I've liked it since my parents took me to the voting booth on 96th Street in New York.
I feel so patriotic and so like I'm making a difference, and I feel a sense of community. One argument against voting is that your ballot is just a needle in a haystack, but for the counter-argument, think one word: Florida.
Yesterday was a beautiful New England fall day, sunny and in the 50s. I walked into South Hadley High School looking for the room where my precinct was voting.
What happened next took me aback.
A town official whom I've known for years was directing traffic, pointing voters to the correct rooms. With perfectly coiffed blond hair, blue eyes and a radiant smile, she doesn't seem to age. Our daughters were on the same soccer team, and we used to watch games together.
If I want to, I can go around incognito. Many people don't recognize me. Although I think I don't look too different, my hair is short now (compared to previously being at least shoulder-length), I wear glasses and my cheeks are still slightly puffy from prednisone.
But I felt like saying hi to this woman, whom I haven't seen for a while. So I reintroduced myself. She smiled, gave me a big hug, and asked how I was. I said things were good and I was coming along. She looked me over and said, "You don't look too bad."
As in, "You don't look too good?"
Excuse me? Was this a compliment? It didn't feel that way.
This was not a jolly, joking, slap on the back "You don't look too bad!"
I'm sure that she was busy and didn't give this comment a thought. But still, didn't we learn in kindergarten that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all?
How about, "Good to see you!" or, even if it makes you choke, "You look good!"
People with health problems – not just those with cancer – or those recovering from illness probably run into this often: The well-meaning person who doesn't know what to say or the clueless person with no filter.
I vote against the Foot-in-Mouth party, which actually had many members this election season.