I did a couple of notable things today, not the least of which was spending the entire day in my pajamas and on the internet.
Aside from that stroke of motivation, I also got my ankle MRIed. I have a follow-up tomorrow with my physical therapist (who has then referred me to other physical therapists for actual PT- How does that work?). I plan on telling her that the whole thing went fine, and I was finally relieved to learn that the MRI techs take appointments all throughout the day, and not just at 7am and 9pm when they were repeatedly offered to me. (Apparently the only time to get an MRI on less than 3 months notice is at these hours, but they actually work all day long.)
Something I didn’t do today was vote. For those of my readers outside of the North American bubble (And I know there are at least a couple of you out there), I won’t bother going into details regarding the race for Ted Kennedy’s vacated senatorial seat, but you can find them here:
Next question: Why didn’t I vote? Simple answer: I dunno.
I could excuse myself by saying that I wasn’t sure where I was actually registered to vote after so many moves in the past five years, or talk about how I didn’t get a good vibe from either Brown or Coakley. I could give my opinion that casting my vote in a lesser-of-two-evils ballot isn’t really casting a vote at all or I could reasonably explain that I didn’t know enough about either of the two major candidates minus what I’ve heard from their (mostly-smear) campaigns on TV and radio the past couple of weeks. But in the end there’s no good reason for my not voting, and my roommate (who did vote) put it well: “I’m so glad I voted today. Otherwise I’d feel like a real asshole right now.”
I don’t exactly feel like an asshole, but I am a little puzzled with myself. This isn’t the first time I’ve failed to vote in a major-ish election. I voted for Obama via absentee ballot even though I was nearly 100% certain Massachusetts would go his way. But, then again, that was more of a vote for posterity’s sake; to say I’d been there when. Before that ballot, I’m not sure when the last time I voted was. Maybe my first year in Cambridge, and I’m pretty sure I had no idea what most of the ballot issues were about.
I guess I’m puzzled to know what keeps people like me from voting. I’m educated. I’m worldly. I like to do my little part to change the world, even. But, in general, I’m rather uninformed when it comes to current events.
I’ve wanted to change this for a while; a long while even. I remember asking my best friend, Rachel, back during our study-abroad year in Austria to explain the Israel-Palestine conflict to me. (Yeah, the answer was about as brief as you might imagine it to have been…) That same year I took a lecture called “Empire, Superpower or Rogue State”. I didn’t know what 7/8 of the material was talking about, but I had lots of aspirations to understand America and how it interacts with the rest of the world.
I’m sorry to say that my forays abroad have done little to help my understanding of world politics and current events. Somehow I can memorize massive amounts of dialogue in a theatre script, but retaining the details of in-country conflicts and dissolving and reemerging borders eludes me.
The other notable thing I did today was to completely ignore someone I knew that I saw on the T platform. It was a theatre acquaintance that I often run into in the neighborhood, and I walked right up to him while he was on his cell phone without even knowing it. As soon as I realized that I was standing next to him, I promptly turned my back and buried my nose into my book. (Nothing like a little Faulkner to make you look deep in thought on mass transit.)
The reason I found this notable is because it felt good to not say hi to this person. And I’m so sure he’ll never read my blog that I’m going to go ahead and say it again- It felt gooood.
We’re brought up to feel that we always need to connect with a person we’ve connected with once. Why do we do this? To prove that we’ve made X number of friends in our lives? (Most of which aren’t even friends, but just unpaid extras who were never written into our scripts in the first place and were never meant to hold starring, or even featured, roles. An ‘acquaintance’ button on Facebook? Can I get a hell yeah?!)
But in actuality, 99% of the time these people don’t contribute to our lives at all after they’ve made their exits. It brings us no joy to talk to them again – to catch up and pretend we care about their new jobs or new cars or new girlfriends or whatever. So, why don’t we just call a spade a spade and forget the chit chat? Give a smile if you want, but the next time you see me on the train and you’ve got nothing to say to me, just pass on by, baby. If I feel differently (which I probably won’t) I’ll flag you down. And then we can dance the awkward dance.
Yeah, so I didn’t vote today. I feel a little bit crappy knowing that European-style health coverage (something I do actually understand, at least at an elementary level) might bomb in the Senate because of my apathy. But I still think I’ll be able to sleep tonight. Perhaps if someone could recommend a good online news source that uses plain English, I’ll try that out before bed, and, I’m sure, sleep quite soundly tomorrow.
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