Answer Me This: Why Can I Not Get the Right Ballot At My Polling Place?

Answer Me This3

1. How did you get your name?

My mom read my name, Julia, in Lillian Hellman’s Pentimento and fell in love with it. So I was Julia. Apparently the Julia character is very controversial. Hellman depicts Julia as a friend of hers in pre-WWII Germany. When the book was published, Muriel Gardner claimed that she was Julia and Hellman had appropriated her story. Hellman flat out denied it, insisting that her version was accurate.

I’ve had the book on my shelf for years and never read it. Maybe I should since it’s where my name came from and all.

2. Do you have a set time for prayer in your day?

I guess so. I (try to remember to) say a Morning Offering when I wake up. I usually pray Morning Prayer from my Magnificat while nursing Will in the morning, read the Mass readings throughout the day as I’m able, and pray Evening Prayer when I nurse Will before he goes to bed. If I am driving in the car for awhile or taking Will for a walk, I pray the rosary. But since it’s 3 million degrees here in Atlanta, we’re not going for too many walks lately. And I mostly only drive to Target, Publix, and the splashpad. But back when Will was in his I-only-fall-asleep-in-my-carseat phase, I prayed a lot of rosaries. The Angelus is my favorite prayer and I try to remember to say it at noon but I forget. A lot. Like maybe 90% of the time.

3. Did your mom work or stay home? Or both?

Both. When I was born, and then my sister 3 years later, my mom stayed home with us for a few years. But my dad is self-employed so the health insurance costs were becoming outrageous. When I was in first or second grade, my mom went back to work three days a week, which was the minimum to qualify for health insurance benefits. She stayed at three days a week for many years and then went full time when we were in high school (and presumably, college costs were looming imminently). She’s back to three days a week now. And I hope she will retire soon so she can be Grammy full-time!

4. Do you vote?

I do. I will admit that I do not always vote in small local elections, which I know is stupid because those are the ones in which my vote carries the most weight.

Our last primary election was a small voting debacle. (Let me preface this by adding that we live in a very liberal, intown neighborhood. Two of the major Democratic candidates for state offices live in my neighborhood and one of them is Jimmy Carter’s grandson. Just so you have the lay of the land here.)

Anyway, I walked up to the church that is our polling place while wearing Will in the Boba. I walk in, and one of the poll volunteers ever so sweetly informed me that he “is too heavy and going to fall out of that thing.” Okay lady. Thank you for your concern. If she were not approximately 90 years old I would have been less polite but whatever. She then asks which ballot I want and I say Republican. (Note- I don’t really consider myself a Republican but requesting an Independent ballot in a primary is a waste since there’s pretty much nothing on it.) So. She gives me the credit card looking thing and waves me over to the voting machines. I stick the card in. Up pops the Democratic ballot. I go back to one of the elderly poll workers, explain (repeatedly and increasingly loudly) that I have been given the wrong ballot. After a lot of discussion and papers and etc. she hands me back my card and tells me it’s correct now. I go stick it back in a machine. Democratic ballot. I go back, explain that it’s still wrong. More discussion, more shuffling of papers. I get my card back. I go reinsert in. Independent ballot (pretty much nothing on it except judges and local ordinance kind of stuff). I go back again and tell them it’s wrong. Again. Finally the poll manager walks over and asks what’s going on. I explain that I am currently on my third wrong ballot. He takes over and gives me a new card, while the other poll workers discuss how they are 76, but this other lady in their Sunday School class is 78 (I am not making this up). I go reinsert the new card. Finally, the correct ballot. I vote as quickly as I possibly can since Will is starting to get irate at this point. He really starts to lose it as I am walking out and the original poll volunteer calls after me, “I really don’t think he likes being in that thing you know. He’s going to fall out!”


004I guess when you live in the neighborhood where are the Democratic forerunners live, they just can’t fathom you want a Republican ballot?




5. What’s your favorite drink?

Non-alcoholic? Sweet, sweet chemical laden Diet Coke. The husband was adamant about me not drinking it while pregnant. It was seriously one of the first things I asked for after Will was born.


Alcoholic? Wine. Specifically, Pinot Noir. Preferably Cakebread or one from the Willamette Valley.

IMG_1748Taken during a visit to Cakebread after running the Napa Valley Marathon.

6. How are your photography skills?

Um, limited? We just bought a DSLR while I was pregnant with Will and I have to keep reminding myself to use it instead of my phone all the time.

We did try to use the good camera at the beach last week. I hope to get up some of those pictures soon!







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