People Watching At Its Best

Today, I went to the polls to vote in a City Council primary and a special election for North Carolina Congressional District 9. I stood in line for about 35 minutes.

Honestly, is there any better people watching than there is at a polling place?

You see a little bit of everything…and that’s just on the way in! When I parked today, I had to take the first spot I came to, because the polling place was crowded, but I did some “gerrymandering” of my own to get to the door without having to answer all those folks standing outside trying to hand stuff to voters. The last thing I want to do is stop and talk to somebody on the sidewalk…and fall back one more place in line. I don’t just go to the polls all willy-nilly. I know exactly who I’m voting for before I drive over there. But there’s always somebody asking if I need a Democrat/Republican sample ballot. Nope. Nope. Nope. This is not my first rodeo. I did my homework, and I know how to get in there and get the heck out.

Today, as I waited, I had a handsome young gentleman in front of me and a sweet older lady behind me. Right behind her was another sweet older lady, and behind her was a man who, apparently, has never been to a Chick-Fil-A. The very prissy, power hungry poll worker (Miss Priss) came over and told us to snake our line around, but leave a space (right in front of me) so people could get out. I said, “OK, as long as nobody tries to get in front of me…I’d hate for a fight to break out…because it will.” She just gave me one of those prissy looks. As soon as the guy ahead of me moved up a half step, I crossed that open space and got behind him. I’m always a little agitated when I’m at the polls…maybe because of the wait…maybe because of the people who try to accost you outside.. and I knew I wouldn’t be able to tactfully tell someone where the end of the line was. I also know people get annoyed when they get embarrassed, and if someone found themselves in the wrong place, they might be embarrassed. Later, Miss Priss came back around and said, “See? Nobody tried to get in front of you, did they?” I responded, “I didn’t give them the opportunity.” And I laughed.

And how do I know the gentleman three places back in line has never been to Chick-Fil-A? Well, when Miss Priss came back around another time, she asked us to “double” the line. What the heck? Double the line? The sweet older lady behind me said, “Uh-oh. How are we going to keep up with who is next?” I said, “Oh, I know I’m behind this gentleman, and I know you’re behind me. Trust me…I know.” We laughed. I said, “This double line makes me think of a Chick-Fil-A drive thru.” And that’s when I learned the gentleman had never been to a Chick-Fil-A drive thru. We briefly discussed the double drive-thru concept, and he had no idea both lines merged to pick up at the same window. While I love Chick-Fil-A, and they offer fantastic customer service, I am not a fan of the double drive-thru. I usually just order on my Chick-Fil-A one app and pick it up quickly.

Ok…back on topic…other folks I saw at the polling place: the lady with the well-behaved toddler who sat quietly in the floor while her mother waited in line; the folks in the parking lot getting angry because someone didn’t get out of a parking spot fast enough for them; the very happy lady working at the computer, checking folks in; the little old man who could barely shuffle into the place, but managed to wait in line to cast his ballot; the very sweaty lady who must have run to the polling place…I just hoped she remembered deodorant; the first time voter who looked excited and nervous; the little old lady who had on two different colored shoes; the angry lady who was told she couldn’t vote in the District 9 special election, because she lived just outside the district…after she had stood in line for more than 30 minutes.

Oh, it’s a motley crew at the polling place. The cute little lady behind me said, “I hope my candidate appreciates my vote, since I’m standing in this line so long!” I laughed and said, “Maybe you should call him and tell him you stood in line for a long time just to vote for him.” So she became a new friend…Miss Ann.

Go vote! At least there’s free entertainment while you wait in line…and maybe you’ll make a new friend.


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