The knock on the front door itself was an omen. That door’s two purposes are to hold a wreath and to provide another way out of the house in case the side and back doors are engulfed in flames. Delivery people with any power of observation and friends come to the side door. The note my husband stuck up on the front door that says, “No – Parcels/Entry; USE CARPORT DOOR,” should have been another clue to our visitor. But that is a digression.
The man introduced himself, explained that he was running for election to the school board, and asked if I had a few minutes. I didn’t really, but I harkened back to a lesson learned as an adolescent (to be explained later) and let him talk. His spiel consisted mainly of how he was going to take the school district in hand and micromanage the school administrators and get those school teachers working. I took his card and promised to consider what he said.
My long-ago overheard lesson from my mother kicked in quickly. To be honest, I often learned lessons from her while I eavesdropped at the same time I was rejecting the ones she was trying to teach me. Isn’t that what adolescents do?
On that day, Mama explained to her companion that she would not be voting for the incumbent John Doe for sheriff. This was momentous, in itself, since she seldom shared in public who she was voting for. I perked up to see where the conversation would go. Her companion quickly responded, “Oh, you need to quit listening to what people say about him. He is a good guy.”
Mama said, “I’m not listening to what others say. I’m listening to what he said himself.” She had heard him tell a story about someone who upset him and how he would never go back to that house again if he was called. Mama thought the sheriff was the sheriff of all people.
As I promised, I considered what the school board candidate told me. He wants to represent one of the best school districts in the state of Mississippi by any measure of statistics and by the number of people with school age children who deliberately find a home here. I know many of the teachers, and the only way they could work any harder would be to add some hours to the day. They creatively engage their students and make learning fun.
I checked the back of his card. His credentials did not list one item that had anything to do with education, but several that qualified him to micromanage. After the careful consideration that I had promised, I wrote “NO” in capital letters with a marker and put it on the bulletin board.
It seems there are other elections this year. I’m listening primarily to what the candidates say themselves.