The first time I felt like a grown up? It might have been the first time I might have broken federal law.
Due to the nature of this post, please note that I am not confessing to any crime. I am saying "might."
I can tell you that when I was 16, my grandmother that I am named for broke her leg the day of a presidential election. I can tell you that my mother had driven her to the hospital and stayed with her and then taken her home. And my grandmother was very, very upset not just because she'd broken her leg but because it was an election. She always voted Democrat and she always voted.
My mother was lying to her -- and my grandmother knew it -- and saying things like, "Oh, they'll give you a make-up vote." Just making things up.
Finally, my mother was doing dishes and my grandmother begged me to run and get her purse.
I did. And then she gave me twenty dollars for a cab and her electric bill.
She told me that ____ had to win and she'd never not voted. I should go to the gym hand the electric bill and tell the woman or man with the sign in sheets and the voter rolls that I was my grandmother.
If I did that, which would be a federal crime, I believe, I would have taken the twenty, waited outside after my grandmother called a cab, gone to the voting place and attempted to convince them that I was the Ann on their voter roll, see, here was my electric bill.
If I had done that, maybe it would have been beginner's luck, but I think I would have been successful.
If I had been successful in pulling that off, I think I would've realized just how dumb some adults are and I wouldn't have meant my grandmother. If it happened. If.
If I had done it, I would have known how much voting meant to my grandmother (who lived through the Civil Rights era) and I would've known that my mother would not approve. But I would've known that my grandmother really wanted to vote and doing it would have made her very happy.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"