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Ink Stain

Updated on June 6, 2013

I wake up twenty minutes late as I somehow forgot to turn the alarm on last night. This day is starting off with a bang as the last thing I want to do is go to work...and it's only's going to be a long week. I skip the shower and quickly throw on a little make up to look presentable.

The line at Starbucks is out of control, but coffee is going to be vital today. After waiting fifteen minutes I hike back to my car that is parked in the back lot near the overstuffed dumpster which has now been hoisted above a large dirty truck and is being violently shaken as foul-smelling trash falls onto my newly washed car.

Seeing me wait, the driver actually winks at me, I bundle up and post a witty comment on twitter about large men and filthy trucks, I hate my life at the moment...

I’m still a little upset as I arrive at the office and park. My Iphone doesn't seem to hold a charge, it’s the latest version and I've only had it for two weeks, it’s so irritating! Walking in, I have to pass Kim’s cubicle. Kim and I have not been on good terms since I tagged her in a facebook post. Apparently she didn't like the pic, which led to a whole big ordeal and started a huge messaging war. I finally unfriended her but it’s been tense ever since.

Lunch is a mess, as most of my hour is spent getting to and back from Verizon. I explain my problem and all they can tell me is that my particularly high data usage is the cause for the battery. Jake---I think that's his name---finally offers to give me a new battery, which does little to remedy the situation. I can’t believe how I’m treated; I've been a loyal customer for 3 years! I promptly update my status to express my aggravation.

Back at the office things continue to go downhill. The network is down and we are unable to process orders. I actually have a pen and pad to take information. Welcome to the stone ages.

The rest of the day is hectic as ever, and nothing goes according to plan. The breaking point comes when I pick up a simple ink pen to sign for a delivery and somehow get ink all over myself. Really? It’s on my hand, as well as my white shirt. I can’t take any more of this day.

I decide to cut out a few minutes early. I just need to go home and get some rest as I haven’t been sleeping well lately. A short nap is needed before my body pump class at the gym at 6:30. Once at home, I go to grab a yogurt and notice that it’s expired, just great, what else could go wrong on this dreadful day? There is no point in a nap as I'm too worked up to relax, I grab a bottled water and change clothes before heading out.

I decide to hit the gym early, fighting traffic on the way as I listen to the radio on the way.

Make sure to get to the polls today, every vote counts!

I had forgotten that it’s Election Day. Wow, I’m not even sure where I would go to vote, or if I’m still registered. I vaguely remember voting four years ago, maybe I can get out after class if I'm not too tired.

Wouldn't you know it our regular instructor is out today. In her place is some 20 year old chick who laughs every five seconds and is extremely annoying. This day has become a nightmare, I slug through class as the little bouncy blonde screeches encouragement through her headset. I’m ready for bed.

On the way home, I decide that the election will have to do without me. I’m exhausted and just want to go home and relax. As I plop down on the couch I let out a huge sigh of relief. My relief is short-lived as The Bachelor and all other regularly scheduled programming will not be aired due to the election coverage. Uggggggg!!!!

I go to change the channel but something catches my eye. An Afghani woman is being interviewed, reading the subtitles I follow as she is talking about her quest to vote in the upcoming election. There have been bombings, fraud, and assassinations to keep her from voting, yet she is determined as ever. I'm amazed by the humble home she lives in as well as her simple lifestyle.

She speaks of family members who have been attacked and the lack of security at the voting stations. She will risk her life by going to the voting box, yet she is undeterred by the intimidation tactics by the mobs awaiting her and others.

The scene ends showing a proud woman, displaying her purple finger as she cast her vote. I’m moved to tears as I think about her sacrifice and her bravery. She fears for her life yet there she is, smiling as she lives out her dream. I look at my finger, seeing the traces of ink from the pen earlier, suddenly my day doesn't seem all that bad.

Copyright 2012 Pete Fanning



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    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      You and me both peanut, I have to take a step back once and a while to appreciate it. Thanks!

    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Exactly, we should be thankful for the opportunities afforded by this great country!

    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Sorry to hear about your situation Becky, good luck!

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      I know the feeling of being too busy to live. I have been trying to move. My vehicle is broke. I asked some friends if they could help me move my husband out of this noisy apt. complex into a quieter place and they all said sure. Moving day was yesterday and we are still sitting here waiting for the friends to show up. I guess I am going to have to rent a truck and move everything by myself. My husband is totally disabled so he cannot help. Want to come help?

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Great story! Living life at a frantic pace, all wrapped up in social media, too busy to notice the world around us, and the people who make real sacrifices, risk their lives for things we take for granted.

    • Peanutritious profile image

      Tara Carbery 

      6 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      Another fine story from you. We can all learn a lot from it. Some days, the slightest thing can be blown up out of proportion and nothing that happens that day can remedy the mood you're in. It's all about taking a deep breath and realising things can always be worse. I don't always practice what I preach though sadly!

    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks Jaye, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Excellent story, weestro, especially since you told it from the point of view of a young woman. The message it holds at the end is profound and thought-provoking. I hope you get a huge readership for this one.


    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks myownlife, glad you liked it!

    • myownlife profile image


      6 years ago from london

      Interesting hub which awakes people around the world.

      Great job

    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Thank you shining!

      Thanks tillsontitan, I was going to call this one 1st world problems but it sort of morphed into the voting thing as I wrote it. Glad you enjoyed it!

      Thanks naimishika!

      I always need to remind myself Julie, thanks for reading!

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 

      6 years ago from Clinton CT

      wow...great job. This was really poignant and a great reminder of the purpose of perspective.

    • naimishika profile image


      6 years ago from India

      Nice.... Nice... Nice... nothing else.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I love the way you totally led up to this great message. How quickly we forget how important things voting. Really great hub, interesting and never preachy but definitely making your point well.

      Voted up and awesome.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Excellent......nothing more to say.

    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks billybuc, I'm glad you enjoyed it. You're right, we tend to get carried away with ourselves from time to time.

      So true Susan, glad you enjoyed it!

      Thanks TToombs08, I appreciate it.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      A wonderful message, weestro. Loved it. :)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      No matter how bad it gets there's always someone else that is worse off.

      Enjoyed your story.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And that, my friend, is a powerful message, one we could all learn from. A friend told me once not to sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff. Thanks for the great reminder, stated beautifully!

    • weestro profile imageAUTHOR

      Pete Fanning 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      I know I do Curiad! From time to time I have to remember just how good I have it in comparison to so many others. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 

      6 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      A great message Pete, so many in this country and the world are so wrapped up in their little universes that they miss life.


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