So I’m going to get political. I’ll make it short though, no worries.
Not really. On getting political.
Tonight I went to grab B from afterschool. How convenient! I thought to myself – B is at afterschool, voting is at school, afterschool is at school, lovely. I grabbed B, and went to vote. Turns out, I’m not registered. I find this hard to believe, because I am 99% sure that I registered when I moved here last year, because I was fearful of this very moment, but what can you do? Nothing, because I live in Massachusetts.
When I asked the woman if there was anyone I could follow up with – she pointed in a general direction and said “the woman in the pink shirt”. I didn’t realize there were two women in pink shirts until I noticed that B was not behind me anymore, she was cuddling up next to a poor pink shirted woman that was in the process of voting, and didn’t look all that excited to share her opinions with B. Anyway, here is the conversation that ensued with JEN. (Judgmental Election Nazi)
Me: That woman told me I could talk to you, she says I’m not registered?
Me: Can you help me register?
Me: Ok, can you tell me who can help me register?
Jen: City Hall.
Me: Um, ok, so I can’t vote today then? (I knew this. I know you can’t register at the polls in MA, but for some reason I pressed on).
Jen: No, this is the primary.
Me: Right, I know, but you can’t register here.
Jen, with a particularly “for shame” type of look: No, you obviously didn’t register in time.
Me: Oh, right. They don’t make it easy do they?
Jen: They do, you just have to do it on time.
Me: Right, I thought I had, my mistake!
Jen: See this is the “PRIMARY” (just so we’re clear, she did use the air quotes, and she was talking loudly, as if to bridge our language barrier) so you can still register for the “BIG ELECTION”, that’s in NOVEMBER.
Me: Right, thank you.
Jen: Go to City Hall.
Me: Right, Ok.
And here’s where I got unnecessary political. Because I’ll admit it, I do not like Massachusetts. I know, I live here. I get it. But if you ever asked me – EVER – in my entire life, to put millions of dollars on the last place on earth I would ever end up, it’s in the exact same spot I’m in. Right here. Newton, MA. Eastern MA. Traffic filled, Red Sox loving, watch-out-I’m-coming-and-I’m-in-an-SUV, too many one way streets, not enough diversity, Eastern MA.
But I think – THINK – I’m bypassing all of those opinions so B can be in amazing schools in a nice neighborhood. And there are some lovely, beautiful things about this area. Voter registration regulations, clearly, not being one of them. And hey, maybe I just wanted to plant myself in the middle of it all so I’d have something to write about.
Back to the conversation. Where were we? Right.
Jen: Go to City Hall.
Me: Right, Ok. It’s just I’m from New Hampshire. They make it pretty easy in New Hampshire for you to register, if you aren’t registered, you can register right at the polls. It actually makes no sense at all that we don’t do that in Massachusetts – if you make it as easy as possible, don’t you encourage everyone a little bit more to come out to vote? Well anyway, Live Free or Die and all, I guess this is just a different state.
I’m not going to lie, I could kind of hear the National Anthem playing in the background. I wished I had a flag that I could raise up as I stormed out of the elementary school gym. But not the American flag, my friends, no no, the friggin New Hampshire one. (That’s what the NH people would say. Friggin right!)
In normal conversation I am actually quite uncomfortable using the word FRIGGIN, but here, doesn’t it work?