- Politics and Social Issues
The Day After
A Mailing Like This Would Stay on My Refrigerator
An Election in Review
Finally it's over! Around the country yesterday voters attempted to clean house. Today, I get to clean mine. I've looked forward to this day for a year. As a matter of fact, after the primary I pre-cleaned, getting rid of all the losers' political garbage that was left at or mailed to my door. So today, instead of cleaning out my refrigerator, where there is mold growing on leftover meat sauce that I don't even remember preparing, I will clean off my refrigerator which is covered in small-sized political billboards.
At least in our previous local elections we could look forward to the occasional freebie. My husband and I would arrive home to plastic bags hung on the door, filled with notepads, pens, mints, and candy. Heck, one female candidate even included a granola bar or a packet of hot cocoa mix. I didn't mind that she stopped by several times. When our mayor ran for office we received his political paraphernalia in a handy tote that I've used to carry CDs. All of these things are useful and appreciated. Even if I don't vote for "Joe Smith", I likeat least to have a message pad and pen at every phone. Why didn't I get any of those this time around? These people must not answer their own phones! Going the way of the pads and pens were also the campaign buttons, the emergency sewing kits, the key chains, and even the ugly hair bonnets. Elections just aren't as exciting as they used to be. No, instead this year's candidates were quite boring, sending only things that will go into the recycle bin or garbage can (quite possibly covered in green, fuzzy meat sauce). I even had to use four-year old election magnets to hold them to the refrigerator.
So today I am celebrating. I'm putting on the Christmas music, donning my most comfortable sweatshirt and worn-out bluejeans, lighting the butter-cream frosting candle that my husband can't stand, and freeing myself of political agendas. No more cardstock fliers and brochures filled with colorful pictures of candidates surrounded by too-happy families -- all with too-perfect teeth. No more letters from the other party's presidential candidate thanking me for being such an outstanding member of the party. HA! If he screws up something as simple as that information, do I really want him in charge of government secrets? I think not. While I do vote for the person not the party, that guy would never have gotten my vote.
No more mailings from every political group known to man, reminding me to vote. REALLY? Do they really think that I could forget when it's been blasted at me from my refrigerator, television, radio, and Internet? I should shake my ruler at them for even thinking I could forget, but no one gave me a ruler this time around. And why is it that they really were encouraging me to vote early? Were they afraid that their candidate would do something immoral, illegal, or just plain stupid in the eleventh hour, and jeopardize the election? Exactly why I don't vote early; I reserve the right to change my mind at the last minute.
After finishing with the refrigerator, I might turn off the music and watch the television without being bombarded by six political ads during every commercial break, three of them for the same candidate. While I appreciate Hallmark's early Christmas present last weekend to divert my attention to peace and joy, today I celebrate the joy that comes from knowing I will once again be inundated with ads for help with sleeplessness, flatulence, and impotence. No more television ads showing men, who usually wear business suits, strolling a farm with their flannel sleeves pushed up to the elbows, while they speak and make hand gestures to the old farmers gathered around them. Mind you, I have no problem with farmers. They are the backbone of this country and don't get the respect they deserve. My problem is with politicians pretending to be something they are not. Just once I wish a news camera would be on site during one of those commercial shoots. Then maybe we'd see the candidate's reaction as he unknowingly steps into a cow pie. If he's able to laugh at himself, he just might be somebody I could vote for.
If the phone rings while I watch TV today I won't be hesitant to answer it. There will be no more phone calls asking me my opinion. I received more of those this year than any other year. I almost decided to start saying in Spanish that I didn't speak English, but I was afraid that I would then be flooded with Spanish-speaking calls. While I did take intensive Spanish in college, I left it there. Even the waiters at the local Mexican restaurant have fun with that at my expense. So instead of a feeble attempt at Spanish, I would politely answer the pollsters' questions. My answer, "Likely." Their response, "How likely? Very likely or somewhat likely?" PLEASE, likely means likely. I'm sure that as teenagers they were the ones who pestered their parents about the Friday night party that "everyone else" would be going to. Teen: "Can I go?" Parents: "It's likely." Teen: "How likely? Very likely or somewhat likely?" Today my phone will happily return to its regular clientele of wrong numbers, police auxiliaries, and a variety of disease foundations requesting donations.
I suppose that my Internet will clean itself. Hopefully, my friends on Facebook will "like" things other than political candidates, grassroots political groups, and the latest ballot referendum. Surely there is an adorable dog lost somewhere with his picture floating around in Internet space. Even sharing a grainy video of Gangdom Style would be a welcome change. And while I've always thought it was pretty clumsy to advertise to burglars that you aren't at home by tweeting to the entire world that you are at Joe's Crab Shack, I look forward to knowing the minute by minute adventures of my friends, while I enjoy a walk out to my mailbox to find nothing but bills. Oh the joy!