You guys know that Primo and I don't share the same political views. But we love each other. Politics are not the only thing in life. Food and sex are more important. Movies. Tennis. Traveling. Lots and lots of things are far more important than politics.
Although Primo is a wee bit obsessed with politics. Me, I couldn't care less about it. Oh sure, I care about issues. But I don't care about parties and personalities. I am a Party of Me. The Gold Digger Party. I don't see why I should have to declare allegiance to one side or another. I am interested in me. That's it.
Primo, however, was raised by activists and you know how that goes. I am a descendant of small businessmen and farmers and entrepreneurs who mind their own business and live their own lives and take care of their own. Primo is a descendant of activists and big union folks. One's raising does tend to inform one's thinking.
Where am I going with this?
Well, the past year or so, Primo has become quite active politically. He has been going to rallies and events. I have no interest in rallies and events, even for my side. I have better things to do. Yes, I am interested in improving my community, but I volunteer in ways where I can see a direct impact. We all have different ideas about how to make the world better and isn't that a good thing? Wouldn't the world be a boring place if we all wanted to volunteer at the library or the historic preservation commission or the funeral committee or as pollworkers? Some of us sort books, some of us protest. Primo protests.
For convenience, I am going to call Primo's side the Polka Dots and my side the Stripes because I do not want these posts to be about the politics themselves but about what happens when people are politically involved. The politics of politics, if you will.
Doesn't that sound pretentious?
If you will.
You know, that might not even be right. Oh well. The sociology of politics? The psychology of politics? The interpersonal dynamics of politics?
So Primo has become a Polka Dot activist. There have been Polka Dot rallies and Polka Dot parties and Polka Dot protests. He attends and I watch all of Season One of The Big C or Big Bang Theory, where I note Primo's startling resemblance to Sheldon. Win/win as far as I'm concerned. I'm more than happy to have a day to myself to watch TV. If Primo is at home working, I feel guilty for goofing off. I feel as if I should be looking for a job or cleaning the baseboards or doing something to contribute to the upkeep of the household.
This spring, Primo became even more involved. He put up campaign signs in our yard. He circulated recall petitions. He campaigned for candidates for two races, one for a county supervisor who lost and one for a judge who won. I liked the county supervisor candidate, but was put off by the judge, whom I like as a person but didn't care for her assumption that I would vote for her just because I, too, am a woman. I have never understood the thinking that only a woman can represent a woman. The law is the law, right? Does a woman apply the law differently from a man? Can I be represented in Congress only by a woman? Can only a woman understand my need for trash pickup, good streets, good schools, good defense? I guess so. I guess these issues are sex-specific.
He wanted me to be involved.
I didn't want to be involved.
But in the interests of marital harmony, I tried. I attended a campaign event with him. I took a book with me just in case. My instincts were correct. It was boring. Oh man. Is there anything more dull than a campaign event attended by people who have already decided they are going to vote for the candidate? Who then gives a speech anyhow? A speech to people who are already convinced? Why not just say, "Thanks for coming! Let's go home instead of wasting time here!"
The only thing good about that event was that it was held at a shop called Coffee Makes You Black, which I think is a hilarious name, which has a chef from Alabama, who knows how to make fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes should have rivers of butter swimming on top of them. And tea should have so much sugar in it that you don't even know it's tea.
I even attended the victory party for the judge, where I was surrounded by Polka Dots, even though judicial races are supposed to be non partisan. Primo's Political Wife was there. She was the campaign manager for the judge, the one who had designed the very very partisan strategy. I am not sure if I should be bothered more by the Political Wife or by the Nighttime Wife.
The Nighttime Wife is the woman Primo hangs out with when he goes out to sing karaoke. When I first learned about her, I was very jealous. "She's so pretty!" Primo told me. "And she sings so well!"
I had to meet her. Even though I hate going out and I hate staying out late, I girded my loins and accompanied Primo to karaoke so I could meet Christina.
She's 29. She's beautiful. She sings like an angel.
And she is the sweetest, nicest thing. She is now my friend. She is not a threat.
But the Political Wife? When Primo introduced us, I felt my hackles rise. Still, I was polite. "Primo has been singing your praises," I said. "How did you get into managing campaigns?"
She told me. In great, self-serving detail. Wow. There is not one modest bone in that woman's body. Not one. She is self promoting and smug.
"Well, she is a Polka Dot," Primo told me. "We tend to be smug."
"You said she was cute. She is not cute," I said.
"She dresses cute," he said.
"She is mutton dressing as lamb," I retorted. "Women our age should not be wearing ruffles and dresses that show our bra straps. That dress was two sizes too big. Her shoes are ugly on purpose trying to pass as chic but they're just ugly."
"She knows a ton about winning a race and she's connected," he reminded me.
"Don't tell me she's cute. She's stringy and bony and she dresses like crap and she's smug."
"I love you," he said. "She is not a threat to you."
"I know that," I told him. "Sheesh. Like I would be threatened by someone like that?"
I had hoped that once the spring elections were over, Primo would be done and life would return to normal. I had hoped I would never have to hear Political Wife's name again. Or the names of any of the Polka Dots again. I had hoped that the yard signs would go away.
My hopes were dashed.
"I've decided to run for office," Primo said.