Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election Day

Besides the fact that they know how to cook and save all your childhood shit, you know what’s great about my grandmother and her generation? They totally rock the vote. They never, ever need to be reminded to show up on Election Day. I don’t know if it’s the immigrant in her, or the fact that she’s several generations closer to the days of the suffragettes or what, but my grandmother doesn’t take that ballot box for granted.

Now that she lives in our building, we can go vote together, along with my darling children, and if that doesn’t add up to a three-ring circus I don’t know what does.

“We have to vote AGAIN?” Primo complained, “We just got a new president.”

“I don’t want to go!” Sec yelled, “IT’S BORING!”

Heaven help this bunch of apathetic vagabonds.

“Oooh, you betta be quiet or da policeman gonna arrest you,” my grandmother contributed.

“WHAT? But, Mommy, you said kids can’t go to jail!!” Primo yelled.

I squinted my eyes closed, shook my head at him and made the “she’s loco” gesture towards my grandmother. She always knows just how to get the kids on board.

The panic was short-lived though, since we were just passing the Bake Sale Table at the entrance to the school where we vote.

“Ooooh, cupcakes!!! I want a cupcake! Cupcake! Cupcake!”

“Yeah! Yeah!Yeah!Yeah!”

“No, no, no, we’re about to eat dinner,” I said. I almost always say yes to the Bake Sale but it was 5:30pm and I do have a sliver of conscientiousness in me.

So we rolled into the voting area with two screaming kids, a humiliated great-grandmother threatening them with time in the clink and me, wearing this defensive look on my face which I get when my kids are really being a public outrage and I can’t do anything about it. It’s a look which says, “Yeah, I know they’re a hot mess. What you gonna do about? I’m here, aren’t I? This is my democratic DUTY, motherf&$%ers! I’m ROCKING THE VOTE!”

I managed to calm the rugrats down by giving my IPhone to the little one and letting the big one fill in the ovals on the paper ballots. This gave my grandmother a heart attack: “Jesu mio! Watch what you doing! Makea sure you coloring in da right person!”

Then the voting people directed us to those computer scanners and Nonnie had another heart attack.

“What da hell is dis?” she exclaimed.

“Just put it in like it’s a fax,” the voting helper instructed her.

Seriously, guy? You think THAT is going to clarify the process for my 79 year-old grandmother? She doesn’t know a fax from a falafel.

I slipped her ballot in and then I read the screen to her: “Your vote has been counted.”

And I will admit, saying that out loud did get me a little misty. Your vote’s been counted. Rah rah, democracy.