Thursday, 24 May 2012

Things We Learned In: Our Early Twenties



I came across an old diary entry the other day that made me laugh and realise what a long time ago being 21 was. Doing adult things for the first time was daunting and exciting, and this included voting. Nowadays I know what to do and it's boring, it's mundane. Back then it was exciting and new. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has experienced the following:

5th May 2005

Interior monologue of a first time voter directly after voting

Oh my LORD, did I put those bits of paper in the right boxes?

Should I have folded that other one?

...Was that it?

Oh god, I feel tainted. Why is that?

Hang on, I put a tick. I put a tick. Should I have put a tick or a cross. A TICK OR A CROSS? It didn't say. It actually did not say.

I'm sure a tick is fine. Traditionally a tick means yes doesn't it?

And a cross means no. So surely to put a cross would be indicating that I didn't want to vote for that person?

OH MY FUCKING GOD. Did I tick the wrong box? DID I TICK THE UKIP BOX BY MISTAKE? Oh my god! I'm an accidental racist!

No that's ridiculous.

A tick or a cross? Seriously. I think it was meant to be a cross.

But it DID NOT SAY! So it isn't my fault.

They'll know what I meant.

What THE HELL was that other bit of paper for? Who was I voting for there? Whats that about? There was NO information ANYWHERE about that.

I feel kind of cheated actually.

A tick or a cross?

Oh dear.

Oh dear oh dear.

*

I went back to my rehearsal room (my rehearsal was in the same building so I went to vote during our break, and they let me, even though I hadn't got my polling card...and didn't ask me for ID...surely I could have posed as someone else?) and asked the others if I should have crossed the box. Someone pulled out their polling card and read the instructions, which indeed said that I should have crossed the box.

I then got on the phone to my mum, trusty advisor in any situation. She went on the electoral website and found out that a tick was okay. But she thought I was an idiot for not knowing I should have crossed instead of ticked. I spent the next minute and a half shouting 'In society, a cross means no! It means no!' and then she said 'ok dear' in the kind of voice a parent uses when they wish to indicate that they do not know how their child managed to grow up so stupid. And then we rang off.

Honestly. They should make it clearer! But either way, my name is now crossed off the list and I have had my say. That woman who got knocked down by the horse would be exceptionally proud of me :)