The summer before my senior year in high school, I attended Girl's State, a week-long summer camp for fledgling female politicians. Some of the attendees were quite serious about this selective grooming program, while others, like myself, were interested in actually enjoying ourselves. (Although I must say, the classes and educational aspect were fascinating.) I ran for County Sherriff and as such made several very public busts (during large gatherings) and even had a high speed chase or two (on foot). I passed around a photo of a large acne-prone wrestler from the host university's course catalog (which they had generously provided each of us with) and passed it around the room saying that this was my boyfriend back home. I ran through the sprinklers with my mandatory business attire on. And I passed a bill in the "state legislature" on appropriate usage of the word "caucus," a word that made me break down in a giggle fit every time I heard it.
So when I found out I could participate in the democratic presidential caucus and have my vote actually count, I was ecstatic. I talked about it for weeks, trying to infect others with wonderment of this rare opportunity that we had. I debated the merits and detriments of each candidate (to myself), marked the date on my calendar and mapped out my polling station.
Finally it was time to caucus. My husband and I showed up about a half hour into it, despite having had a family tragedy earlier in the day. It was that important. We miraculously found a parking spot (a caucus miracle!) and patiently waited in the freezing Minnesota evening in a line that went all the way down the block. And in my excitement I had forgotten to bring a coat, or gloves, or a scarf, or a hat. At last we managed to make it inside, where someone shouted at us to head into the auditorium of the high school where our caucus was to take place. I have included an illustration to depict the line we waited in once inside the auditorium (Exhibit A).
So we waited in line, Eric proudly displaying his Obama button and shirt, eventually winding our way to the tiny shoebox where we were to stuff our ballot. By ballot, I mean scrap of colored paper that we wrote our chosen candidate's name on. As we forced our "ballots" into the way-too-small shoebox, I asked the DFL caucus official, "What happens when the shoebox is full?" (Which it quite visibly was.) She nervously replied, "I don't know. It's never happened before."
And as I looked around the auditorium at all the people still patiently waiting in line, which was as long as ever, I smiled. My caucus dreams had finally come true.
And for the entertaining story of an inspired comestics line that just wasn't meant to be, click here. (And enjoy the picture below)