knew it.

I said, “sir, there are plenty of people waiting here who did everything right. Please don’t waste your time with me. I’ll vote next time.”

There are three reasons I walked out of there without voting (bloggers love lists):
  1. It was my fault I wasn't registered. No one else.
  2. There were good people waiting who had a right to assistance and a right to get their voting done and go home.  
  3. The vote I wanted to cast was the one that said “none of the above” (with a nod to Brewster). But I don't think the ballot had that option.
I finished my library book right as I got to the front of the line. So I walked back to my car, returned the book, and drove myself home. 

I would have felt bad sitting on the couch reading all afternoon but I didn’t feel bad standing in line and doing it. Even if that line led me nowhere.

Here are the things I learned yesterday (I have to have a lesson, don’t you know):
  1. We have all been told we deserve better but that’s just not true. We deserve only what we’re willing to work for and sacrifice for. The entitlements the politicians are selling us are not being paid for by our willingness to work. They’re being paid for by mortgaging our children’s future.
  2. We should all learn how to take responsibility when we screw up and then get out of the way so that the ones who did it right can get what they have earned. Not what they deserve, what they earned.
  3. None of us is above the law but the law only applies to those of us willing to abide by it.
Some meditations on these and other election truths in the coming weeks, no doubt; once we all get over our First Tuesday in November hangover.

Did you have an epiphany at the polls? Tell me about it by leaving a comment.

4 comments:

  1. Excellent post Kasie! What strikes me is the recognition that you are neither owed nor deserving of 'help' when clearly you did not register to vote. Taking responsibility is a quality not many have, it's much easier to blame someone/something else for your predicament.

    I am surprised you were going to vote "None of the above"... isn't there an option to write your own name in? :)

    Ann

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    1. Hi, Ann. Glad to see you on Clemson Road!

      I remember being in meetings that were big blame-fests where the shift became so unbelievably destructive that I finally just said, "Fine! It's my fault. Now can we move on?"

      People want to know why we think we're entitled to anything and the answer is because the politicians (our leaders supposedly) keep telling us we are. Tell the truth and you won't get elected.

      So, no, I didn't write my own name in. I didn't run this cycle, either. I don't think people would like what I have to say ;-)

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  2. As I stood in line to vote on Tuesday, I was taken back to 1980 when a 3 year old Kasie said to me, "but I wanted to vote too, Mommy" as I explained to you that you were not old enough. You accepted the explanation then with the statement, "I will vote when I get old enough." I'm sorry you were unable to vote but I am so proud of you.
    I agree wholeheartedly with you that our society has become one in which people believe they are entitled or deserve without any true sense of ownership, responsibilty, or sacrifice. Hard work and sacrifice were lessons taught to me by my parents. I have never felt I was entitled to anything nor that I deserved any special treatment simply because I was a living breathing human being. I grew up believing in working hard, accepting responsibility, and being accountable for my actions and/or my in-action. It angers me when I hear people saying they are entitled simply because some politician told them they were.
    I am so proud of you because you are doing it right!!
    You go, GIRL!

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    1. Thanks, mom. So many of my readers tell me how lucky I am that my mom is so devoted and supportive of my blog. Thanks! You're awesome, too.

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