When Pippi and I walked into our polling place yesterday, I had to laugh. And not because Pippi was wearing plastic princess heels (which she was) or because all the little old ladies in the room were so sweet to her and her weather-inappropriate footwear (which they were).
I chuckled because of the particular neighbor I recognized sitting at the table working through her ballot. She's a great friend and I love her -- and she's a Republican.
I know, I know -- even liberal ladies like myself have a few conservative friends in the closet. In truth, she and I probably agree on a number of issues, but we tend to live on opposite ends of the political spectrum.
Still, I was happy to see her at the polls. Although I can't really talk politics with this friend because she gets me all worked up and preachy, I still respect her right to vote for the candidates she believes in, even though our ballots probably cancelled each other out in most races.
The reason? Because she's paying attention. She was sitting at the table with her ballot and the newspaper's voter guide, reading through the candidates' information to make her selections. She's not voting straight-ticket out of blind allegiance or (worse) simply not voting but complaining about the way things are -- she's listening to the facts, weighing the debates and making informed choices.
Sure, I wish I could bring her over to my side on more issues -- particularly given the way some of the races turned out. And yes, I'll probably dodge any political debates with her in the near future.
But I'm still glad she was there to vote. And I trust that all those women who fought so hard for the two of us to have the right to disagree on a ballot would be proud.