Hey, did you vote today?
It's big election year in Virginia, and people are coming out in droves despite the rain. I love the quiet orderliness of our polling place-- an elementary school gymnasium. People there may be on different sides of the political aisle, but there are just quiet hellos and hugs for neighbors you may not have seen in a while, and the chance to buy items to support the local high school's marching band. It's civil, and weighty, and dignified.
After I checked in, a polling volunteer said to me, "Be sure you put your ID away. You don't want to lose it." I nodded, because of course, that's what I was planning on doing next. When I didn't get my wallet out fast enough, however, she continued, in a sincere voice, "Yes, take your time. It's that important." After I'd tucked it away under her watchful gaze, I headed over to the table to vote, then exited the gym.
The whole process took 5 minutes, and as always, it felt like a privilege.
When I got in the car and secured my seat belt, I thought of how the woman, while unfailingly kind, didn't seem convinced I would take good care of my ID. I mean, after all, I'm pushing 50 and have never lost my driver's license. Sheesh. Perhaps there'd been a lot of lost ID's so far that morning.
I glanced over at my center console. On it sat my very favorite pair of earrings-- sparkly silver feathers from Pandora. I may not have showered today, but I was well-accessorized and even had make-up on, in case I ran into any long-lost friends on my one big outing for the day. On the drive over, however, I'd felt one earring fall off, the back disappearing somewhere in the car or down my shirt. I'd placed both earrings on the console while I went inside the school.
Now, still wondering why the poll lady didn't think I could take good care of my personal property, I backed out of the parking space to let a waiting car pull in.
Both earrings flew off the console into the depths of the car. An hour of searching turned up just one earring, a Littlest Pet Shop dog, a tube of hydrocortisone cream and two gummy bears caked in dog hair.
I think I need to go back and tell the polling lady she had every right to be concerned.