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I don’t vote

I was stopped at the post office today, just passing through on a quick run to drop off a few packages for my LuLaRoe business, by a guy outside asking people to update their voter registration. In a bit of a hurry, I kindly and quickly said “no thanks, I don’t vote” and continued walking. Apparently he wasn’t satisfied with that response, because he replied with “what about the 19th amendment?” To which I answered “I don’t like my choices” and walked inside. When I reemerged from the building on my way back through the parking lot to my car, he said to me “well what about all the local elections, the judges and the school board and all the people responsible for teaching your children?” (this guy was clearly not giving up). I firmly replied that I teach children, so I’m going to focus on that. I did tell him that I appreciated him asking, but I feel like his persistence just brings up a very good point that I believe I’m not alone in feeling. Or maybe I am and I’m the only person that has it wrong, but either way, it’s my prerogative and it’s my basic human right as an American citizen to vote or not vote. It isn’t anybody else’s choice to make but mine.

I’m sure there’ll be plenty of people reading this who follow politics on the daily and vote every time there’s an election, whether it’s local, state or federal government, but I’m just not one of those people. And I really don’t care who has a problem with it or not, because again, it’s my decision to make as an individual living in this country. It’s my freedom to choose whether or not I want to vote.

I also want to point out that I’m not one of those people who refuses to vote and then, when people are elected that I don’t agree with, sits there and complains about it. No, I realize that if I’m giving up my right to vote, I’m also giving up my right to complain about who wins. I’m not that much of an asshole.

Up until this point in my adult life, in the years since I’ve turned 18 and have been eligible to vote, I have not agreed with any of the choices for president. This is only the third presidential election that I have been of age for. The first two were obviously when Obama was elected and reelected; both times I did not agree with his win, and both times I also did not like the opposing candidate. So for me, voting for one guy because I don’t want the other guy to win, even if the guy I’m voting for isn’t someone I  want to win either, really doesn’t make sense to me. Sure, maybe voting for the lesser of two evils is the right thing to do, maybe it’s not. All I know is that until I am presented with at least one option that I truly feel confident about voting in to office, I’m not going to participate. It’s just not a good use of my time. And as a very busy middle school teacher, I can’t afford to waste any time on things that I don’t agree with.

For example, where the upcoming presidential election is concerned, I think Donald Trump is a buffoon and I certainly don’t want him running our country, but does that mean that Hillary Clinton deserves my vote? Probably not, and that’s why I’m not voting. I’m simply not satisfied giving my vote to either candidate.

That being said, I understand the point this nice gentleman is trying to make about how I should still participate in local and state government. However, again, I am a very busy schoolteacher who also runs a business of her own on the side, so between all of that, and all of the things that actually pertain to my day-to-day life and responsibilities, taking the time out of my busy life to vote for people that, again, I don’t really know that much about, really just doesn’t seem to make sense to me. In my opinion, and again, this is all my opinion which, by definition, cannot be wrong, so please don’t tell me that I’m wrong in saying any of this (especially considering the whole “freedom of speech” thing). I’m a language arts teacher, I know what opinion is versus fact. Everything that I’m saying right now is opinion, not a fact, you can’t prove it right or wrong, it’s simply how I feel, and you’re allowed to feel differently, that’s why they’re called opinions.

Anyway, now that I’m done ranting about opinions versus fact, my opinion is that my one vote is not going to make enough of a difference in the long run. In the grand scheme of things, whoever I could possibly vote for in the local and state government is probably not going to make a difference to the point where my vote is necessary. I realize that sounds pessimistic and ignorant, because if everyone had this attitude and everyone said “oh, my vote doesn’t count it’s really not gonna matter whether I vote or not” then nobody would vote and then change really wouldn’t be able to occur. I already get that. But all I know is that, at the end of the day, I’m a teacher, I’m teaching kids and I’m making a difference and impacting the world on a smaller level. I’m causing change to occur on a smaller level, and that is the most that I can contribute to society.

I also refuse to vote blindly just for the sake of voting. If I don’t know who I’m voting for, or I’m uneducated about the candidates, I would rather not vote than vote blindly just for the sake of putting in my two cents. And honestly, between working 40+ hours a week and trying to have some time for my friends and family on top of all that (because I need to have a life and not lose my mind), I don’t have the time to dedicate to educating myself about the candidates. There are so many people running for so many things I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I see signs every day when I’m driving around, re-elect this person or elect that person for a slew of miscellaneous titles that I’ve never even heard of. So, because I’m uneducated about who they even are, let alone what they’re running for, I elect to not vote blindly. And I’m sorry, but I’m also not going to take time out of my very busy schedule to educate myself on people that, honestly, don’t affect my day-to-day life. I don’t really feel the impact of what they do, and maybe one day I will, and maybe that’s the day that I will change my outlook and I will actually care about voting, but until that day comes, I’m going to focus my energy on the things that matter to me and the people in my life directly. For me, to have the biggest impact on my life and the lives of people around me, I need to be a little selfish in that respect and focus on what I’m doing and how I’m trying to make a difference in this world and for me that means teaching my sixth graders about how to be good people and showing them by example how to live a good life and be moral and have ethics and hopefully one day they will be able to go out into the world and they will be able to create change in whatever way they see fit.

Whenever the topic of politics comes up, especially in regards to people (seemingly) being ignorant and not voting, there’s always going to be controversy, there are always going to be people who don’t agree, and there are always going to be people who want to argue and say that you’re wrong. You can tell me I’m wrong all you want, it’s still not going to change how I think and how I live my life.

I will also say that I appreciate the people who do pay attention to this nonsense, because those are the people who are voting and hopefully putting into office people that deserve to be there. Maybe one day my priorities will change as I get older and I will actually care about this stuff and pay attention more, but until that day comes, I’m happy with how I live my life, even if others think I’m living in a bubble (because it’s a damn awesome bubble). I really couldn’t care less about voting at this point in my life, so thank you sir for offering to update my voter registration card, but I’ll take a hard pass.

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Proper concert etiquette

As someone who is obsessed with music, there’s nothing I enjoy more than a good concert. I spend a good deal of my hard-earned dollars on concert tickets every year, so I want to make sure I get the most of my money’s worth when I go. Sometimes you can’t account for certain things, like whether a band is just going to be absolutely terrible live (there are truly some artists who simply can’t produce what can be considered music without the help of auto-tune), but as you take into consideration your fellow concert-goers, here are a few simple rules of concert etiquette to remember to make sure the show is enjoyable for all.

Smoke. There’s nothing people love more than the overwhelming smell of smoke while they’re trying to jam out with their favorite band. This is especially appreciated when you’re at an indoor venue, or if you exhale directly into the face of the person next to/behind you.

Don’t use manners. What’s the point in saying “excuse me”? If you’re trying to get by someone, just be obnoxious and inconsiderate about it. Extra points if you push and shove your way through when there is clearly no room for you. Besides, who wants to be polite, anyway?

Have a regular conversation with your friends at loud volumes. This is social hour, after all, right? It’s not like the people standing near you paid money to hear the music. I’m sure they would much rather listen to you talk about what an ass your ex was and how ugly his new girlfriend is.

Be “that drunk guy.” You know the one I’m talking about. The one that gets completely shitfaced and mean, and pisses off everyone around him because he’s ruining the show. Yeah, be that guy.

 

Hit the Rise Against concert two nights ago; awesome performance by the band, less-than-awesome audience interaction, mainly thanks to the guy in front of me blowing smoke all night.

Hit the Rise Against concert two nights ago; awesome performance by the band, less-than-awesome audience interaction, mainly thanks to the guy in front of me blowing smoke all night. Oh sorry, am I bitter much?

If you do any of these things at a show, you’re a huge wanker and you probably deserve to get punched in the face. Which I’m sure you will by the end of the night.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like…Halloween

Even though we’re still a few days out til October, the fall/Halloween season is basically already upon us (at least for an addict like me). To kick off my favorite time of year, my friends and I hit Sweet Fields Farm for their annual corn maze (despite the fact that they don’t offer night tours anymore, the jerks). Although, with the typical sketchy Florida weather, we almost. didn’t. get. to. go. Stupid rain. Apparently you’re not capable of walking through a corn maze if it’s raining (so dumb). But I willed the rain to stop (it was clearly my pleading, not the weather pattern, that cleared the skies) and we made it in with the last admission. And of course had a blast (how could you not in a corn maze?).

photo (3)

Children of the corn.

Since living in Florida, fall and Halloween have never been quite the same. As someone who lives to be scared and spends their whole year waiting for this one month, I still find plenty of ways to get my scare on and get into the fall spirit, but it’s not like it was living up north, with the changing leaves and the cool, crisp nights, perfect for bonfires and hot chocolate and freezing your butt off while you’re trick-or-treating.

Oh, who am I kidding, who wants to be cold and miserable? I love Florida. I do miss things that were unique to Pennsylvania, like Mazezilla and The Hotel of Horror, but I’ve discovered a few Florida haunts that I’m hoping will pan out and turn into a yearly thing (more on that later). More than anything, I just want to go to a bunch of haunted houses, scream my head off often, watch a lot of terrifying movies and never have it be November 1st.

Also, please bring back my favorite Halloween commercial. K thanks.

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The way black is black and blue is just blue

Over the weekend, I got to meet (and hang out for two days with) my boyfriend’s parents. For me, meeting a significant others’ parents was always kind of a big deal, especially because 1. I have had so few serious relationships, and (save for the boyfriends I had in my younger years, which don’t count, because they were still living at home and their parents were around all the time), I only really wanted to meet the parents if I felt the relationship was going somewhere long-term (which, luckily for me, they haven’t until now- hopefully; of course, now that I’ve said that, my boyfriend will probably read this, freak out and run away- or better yet, maybe he’ll propose tomorrow). And 2. parents usually live out of state, which makes meeting them more involved and take longer (although, considering his came all the way from Michigan to Florida to meet me after 4 months of dating, I must be doing something right). Reversely, I never felt like it was a big deal bringing mine around because they are so laid back and don’t make it into a big deal. Plus they live local and I have a blast hanging with them, so it’s kind of hard to avoid (my boyfriend ended up spending the day fishing with my mom, stepdad and me after only a week of dating; point proven).

It’s weird how not weird all of this has been up to this point. When I went away with my ex to meet his parents (after a year and a half of dating, no less), it felt like I had to be “on” the whole time I was there, like I could never really relax and just be myself, because I was too busy trying to impress them, and I still wasn’t even completely comfortable with him. But this just felt like I was already part of the family (which is great, because that’s kind of the whole point). It’s weird for me to feel so at ease in my relationship so early on. Like we’ve been together forever, and it just fits and is right.

It’s crazy how some people can come into your life and fit into it so effortlessly, like they were there all along. It’s foreign to me to feel like this person was always supposed to be in my life, like one of those cheesy “how did I survive without you until now” moments that are so cliched but couldn’t be more true. For someone who values their independence and alone time, it’s weird to want that one person around all the time, to just be in their presence, to miss them when they’re not there even though you just saw them.

The funny thing is, I don’t feel this overly dramatic, romantic feeling that you can only suspect happens in movies when the main character has fallen in love and declared it will last forever. This is better. It actually feels real this time. I’ve stopped trying to read into things, because I don’t feel like there’s anything to worry about anymore. I don’t feel like I need to validate my feelings to myself or anyone else because, for lack of better words, they simply just fit; I couldn’t imagine feeling any other way. And it’s actually not even overwhelming or a little scary to realize you want someone for the rest of your life. It’s just like, well duh, how could you want it any other way?

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A lazy Sunday idea

So my boyfriend and I had the ingenious idea of buying inflatable pool floaties and just being lazy on the water all day yesterday. It was pretty much the best idea we’ve had yet, and we’ve had some good ones, so you know this one must have been awesome, but only because I’m telling you it was awesome, because you weren’t even there, so what the fuck do you know about anything?

Err..moving on.

With our styrofoam cooler floating in the water next to us- stocked with snacks and delicious adult beverages, of course (beers for him, fruity mixed drinks for me)- pretty good weather and a quiet, secluded spot in the water, we couldn’t have asked for a better setup. And even when we realized hey, we’ve drifted pretty far away from the beach and into open water, I really didn’t seem to care that we probably wouldn’t make it back alive. I had the sun, the sea and my man, what else did I need? Who really cared if we drowned, right?

Wrong. Apparently I cared if we drowned. A few storm clouds started to move in and it started to rain lightly (but even then I was still unfazed by our predicament). Once darker clouds started rolling in, though, and the water started to get choppy, and I realized I wasn’t making any headway trying to paddle myself back to shore, I started to freak out a little internally, but only because I almost washed away to sea once. Perfectly legitimate reason to be scared, right?

Now I suppose this is the part where I tell that story, huh?

One time I was on a sailboat with my dad and a few friends. And we anchored so we could swim and I jumped in and my friend jumped in and we started floating away because we couldn’t fight the current back to the boat, so my dad had to jump in with a rope and save us. And our life preserver/buoy/rafts drifted away into the abyss, never to be seen again (probably picked up by the Coast Guard). The end.

I’m not really even sure where this post was going in the first place (not like I ever really have a direction that makes sense when I’m blogging, anyway). But basically the moral of the story is that in the future, my boyfriend and I need to keep ourselves beached if we’re planning on floating aimlessly (or invest in a tiny baby anchor). Although it really doesn’t matter at the end of the day, because the water was probably only chest deep, but I’d rather drown than put my feet down in those nasty, murky, weedy, mushy waters.

And to make this post even more useless and irrelevant, because I didn’t even get a picture of either one of us doing the lazy float thing (because let’s face it, who has time for selfies when you’re busy being lazy and float-y?), here’s a picture of a dog being lazy instead:

Basically what I looked like. I'm not quite this tan though.

Basically what I looked like. I’m not quite this tan though.

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