Watch this weird video of Georgia’s Senator Chambliss. When my husband and I saw it we looked at each other and said, “Did you think that was strange?”
Yesterday I voted for Jim Martin, the democratic challenger to incumbent Saxby Chambliss. I also had the task of finding a way to deliver my son’s absentee ballot, since he had forgotten to mail it in. At my local polling place a woman named Nancy drew me a map to the election board across town. It was a hassle to drive over there, but I knew Philosopher had voted for Martin, and I wanted Jim to get all the votes he could.
At the election board office a clerk told me, “You can’t deliver that ballot here. Only the voter himself can deliver an absentee ballot.”
“But how can he deliver it if he’s not here?”
“I’m sorry, ma’am, you’ll have to take it to the Lawrence Street post office on the other side of the square. They will deliver the ballots to us by 7:00 so they can be counted.”
Off I go in my car, find the post office, and park illegally on the wrong side of the road, near a construction site. I took some video of the raw Georgia clay torn up from a bulldozer, next to a pile of cracked concrete. You never know what images might come in handy.
Once inside the post office I was disappointed for two reasons – no pictures to take, and a long line of people buying stamps and mailing packages.
A woman in front of me, with teased, bleached blond hair, wearing a pants suit with gold buttons said, “Just look how long that line is, and we just got here. Why are you here?” A crowd of people had gathered in the vestibule, there being no room left inside the main post office.
I explained how I needed to mail my son’s ballot. “Oh , is he in the service?”
If I had any courage I would have told her I’d rather he go to prison or into exile than fight in the Iraq War, but I said, “No, he’s away at school.”
How boring and anxiety inducing to stand in line. In Mexico and Costa Rica I found that people wait very patiently, no conversation. They expect to pass some time in line, and don’t complain. But in the US we get antsy, we fidget and start up conversations, and by the time we complete the wait, it’s as if we are in the same graduation class.
Finally a clerk calls out, ” If you don’t need to exchange any money, you can come to this line.” I wave my yellow envelop at her, and she says, “Yes, people with absentee ballots can come here too.”
A middle-aged man behind me follows, but as we approach the counter the clerk says, “Do you have the 49 cent postage affixed?” He doesn’t.
“I have a stamp for you,” I say, digging through my bag while I speak, rushing for him in case the clerk makes him get back in line.
“I’ll pay you a dollar for it.”
“No, you won’t. You can pay it forward.”
He leans close to me, and plants a kiss on my cheek! I’ve never been kissed by a stranger before, much less in the post office. Too bad Big Daddy won the election after all that running around town with Philosopher’s ballot, but at least I got a kiss.