Saturday, December 19, 2009

Colleen Sue's Day Off

I had an interesting day. Ok, maybe not as interesting as that of Ferris Bueller, but I met lots of unique people. And all because of Mark Dayton. One of his campaign staffers gave me a button/pin, so I've been wearing it on my coat. Turns out it's a great conversation starter.

My first stop this morning was the community room of my apartment complex. Residents get free coffee, donuts and interaction with each other every Saturday morning. This morning we also had birthday cake. It was Joan's 90 something birthday. There were probably about 15 of us...the same ones every Saturday. They all asked me when the Meet and Greet was going to be. They're really looking forward to it. I said I didn't know, because I hadn't been given a date yet. Hopefully it'll be a Sunday afternoon. That way everyone can come. Including my son and daughter-in-law.

Next stop was downtown St. Paul. I parked in front of the Golden Rule Building and wandered over to the bus stop. I wanted to go to Minneapolis and take the light rail to the mall. I didn't want to drive to Mpls for parking reasons and because my front tires have bad tread. Not to the legal limit yet, but close. Plus my hood flops around (my youngest son had rearended a city bus).

There were the usual people at the downtown St. Paul bus stop. Three young men were loud, but it was excusable, as they were practicing their rap techniques. I had to get after one guy, though. He looked to be about thirty years old. Far too old to be frightening the pigeons, I thought. I told him he was naughty. He grinned then looked at the button pinned to my jacket. "Who's Mark Dayton?" he asked. I replied that he's running for governor. He asked if he was related to the department store. I agreed that there might be a genetic connection. I told him if he didn't vote for Dayton I was going to turn him into the ASPCA for his mistreatment of the pigeons. He shamefully agreed.

The bus finally came and off I went down I94 to Minneapolis. I got off on Nicollet and went immediately to the light rail station. Luckily you never have to wait long for it to come along. Thanks, R.T.

I love trains. I grew up on trains. I come from a railroad family. My grandfather was an engineer for the Minnesota Transfer Railway. My uncle Everett was a fireman (for the engine). I had cousins who worked for the Burlington Northern. I spent a lot of time on the Burlington Northern Black Hawk between St. Paul and Chicago. Sometimes we'd go on to York, Nebraska, where my aunt and uncle lived. Once we even took the train to Florida. My cousin Diana and I loved nothing better than to ride the rails. To this day I could ride them for weeks and never get bored. You meet so many interesting people on the train and there's plenty of time to talk to them.

The LRT was crowded today. Everyone was headed either to the airport or the mall. I struck up a conversation with a young Asian man who was new to Minnesota but had already found a job and a car. He asked about my button. I explained about that particular candidate. He was duly impressed and agree to cast his vote appropriately. I took out my little notebook and made another scratch mark. Soon I'll have to get another one.

We finallly reached the MOA VIA LRT. It was crowded today. I covered three floors in just a couple of hours. First I walked into C J Banks. Two saleswomen noticed my button and came over to talk about it. "Oh, is he campaigning already?" they asked. I agreed that he was. I didn't have to say anything after that. They told me all the reasons they were voting for him. I smiled, agreed, made my purchase of a Christmas pullover and went on my way.

The same thing happened in three more stores. For a total of nineteen people. I'm grinning by now. Getting hungry, too. Oh cool, there was Crepes to Go, right in front of me. I love crepes but haven't had any for the longest time. I eyed the dessert crepes. Fresh strawberries with whipped cream. Carmel with ice cream. Bananas with apricot preserves. Yummy. I was a good girl, though, and ordered the chicken/broccoli divan. And a Diet Coke, of course.

My last stop was at Brookstone. They really have some neat stuff. I bought my middle son, Charles, something really cool. I can't tell you what it is because he might read this. The guy who rang up the sale noticed my button (of course). He said, "Dayton. Isn't he running for something in the 5th Congressional District?"

"Governor," I explained patiently.

"Oh yeah," he agreed. "Didn't he used to be our Representative to Washington?"


"I knew he did something. I'll vote for him."

Why argue with success? So I invited him to a Toastmasters meeting.

Usually when I go to MOA I get a headache from all the loud noise reverberating through the amusement park. It wasn't too bad today. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of going into Crabtree & Evelyn and testing the rosewater glycerine lotion. I forgot I always get a headache from the scent of roses. Unfortunately, they discontinued the gardenia scent. I love gardenias and lilacs. So off I went with a headache coming on. Another Diet Coke and two extra strength Bayer took care of it. I was good to go.

Back onto the train and more people asking me who was running for what. I just gave them the link to my blog.

I almost fell asleep on the LRT. Such a lovely ride. I felt content and peaceful. Then we stopped at the airport and some more people got on. There weren't many seats left. A little boy was going to sit next to me. His mom told him to go ahead. He must have been about eight or nine. Then he saw my button and started screaming, "Dad! She's wearing a Mark Dayton button! I'm not sitting with her!" Blankety blank little snot-nosed Republican kid. That's ok, another kid, thoroughly DFL, sauntered over and very coolly said, "My dad can beat up your dad, so take that back." The GOP kid did.

On we rolled to downtown Minneapolis. Just in time for the Holidazzle Parade. The guy standing next to me looked at my button and said, "Are you voting for Mark Dayton?"

"No," I said. "I'm voting for Norm Coleman. That's why I'm wearing a Mark Dayton button." Moron.

Time to get on the 94 MTC and go back to St. Paul. I was hoping my car didn't get towed while I was gone. I left it at a meter all day. Now where does the 94 stop? I thought it might be 8th Street. I hadn't taken a bus from Minneapolis for awhile. I asked a bus driver and he told me 4th Street. So I walked back the way I came. When I got there the people (who duly noticed and commented on my button) said the 94 goes down 6th Street, not 4th. Crap. Some 20 something kid said he would show me. I didn't need to be shown but I let him tag along anyway. He decided he'd take the 94 back to St. Paul too and also decided to sit with me on the bus. Rats. I had to listen to a tirade about World of Warcraft all the way back to St. Paul. If I wanted to hear about WOW, I'd call my youngest son, Marcus. I quickly and efficiently turned the conversation to my beautiful, overworked royal blue (not purple) and red button. By the time we reached St. Paul, he was glassy eyed but eager to vote appropriately.

My car was still where I had left it sans ticket. I got in, cranked up the heat and the stereo, and listened to Johnny Cash croon about getting his car one piece at a time. Kind of like one voter at a time.

Each day is what we make of it. Enthusiasm means everything.

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