Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Let me tell you what tickles me to death.

Apparently older black men tickle me to death. Figuratively, that is. Because if any man, old or young, black, white or brown, or even my husband, tried to tickle me, or even thought about taking it so far as causing my demise, well, we'd have a problem.

Two things happened yesterday, one before voting and one after voting, that have stuck in my mind. While I'm sure both men haven't thought about me for one millisecond, both have stuck in my mind and will probably stick around for a bit.

The first thing. As I and many others were waiting in line to vote (which I liken to standing in line at the post office but without all the complaining), an older black man shuffled out of the room with a walker. He paused to get himself situated. I kept thinking how awesome it must be for him to have the choice to vote for a black man this election instead of the same white man after white man.

He looked up and smiled. Not at anyone in particular, just a smile. A darn happy smile at that.

As he began shuffling along, he scanned all of us waiting to vote and exclaimed, "Have a good day, people!" That smile never left his face.

That is truly a memory I will hold in my mind forever.

The second thing. I made a quick pit stop at the grocery store to get some water and soda for the week before going home to start working again. As I was heading towards the one check-out lane that was open, another man, who looked to be half black, half white, with a very pale skin color indeed, was heading to the check-out lane as well. He was closer than me, so he got in line before I did.

I smiled at him because I was just feeling tickled about how things may be heading for our country - more tickled that things could possibly change after years of being so bad - when he told me to go in front of him.

I do this all the time at the same grocery store because people who shop as early as I do usually aren't buying a cart full of food like I usually am, so I'd rather them go before me than me hold them up. It's this little thing called kindness I try to practice every so often. Whenever I do it, people are completely shocked that I even offered to give up my place in line, something that makes me mad because that just goes to who you how self-centered we've all become when we're out in public. I usually have to tell them a bunch of times it's okay, go ahead, before they will cut in front of me.

Anyway. So I thanked him and went in front of him. He had about 30 heads of lettuce in his cart, so I was pretty happy that I didn't have to wait for them to be counted or individually weighed or however they were being sold.

"You shouldn't have to wait for me," he said. "I know it's going to take a while."

I smiled.

"Plus, if you get out sooner, then you can go vote!" he told me with a big smile.

Again, I think this is a case where he thought I was really young and not in my mid-30's, and that the youngin's need to be out voting and all that good stuff and not buying a bunch of water and soda that the FoodMaxx.

"Oh, I already voted," I said.

"Oh! Good! I don't care who you voted for as long as you voted! It's the American way!" he exclaimed.

"I agree," I said. "I just came from voting, actually."

"Good! Good!"

It was right then that another line opened, and I was whisked away. I kept thinking the same thing as I did about the first man - how awesome this day is for most people. Heck, a lot of people. Did I ever think I'd see the day come when someone who wasn't white was a presidential candidate? Not really. I figured I'd see a female presidential candidate first. And while you'd think I'd be more happy to see the first female president head into office, I'm really okay with never seeing that now that I've seen this. I'm good for a long, long time.

I'll just leave the lady president for Mateo's adult lifetime.


Swishy said...

I love those stories!

I still want a female president, though. Maybe even more now. 2016!

Kmommy said...

How awesome! :) Great stories! Great voting memories! It was a great day indeed!!

movie fan said...

i can't help thinking it's awesome that there has been such long lines all over... people taking a greater interest in public issues is always a good thing