Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Candidate's Wife: My friend Amanda, who is lovely, volunteers to help with Primo's campaign

Amanda (via messenger): You can tell your honey that he has an unreliable campaign lackey; that I intend to volunteer how/whenever. But I will need the campaign pitch, stance, and script to learn. I am excited to help despite living one block south of (the district).

Me: Great! I will tell Primo. Primo, listen.

Primo: It's a little more than a block.

Me: It doesn't matter.

Primo: The district ends on Oak Avenue and she is --

Me: She's either in the district or she's not. That's all that matters.

Primo: It's useful for me to explain exactly where the district ends.

Me: No, it's not.

Amanda: Tell the engineer that the north boundary of my apartment complex ends on W Pine Drive... which is ONE UNINTERRUPTED BLOCK from Oak Ave. So

Wow. She totally gets him.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Candidate's Wife: Making pie for America, or, What's my favorite cookie recipe?

This is a non-partisan rant.

I don't think spouses are relevant to politics. That is, I don't think they should be. Who cares what the spouse - and let's be honest, we are talking about wives here because even though women are half the population, we are under-represented in the political realms of power - wait - in the realms of power everywhere - who cares what the wives think?

I do not care.

I don't care what the husbands think, either, although it's so rarely a husband. So, so rarely.

Why don't more women run for office?

I don't know. Running for office is a pain in the neck for anyone, but it seems like women are criticized for things that men are not. Do they talk about men's hair and clothes? I don't think so.

And nobody asks the men what cookies they like to bake.

Notice to the media:

1. I don't care what the spouse's political opinions are because I am not voting for the spouse

2. Unless the spouse has a Magic Cookie recipe that will make my ass look like I am a 17 year old Playboy model and will clean my house while I sleep, I don't care about the cookies.

I get so tired of this criticism of the spouses. Leave them out of it. Quit talking about their hair, their arms, what they eat, what they don't eat, what they say, what they don't say. Leave them out of it.

Fortunately, nobody at all cares about the wife at the level of office Primo is running for. Actually, I think the wife comes into the picture only at the presidential and maybe the gubernatorial level. I'm not seeing either president or governor in Primo's future - even if he is elected, he cares about crafting policy, not about being an executive. And if there were some strange future where he would be on either of those paths - a strange strange future indeed, maybe the world would have changed by that point to where voters (or readers of the tabloids and the gossip columns) don't care about The Wife.

Can you even imagine? I hate having my photo taken. I hate having to be in public. I hate having to be On. I would be such a bad First Lady. You would never see me and I wouldn't care about decorating and I would be pissed that I would not be able to spend all day binge watching The Great British Baking Show or Foyle's War or Department Q.

First Ladies probably have to take a shower every day. And not wear gym clothes three days straight. They probably have to put on makeup and comb their hair.

I would hate it. HATE IT!

But the thing, I think, that I would hate the most would be being reduced to an accessory and asked stupid questions like, "What's your favorite cookie recipe?" No wonder Hilary boiled in rage at that question. It was so dismissive. It was dismissive of everything she had accomplished as a human being and it reduced her to being an appendage who existed to do nothing more than support Bill.

And the thing is, I actually like to bake! I love to bake! I love to bake even though sometimes, I am not very good at it.

Witness the photo above.

I thought, I don't need to use weights for blind baking this crust! I blind bake tart crusts all the time without weights.

Guess what?

Press-in tart crusts are different from rolled-out pie crusts.

Which is why you get the above.

I can bake very ugly pie crusts.

How do you think that would go over in an interview with Ladies Home Journal? "Hi! My husband Primo is running for office and this is my pie!"

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Candidate's Wife: The Wild and Crazy Saturday Night of a Politician and His Wife

So, so glamorous.

This is us.


This is togetherness.

This is our Saturday night.

Primo, the cats, and me, and our magazines and books.

Is this wrong?

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Candidate's Wife: The sad life of fundraiser food

You know how the movies present Las Vegas as so, so glamorous, full of beautiful, well dressed people?

But then when you go there - not really because you want to (you got an A in probability and statistics in grad school, so you know that gambling works for you only if you can count cards, which you are not smart enough to do) but because you are driving to California and your friend will be in Las Vegas and invites you to spend a night with her and you want to see her - you discover that Las Vegas does not consist of crowds of people who all look like movie stars but crowds of people who look like - and this is no disrespect to bingo or church potlucks, but - the folks you see at bingo or the church potluck or a Friday night fish fry or a PTA meeting.

That is, they are all very very ordinary looking people and ordinary people are not glamorous.

My sweet, baking, cooking, sewing, pantyhose-repairing, church lady, feeding the neighbors, gardening, canning, and sort of frumpy sheepshead shark Granma J. I loved her so much.
I am an ordinary person. I am not glamorous. Ever. My claim to fame at a church potluck is I can cook. (I am kind of competitive about it.)

But I am a frumpy middle-aged Midwestern lady and I look like it. Not glamorous. I don't have glamorous genes, coming from a long line of frumpy Midwestern ladies.

My wonderful, loving, sassy, National Enquirer buying, sort of frumpy with her double-knit polyester pants and the plastic covers on her sofa Grandma Sylvia. I loved her so much.
Before Primo got involved in politics, if I ever thought about politics and fundraisers, I suppose I thought about them as elegant, glamorous events, not unlike the fundraiser for the symphony or something that I attended when I was working in Miami and the person in charge of investor relations at work had a ten thousand-dollar table and asked if I wanted four tickets (for free) because he just didn't feel like doing all the work to fill it.

That was an elegant fundraiser. People wore evening gowns and suits. I bought a long dress. (At consignment.) The food was divine - there were sushi stations and caviar stations and waiters offering fancy little canapes and drinks and that was just the appetizers. I can't remember what the main meal was, maybe because I ate so much of the appetizers. The dessert was some fancy chocolate construction that impressed the heck out of me and tasted delicious.

That was my idea of a fundraiser.

Then I started going to political fundraisers with Primo. (Like - very occasionally. If I thought I would see people I like there. Not because I wanted to hear political speeches. People! NOBODY WANTS A SPEECH! KEEP IT SHORT!)

And the food was OK at some of them. There is one guy who has barbecues in his back yard - he hires chefs who know what they are doing. BBQ, beans, corn on the cob, coleslaw, cobbler. It's pretty good.

But mostly, the food is Costco food trays.


Let me re-state that.

If you are lucky, the food is Costco food trays.

Sometimes, it's not as fancy as Costco.

As in, there is absolutely nothing glamorous about political fundraisers, not even the food.

In Primo's first campaign, we had a fundraiser at our house. I decided I was not going to feed people Costco food trays - that I would make really good food. (Ah, we were so naive then)

And I did.

I made (if I can remember) Ro-tel dip, tortilla, Memphis onion dip, hummus - what else? Probably not much sweet stuff - people don't eat sweet things so much when they are drinking beer or wine.

It took me days.

We raised enough money to almost pay for the wine.

Not that we had bought wine just for the event - this was wine Primo had brought from California and was part of the collection in the basement. But at some point, Primo had bought that wine.

So yeah - we turned wine into some money but not very much.

Everyone loved the food - said it was the best fundraiser food they had eaten.

And - we raised not very much money.

So my new motto is, "No cooking for fundraisers, especially fundraisers for someone else and fundraisers that are being held in my house on a worknight when all I want to do is watch the rest of the Great British Baking Show and then go to bed."

For this fundraiser, everything except the Memphis onion dip was bought.

Including the baby carrots I picked up on my way home from work the day of the fundraiser because Primo messaged me in a panic after realizing that he did not have non-pita food for the hummus.

(I would have had the table laid out the weekend before, with sticky notes of which food would go where, which would mean I would have known a long time ago that I didn't have the carrots, but that is not how Primo rolls.)

(But I was going to the store anyhow because it was $1.99 milk day and we needed milk and the store is on my way home.)

(And I found a bag of candy corn for what I thought was only a quarter but turned out to be $1.25 which was still fine because I am one of those weirdos who loves candy corn.)

(Although only in very small doses.)

We had the food you see in the photo. But - people didn't finish it. As in, there were a ton of carrots left over.

What on earth does a person do with almost two pounds of baby carrots? Especially when a person and the other person are about to go out of town for a long weekend and upon return from that long weekend, one of the persons has a medical procedure (part of an annual physical) scheduled that requires she not eat a lot of bulky foods? Baby carrots go bad pretty quickly because they are wet.

So today was all about making baby carrot and ginger soup.

At least the fundraiser wasn't a total loss - there is soup.

The end.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Candidate's Wife: The email list

Primo: What do you think about the email I sent out this morning?

Me: What email?

Primo: About my campaign launch event!

Me: I didn't get one.

Primo: What? Aren't you on my list?

Me: I guess not.

Primo: I need to add you.

Me: No! I do not want to be on your list! I don't want to get your emails!

Primo: But I want you to get them!

Me: I live with you. That's enough.

Primo: But - you need to be on the list.

Me: Nope.

Primo: I just added you.

Me: No!

Primo: I clicked, "This person gave me permission to email them."

Me: I didn't! I didn't give you permission!

Primo: It says, "them."

Me: That's wrong!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Candidate's Wife: What do we really need that is the hardest thing to ask for?

Wonderful woman who is helping with Primo's campaign: What can I do to help with Primo's campaign launch event?

Me: Invite people who will give him money.

Primo: Hey!

Woman: Yeah, that's what it comes down to, isn't it? You have to have money to run a campaign.

Me: Yep. We are sure not spending our own money this time.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Candidate's Wife: (The People Have Spoken)

I heard you guys. We are going with "The Candidate's Wife." I really do want Primo to win - I think he would be good and conscientious and Not Corrupt -

Here is one of the big differences between Primo and me:

1. He is surprised anytime a politician is discovered to be corrupt. (He was quite upset over the Donna Brazile revelations recently that the Clintons pretty much owned the Democratic party in the last election.)

2. I am surprised anytime a politician is not corrupt.

Primo is not corrupt. He is not dishonest. He is not running for ego reasons. He does think he knows what is the right thing to do, even when he is wrong, but this is not about HEY I AM PRIMO LOOK AT ME!!!

This is about his trying to effect positive change in the world.

(We don't have children and are both pretty much failures in our careers, so this is his last gasp, he thinks.)

He had a fundraiser for another candidate at our house the other day. He told me that I would not have to do anything at all to prepare for it or clean up after and that I did not even need to be in the house when it happened.

I tried - trust me, I tried - to find someone to hang out with away from the house that evening, but man, my friend circle is small.

I came home at 4:30 - the event started at 5:30 - and the house was clean and he had the food. He had moved the chairs away from the dining room table and had set up a card table by the front door for name tags and envelopes.

In case you have never been to a political house party, the way it works is as soon as you walk in the door, you are expected to give money. Someone working on the campaign is sitting there and will hand you a contribution envelope. (I don't know if this is state or federal for the US, but at least where we live, if you donate money, you have to give your name, your address, and your employer.)

Primo had all this stuff set up but he hadn't put the food out and hadn't taken a shower, so I told him to get ready while I baked the amazing Memphis Onion Dip That Always Wins Book Club and put out the rest of the food.

I used dishes. That is, I put the store bought hummus in a white bowl, swirled it around, and poured some olive oil on it. I put the chips in a bowl. I made it look nice.

Primo said, "Oh! I would have left the hummus in the container!"

Then he said, "I love you. Thank you for helping. You know how to make things look nice."

Which was nice to hear.

People started showing up at 5:15.

And then the torture started.

Not because people were not nice - they were. They were lovely and gracious and thanked me for having them in our home and they said nice things about our house and they didn't spill red wine (or white wine) anywhere and they were perfect guests.


They were there.

In my house.

And I couldn't escape.

I suppose I could have, but it would have been kind of rude, I think, to disappear downstairs to watch TV.



Let's add this up:

1. LOVELY PEOPLE. This is not about the personalities or actions of the guests at all.
2. But. I had been at work all day. The second I got home, I started preparing for guests. Forty five minutes after I got home, people started to arrive.
3. And they stayed until 8:30.
4. Which is four straight hours of being engaged one way or another.
5. While I was dying to get downstairs to watch the rest of season 2 of The Great British Baking Show.
6. And then finish the book, "He Said/She Said," which has a killer twist ending.

Do you feel my pain? Do you understand why I was ready to explode?

And this was with nice people! Imagine how awful it would have been with people who weren't even nice.

Oh man. I want Primo to win. I want him to win without having to campaign or have me be involved in any way whatsoever.