Jewish World Review Oct. 14, 2004 / 29 Tishrei, 5765

Rheta Grimsley Johnson

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A day in the life of an ‘undecided voter’ | 7 a.m. — I start to get out of bed, then figure, no, what the heck, I'll lie here for a few more minutes and contemplate the day. The weather out the window looks iffy. Maybe I should sleep in and enjoy it. Sounds good. No, no, can't be so selfish. There's work to be done. Heave-ho and to it! Less than a month till the election.

8 a.m. — I don my red pantsuit but then decide, no, it makes me look too broad abeam. I change to the smart blue shirtwaist that's just been laundered. Somehow, though, it's never been flattering. I finally put on a yellow shirt and black pants, the better to show up on television.

9 a.m. — I start to eat the bran cereal — good for my heart — but at the last minute choose rye toast, lightly buttered, on the Sugar Busters diet plan. I was on South Beach but then heard so many Atkins success stories I tried it. Right now I'm back with the Busters, though Weight Watchers lately has looked interesting to me.

10 a.m. — I'm being interviewed by a local TV crew for a segment on Undecided Voters. Finally we UVs are getting the attention we deserve! All manner of media have come courting. We UVs are the thoughtful, more deliberate voters on the planet, not swayed by party or ideology, willing to hear both sides and even spoiler Ralph Nader. But all the attention is beginning to stress me out. It's not easy being wishy-washy.

10:30 a.m. — The TV folks arrive, and I seat them in my spacious living room furnished by Rooms To Go. Love that store! Never could make up my mind about furniture — what went with what — until that consumer concept took hold.

11 a.m. — I tell them that if the election were held today — Heaven forbid! — I'm leaning toward Bush. Something about the way he pounded the podium in the first debate moved me. It was firm but not strident, manly but shy of macho. But I'm still keeping an open mind. Kerry could do or say or wear something in the final round that would put me squarely in his camp come Election Day.

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Noon — I have a quick lunch at the cafeteria. The choices confuse me, so I end up with tea and a lemon wedge.

1 p.m. — Spent some quiet time with a magazine. I am reading profiles on the candidates' wives. They might help me make up my mind. After all, behind every good man ... I like Laura's modesty and conventional style. On the other hand, I love Teresa's full name: Maria Teresa Thierstein Simoes-Ferreira Heinz Kerry. You'd never have to call her the same thing twice!

3 p.m. — Answered the calls of pollsters from CNN, CBS, NBC and Fox. Told them all different things. If I wanted to make up my mind prematurely, I wouldn't be an Undecided Voter, now would I?

5 p.m. — Argued with a friend on the phone about her conviction that Kerry is the best man for the top job. Asked her how in the world she could be so sure in this ever-changing political climate. Reminded her to watch me on the evening news.

7 p.m. — Vacillated between steak and chicken for dinner. Ended up eating ham. Took a walk around the block that ended up taking much longer than I planned. Couldn't decide whether to turn right or left at the traffic light.

8 p.m. — Exhausted from indecision. I turn in early after authorizing my agent to sell a copy of this journal to Newsweek.

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© 2004, Rheta Grimsley Johnson Distributed by King Features Syndicate