Super Tuesday (or NOT so super, as you'll quickly see).
Idaho decided this year to hold its first EVER Republican presidential caucus.
What on earth is a caucus?
I'll tell you (although I didn't know either, until a month ago). A caucus is a local meeting at which people from a political party express who they hope to represent them as their presidential nominee.
I was SO excited to be a part of this momentous occasion. Over the years I've developed a sort of closet-passion for politics. I still feel very ignorant, probably because I KNOW how little I know. But I know enough to maneuver my way around, slowly but surely. (I also have great friends who are fantastic political mentors.)
I was looking forward to tonight. Ben offered to watch the kids so I could bask in the crazy-energy of a political gathering.
I had to park a 1/2 mile away from the high school, thanking my lucky stars that I wore my rain boots. I trudged through snow, slush, and mud to get there. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't snickering to myself as I watched people trying to save their shoes (evil, evil me). Don't worry, I got my comeuppance. Just wait.
The rest of the evening was a devastating blur.
Days before the caucus, I made sure that I turned in my party affiliation paper to City Hall, so I could bypass much of the craze that night. The lines were never-ending. Once I reached the desk I told them my name. My name WASN'T on the list! (Insert speechless, mouth-dropping Lanette.) My only choice was to get another paper, fill it out, and try again...in a LONGER line. "Sorry," she said. Whatever.
I walked out of the school in tears. I called Ben and cried. I couldn't bear the thought of waiting in line AGAIN, wrestling the crowds. He felt so bad for me, sweet man. I hung up and turned to walk the 1/2 mile back to my car. But then I stopped, turned around, sucked it up, and decided to try again.
I waited and waited and waited. Finally it was my turn. I gave them my paper. They looked me up on the registered voter's list. I WASN'T ON THAT LIST, EITHER. Who was out to get me? I have voted in this county before!! There was nothing they could do. If I wanted to participate, I'd have to stand in ANOTHER line and register to vote (I'm already registered, people!!). It killed me to see Ben's name sitting pretty on that list and mine wasn't.
By this time they were ready to shut the doors. My window of opportunity was basically closed. I walked out of the school in a full-on sob, shaky breath, massive tears, bumbling voice. I was a mess! I was angry and defeated. This was so important to me and being denied the opportunity was devastating.
It was a long walk. Alone. In the dark. And cold. And. I was still sobbing. I was 50 yards from my car when a friend pulled up alongside the rode, asking if I wanted a ride to my car. It would've been so easy to say no. I didn't want to subject her to my emotional breakdown. But, if you're gonna break down, SHE'S the one you'd want picking you up:). Angel friend. Seriously.
She let me go on and on. She listened. She empathized. She helped me let go of the anger, because holding on to it was pointless. She was a listening ear when I needed it most. And I'm sure Ben would thank her for calming me down a bit before I got to him. He was off the hook. Lucky guy.
Friends are a gift. Truly.
The Republican Caucus, not so much.
(p.s. Mitt Romney won with an astounding 88% of the votes.)