Friday, January 4, 2008

Thought Provoking Thursday...

Yes, I know I'm posting this on a Friday, but it's about yesterday, so you get the point.

Yesterday was an interesting day. I had so many things leave an imprint on my brain that it’s hard to know what I should blabber (er, I mean blog) about. But I’ve never been known to spare you all from the mundane, so I’ll bravely forge ahead.

I was at the downtown library on my lunch break and as I was turning the corner of one of the stacks while reading the back of an audiobook that I’d selected, I plowed into a very, very large man. His hair was a sandy blonde and he wore a full, scraggly beard. My first thought was to berate myself for not watching where I was going.. “Oh! Excuse me, sir. I’m sorry!” I said.

Then my olfactory glands went on full alert – the man smelled as if he hadn’t bathed in a month or more. He wore multiple layers of filthy, threadbare clothes and carried a large duffel bag. The downtown library is a place of refuge to our transient population, especially on days like yesterday when it was about 12 degrees Fahrenheit. He seemed surprised, but immediately apologized to me. “I’m sorry – I didn’t see you – the sun shining in from the windows made it hard to see.” What a polite response. Remember, I was the one who smacked right into him.

I smiled at him, looked him in the eye and said, “Oh no. I just need to look where I’m going next time.”

He smiled back and told me to have a great day. His eyes had merry crinkles around them and he said it with such warmth that I knew he was honestly wishing me well. My brain went into overdrive (as it tends to do often) and I started turning things over in my head. Why is this man in the position that he’s in? Did he lose his job? Does he have a drinking problem? Did he get sick? Does he have a family? Kids? Parents? None of that really matters, maybe. I was just thinking about him. And I really hope he had a warm place to sleep last night and that his luck improves very soon. I can’t put my finger on what made me think of this man over and over again yesterday. He just struck a chord in me, maybe because he was so polite to me - a well dressed, professional woman so engrossed in her own world that she wasn’t looking where she was going and about knocked this guy off his feet. It’s not that I expect the homeless to have a sour disposition (though one could understand if they did.) I was surprised at his cheeriness and his immediate impulse to wish a great day upon me. It felt like a gift. And that’s what I’m taking it as.

On to the next part of yesterday. Hollywood had a basketball game after work. The Husband was working late, so as usual, I dragged Bumblebee along to the game. Four year olds and packed bleachers are never fun. Four year olds who claim to be in a ‘silly mood’ (interpret that as a kid who doesn’t want to listen to Mommy) are disastrous in packed bleachers. That kid was driving me nuts! She kept swinging her arms and legs around, bumped into the woman in front of us at least a thousand times, and wouldn’t color in the coloring book I so preparedly brought with me to amuse her. She kept breathing on me with her foul goldfish smelling breath and that was probably irritating me the most of all. “Mommy – I’m so silly!” she kept saying while giggling maniacally and flailing about. Silly indeed. I wanted to tie her to the bleachers, but I think that might be against a law or two. It was painful. Almost as painful as the 53 – 9 loss Hollywood’s team endured.

After the game, I rushed home, refreshed my makeup and went to the caucus. It was so extremely interesting, I can’t even begin to describe it! We live in a teeny tiny precinct, and only get to send two delegates to the democratic convention in March. But wow- what a process to get those two delegates decided. We went to stand with our candidate of choice. There were 101 people present in our precinct and we had to talk 26 people to come to our group for a viable option. I totally thought Hillary was going to blow this away, but to my surprise, the Edwards camp had the first viable group upon the first count. The way it works is that if there is only one viable group after the first count, then people can talk others into joining their group. That’s when the ‘fun’ begins. It’s a debater’s dream. People are highlighting the points of each group, trying to talk those who are caucusing for the less popular candidates to come over to their team. Very interesting process. In the end, our precinct sent a delegate for Edwards and one for Obama. Our group was very persuasive! We talked 11 people into coming over to our ‘team’ after the initial count. One of them was an 80+ year old man. He was originally supporting Joe Biden, but came over to our group when it was clear that Biden wasn’t going to become viable. It was fun listening to him, and he just had the sweetest smile on his face when we all cheered for him when he put on his Obama sticker.

My first caucus was so interesting, it was fun even! I was afraid that I wouldn’t know anyone, that since it was a new process to me that I’d do something to embarrass myself. But I knew lots of people there – including Hollywood’s softball coach and the lady who lives in the house directly behind me. And those were just a few. It was a really good time, and I was glued to the tv after I got home to watch the news coverage of it. Of course I was happy as can be to see that Obama won.

So. What a thought provoking day. I think my brain is taking the day off. A coworker of mine sent me a brain teaser that she got from the Mensa calendar. I figured it out, but it sucked all of the rest of my brainpower away. I’m sure I’ll forget where my car is parked tonight when I leave work…. Not enough energy left to do the necessary stuff, I guess.

Um, like write a coherent post apparently. If you’re still with me, then I’m amazed. Happy Friday!!!


Andrea said...

Happy Friday to you, too! Sounds like you had an amazing Thursday. :)

By the way, if you ever want to share any brain teasers, feel free. I'm addicted to them.

Mom In Scrubs said...

Me too! Send the brain teaser my way!!

Oh, and I watched some of the cacucus-ing on TV...Interesting, but not so interesting that I would want to miss an evening with my kids for it. Go Obama!

Travis Erwin said...

I'm still with you and I enjoyed this day in the life of Monnik post.

I did a bit of caucus pondering over on my blog today as well, but mine wasn't nearly as interesting as yours.

Cmommy said...

We watched the caucus on tv--thank you for explaining the process, because even though I got an "A" in Political Science, I did not understand the inner workings of caususing. I'm voting for the other side, lol, but I'm glad you are involved!

Swishy said...

What an interesting day! I also liked hearing about the caucus ... I was very interested in the results but couldn't quite wrap my mind around how it all worked.

Josephine Damian said...

Monnik, I watched the caucuses on CNN. Fascinating! I'm jealous because we don't do that here in FL.

I also saw the potential for a powerful, charismatic person to persuade others to come over to one candidate vs. another. Quite interesting social/psychological dynamics at these events.

What we do do here in FL is screw up voting, and no doubt our upcoming primary will be a convoluted mess.

Anyway, Obama had me in tears over that speech he gave after the caucuses were over. Go Obama!

Mama P said...

I thought you were going to say that the fat man at the library the same man at the caucus later! And he thanked you for your courtesy! And explained that the reason he smelled so bad was that an anti-Obama voter had thrown a piece of horse manure at him.

Hey, I'm not punch drunk, right?