Oh, the election? What’s that? What election?
Do I have a STORY about the election? Well, I do have a story about that. Sure I do. Since when do I not have a story about something?
I woke up early on Tuesday to vote. REALLY early. I already get up early this week and I got up earlier than early. I wanted to vote before work because after work I had to go to auditions. So I got up early, and I went on over to the polling place. Which is one of our local elementary schools. And I went in, and I went to my little table (and saw handsome friend R., who gave me a delicious hug and he always smells SO GOOD and we both agreed we were voting for the right person and he was all “we will celebrate tonight!” and I said, “Oh, R., I hope so, I so hope so”) and then I got my sheet (I was number 62, and I’m pretty sure that’s a very good number) and I went to my little cubby which was all tippy and cheap and one of the legs wasn’t long enough and I scribbled in my bubbles and I double and triple-checked that I filled in ALL the bubbles and then I went on over to the Scantron machine.
The woman in front of my was VERY BUSY and in a hurry. So she just popped her sheet in the machine and walked off all busy tappy feet. And after she left and before the lady waved me up to the machine, the busy lady’s ballot popped on out of the Scantron machine with a very annoying beeping noise.
The polling place lady was all “URGHHHHH” and went over and jammed it back into the machine. It popped out and beeped. Tried again. Popped out and beeped. Over and over. She was NOT amused. The line of people ready to scan their trons was getting pretty long.
Finally, she was all, “Ugh, THIS isn’t going to work. YOUR TURN,” to me, and walked away from the machine with the woman’s ballot.
“Um…that’s…that woman’s ballot isn’t going to work?” I said.
“Nope. Go,” she said.
“What…happens to her ballot?” I said.
She just rolled her eyes and waved in an annoyed fashion at the machine. I WAS HOLDING UP THE LINE.
So, with this undecided ballot-thing hanging over my head, I walked up to the faulty Scantron machine and put in my ballot.
“YOU’RE DONE NOW, BYE,” she said.
Now, I knew I wasn’t done. The machine, once it accepts your ballot, gives you a cheery “Your ballot has been counted, thank you” message. First, she was still standing there holding that woman’s PRESIDENTIAL EFFING BALLOT in her hand. Not even in its privacy folder. (Doesn’t “privacy folder” sound fancy? It’s a legal-sized manila folder, there’s nothing fancy about it.) Just hanging all out. Anyone could have seen that woman’s vote. AND SHE DIDN’T EVEN SEEM TO CARE. Then, THEN, she was trying to HURRY me, so MY ballot wasn’t going to count.
(I know this isn’t voter fraud, but there has to be some sort of name for what this is. Pollworker malaise? I don’t know. Whatever it is, IT IS WRONG AND I AM FURIOUS.)
Well, I think you can guess how well I took her pushing me around, right?
“I am not done,” I said.
“You’re done,” she said. She walked over, that woman’s ballot flapping in her hand.
At that moment, the machine came up with its “Your vote has been counted, thank you!” message. I looked at it. I looked at her in triumph.
“NOW I’m done,” I said, and I strolled out of the school.
I WIN VOTING.
Oh, wait, I’m not even done. I have more.
So, I was petrified on Tuesday. All day long. So, so scared. Of course I was. I know. I KNOW. People have good points, like “what really changes, once we get a new president?” and “both candidates were…well, pretty shitty, objectively” and one of my coworkers was all, “Amy. WE WORK AT AN ANSWERING SERVICE. How is who the president is going to affect us? Seriously? We’re the poor people that presidents hate, you know?” and he’s kind of right. But also, Romney and Ryan hated my uterus. And my gay friends. And I didn’t want to live in a country run by them. So, I was petrified. For all of his faults, Obama likes the ladies. And he’s got no beef with the gays.
So before I went to bed (way too late, auditions went way overtime, but we cast the show, and MAN do I wish you all lived closer, our Laramie Project is going to be AMAZING, one audition piece made me CRY, and that was just the AUDITION) I emailed three of my nearest and dearest who I knew were going to be awake until the bitter end, because I couldn’t stay up any more. I had to get up at 5:30am, and staying up until who-knows-how-long to see who won was a very bad idea for me, sleeping-wise, considering I’d had very little sleep the night before. So I said, “dear people I love, you will be awake. I need to go to bed. I can’t handle going on Facebook or Twitter tomorrow morning until I know who wins. So please, if you love me, email me once you know who wins. If it’s the right person, just say, ‘you’re ok, Amy, all’s well, you can go on the internet again.’ And if not, please break the news kindly. I think I can take it if it comes from you. Love love love.”
(I didn’t say it this succinctly. I did it more rambly-like. They still love me. Hence the “nearest and dearest” monikers.)
Then I went to sleep. But I didn’t really go to sleep, because I tossed and I turned and the cat kept bothering me and I couldn’t sleep because of the MARES of NIGHT and I kept waking up and I should have just checked the damn phone but I was afraid if the results hadn’t come in I’d be in a worse situation, or what if the wrong person won? So I didn’t. Just kept tossing and turning. All night long.
Then I crawled out of bed when the alarm went off and looked at the phone all balefully. I was afraid to check it. So I started to get ready for work. WITHOUT CHECKING THE PHONE. I never start my day without checking the phone. It’s the first thing I do every morning. I was too scared.
So I got all ready for work.
Still too scared.
Then I made fed Dumbcat, who was blissfully ignorant of what was happening and just dorby-dorbing around.
Still too scared.
Then I finally sat on the couch and said, you check the phone, you dummy.
All the email.
Three of them I couldn’t see what they were about. One started with “Don’t worry, Amy” so that could have gone either way. One just had the subject line of “Okay” so again, could have gone either way. One said “YAY!” but MAYBE THAT WAS A TRICK. My people are sarcastic (and I love ’em for it), so who knows? (My phone only gives you a very brief preview of what’s happening in the email.)
And one said something I’m not going to say because, well, it’s my personal email and therefore NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, but it made it VERY CLEAR, based on the person who’d sent it, that I was going to be ok.
And I whooped.
Then I wept.
And I scared the cat.
And I wept some more.
And I read my email, every last bit of it, and all my tweets, while sniveling.
I love you guys. Thank you.
Listen, it wasn’t much of a victory. 2 million popular votes as of 2:30pm Wednesday. That’s better than the results I first heard – 50,000 popular votes. But still. 2 million. That’s not a huge margin. There are a lot of people out there who are not happy with who won. My dad’s one of them. He and I can’t even discuss this. He’s so upset, and I don’t rub salt in the wound, you know? (He would have, were the tables turned, but that’s neither here nor there. We’re different people.)
Do I think the best person won? Yes. But think about this – who the hell would WANT the position? Mom and I were talking about this tonight. It’s a TERRIBLE job. People HATE you. People want to KILL you. You age insane amounts, you have so much pressure on you, no one likes anything you do, you have to deal with so much shit all the time – what a horrible job. You couldn’t pay me enough money, seriously.
Anyway. Four more years until I have to go through this again. I don’t think my heart can take it.
Clinton/Gillibrand 2016, anyone?