Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday July 14 We fight again about going to a protest vs going to a church festival

Our house is full of cranky people. I am cranky because all of a sudden, I have lost 50 hours a week I used to have for goofing off. No, I am not asking for sympathy. I know it is the normal state of the world that people work. It's been a really good run for the past six years. It was good while it lasted.

Primo is cranky because he is trying to complete interest group surveys, which keep showing up in the mailbox, because he has his job job to do, and because he is running for office.

And, of course, because his parents keep dumping on him, telling him that they have nobody else to vent to, a sad state of affairs for a couple who have been on earth for a while. Shouldn't they have friends by now? And even if they don't, does that give them the right to whine, whine, whine to Primo?

So we are both cranky.

Last night, Primo got an email from the county Polka Dot chair. A Stripes candidate was to speak this morning in Primo's district and the chair wanted Primo to go to a protest at the speech. Primo was not happy about this, but he needs the PD county chair on his side, so he went.

I thought it was stupid to go to another candidate's speech just to protest. What a big fat waste of time. It's not like the people who are there to hear the candidate will be swayed to change their opinion by protests.

But it wasn't that bad. Primo was the only Polka Dot there. He did not chant or protest. Instead, he was interviewed and is supposed to be on the TV news tonight. We shall see. If he is, that would be good exposure.

That's not what the fight was about.

The fight came about because at 5:00, as I was walking out the door for church, he came downstairs to tell me that Samantha thought he was going to a church festival tonight. I had put all the church festivals in the district on his gmail calendar.

I told him I thought he should go. He pointed out that he had already planned to go to some Polka Dot protesty thingy tonight. I noted that going to a Polka Dot protesty thingy out of the district was not as strategically important for his campaign as going to a church festival IN HIS DISTRICT. Where the key to winning will be MEETING VOTERS.

I might have had a bit of a snippy attitude when I said this.

Plus I think the protesty thingy is just dumb. They stand on overpasses and hang lighted signs once the sun goes down.

It seems very fraternity boyish to me.

Then he said that if he went to the church thing, he would not be grilling the steak for supper as early as I would want and what about that?

I said don't push this all on me, mister. If I say I don't want to eat late, you'll say see? you don't want me to campaign!

Then I rolled my eyes and said fine, go. We'll eat late.

I hate politics. I HATE POLITICS.

It was as I was walking to church, wondering how a simple conversation had turned so cranky so fast, that I remembered that he had spent an hour on the phone with his mom and dad this afternoon. That's enough to make anyone on edge.

Monday July 30 Plans change again

Primo: Did you want to go to the fair to see J's band on Thursday or did you just want to go to the fair?

Me: I thought we already had it planned to go on Thursday. You were going to pick me up from work and we were going straight to the fair. That's when J's band is playing and I wanted to see them there. 

Primo: Yes, but at the [some interest group] interview this morning, one of the people lives over in Atlas Park.

Me: Which is in your district.

Primo: And she wanted to know if I had been to any of the free Thursday concerts in the park. [This concert not to be confused with J's concert at the fair.]

Me: You haven't. I put them all on your calendar six weeks ago.

Primo: There are only two more.

Me: So?

Primo: So I think I should go on Thursday.

Me: But that's when we're going to the fair.

Primo: We can go some other time.

Me: But that's when I wanted to go.

PS Politics means that what the spouse wants doesn't matter.

Thursday July 26 Going on vacation with a politician

This is what it's like to go on vacation with a candidate who is campaigning.

1. On Saturday evening, when he is supposed to already be on the road to your aunt and uncle's place, where you already are because you went up the day before on the bus so you could hang with your cousins, which is halfway to the cottage on the lake where you intend to vacation, he is still at home. Not packed. Not ready. You negotiate an early start Sunday morning for him.

2. On Monday, when you are at the cottage, mesmerized by the sound of the crashing waves, he will spend three hours working in the morning in the cottage and then will drive ten miles into town to the library, where he can get online. On of the attractions of the cottage is its lack of TV and internet.

3. On Tuesday, he will spend four hours at the library.

4. On Wednesday, he will sign campaign literature for an hour ("Sorry I missed you!" on the pieces he takes with him when he does door), then spend two hours at the library after you play tennis. This is a "I just need five minutes online" two hours. This is after the two of you spent two hours at the library before tennis. You will spend an hour of that time arguing about his website and how to edit it and whether it is critically important to try to figure out where Wordpress puts the footer (Wordpress is horrible) so you can take out the extra "m" in the campaign treasurer's last name. (I did not think it was important. I especially don't think it's important in retrospect knowing that the treasurer never did a single bit of treasuring. I did all the financial reports and tracking, but Samantha didn't think it looked good to have my name listed as treasurer because she thought it showed Primo couldn't get support from women he wasn't married to.)

5. On Thursday, he will spend an hour on a conference call with the Polka Dot candidate committee.

6. On Friday, he will actually start to relax, although he will spend an hour signing lit.

7. On Saturday, he will relax.

8. On Sunday, you will leave.

Wednesday July 11 Fighting over who cleans up the living room after Primo's meeting

Primo and I had a fight. It was a stupid fight but we are both ticked about it.

He had a bunch of people over for a political thing.

I wanted nothing to do with it. Besides, I had a meeting at city hall. But he was going to serve peaches and vanilla ice cream, which here is my advice: don't serve sweets when you are serving booze because people don't eat sweets when they drink.

Anyhow, he asked if I would cut up the peaches before I left because he said he didn't know how to do it, which is such BS because HOW HARD IS IT TO CUT UP A PEACH?

I told him he was a big baby, but cut up the damn peaches. Which were not eaten. And have since turned to mush because I sprinkled them with lime juice so they wouldn't turn brown. They didn't turn brown, but they are mush.

When I got home from my meeting, there were still eight people in my living room. I passed through and went back into the kitchen. My hope had been that I would be able to put on my pjs and go to bed, but that was impossible while there were still people in my house.

They finally left by about 9. I told Primo I was going to go to bed and read my book. He was in the living room, typing madly. He looked at the chairs that needed to be moved back to the table and at the beer glasses sitting on the coffee table and said something about my helping.

I pointed out politely that I had left for work at 7 a.m. then had come home and gone straight to my meeting and that I had no interest in doing anything but getting into bed with my book, thank you very much, and that this was his event, not mine.

He got a little bit cranky and said it was not his fault that I had had a meeting and I said it wasn't MY fault that HE had had a meeting.

I said I was not the one who was running for office and this was not MY problem.

Then I thought, It would take less time to move the stupid chairs and take the glasses into the kitchen than it would to argue about this and I just want to be DONE.

So I spent five minutes cleaning up, but I am still ticked about it. I have told Primo that once his leave of absence starts - his boss approved it - that there will be no more crankiness. He will not have the excuse that he is doing a full-time job plus running for office. He chose this, it's his.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wednesday July 11 Third day of work and I almost missed the bus

The third day was not so bad. I mean, I met some more nice people and it looks like it will be interesting work.

But. I had to catch the 6:56 bus to make sure I was at work by 8:00 for an 8:00 meeting. The 7:19 bus should get me to work in time for that, but on Tuesday, it was late. My new boss warned me that the big boss is very punctual and I shouldn't be late.

Primo is bragging that he doesn't even have to take a shower to go to work, much less commute.

So I got up at 5:50 a.m. to catch the 6:56 bus. I left the house at 6:45. It takes me six minutes to walk to the bus stop. As I got to the street with the stop, I heard the bus coming.



I waved the bus down. He stopped. I got on and accused him of being early. He said he was not. One of the passengers said, "You need to look at the schedule, honey."

They were right. I was wrong. I had misread the schedule. I barely made the bus. If I had missed it, I would have had to wait almost half an hour for the next one.

But the good thing about getting to work so early was that I should have been able to leave early. Right?

After all, on my first day, my boss told me we were not paid to work past 40 hours.

But when I got to work, my boss and the big boss were both there already for a 7 a.m. phone call. So I waited and waited for them both to leave at 4:00. So I could leave at 4:20.

But they didn't leave.

And didn't leave.

And I thought, "My third day is not the day to buck the culture. An extra half hour won't kill me." Even though I wanted to go home so badly.

I left on the 5:16 bus instead.


When I got home, Primo had made the bed, done the dishes, brought the trash can in from the curb, gotten supper, and cleaned the cat box. And he said that if I set everything up and showed him how to use the washing machine, he would wash the sheets on Friday.

So it's getting better.

But I'm still not excited about his having a bunch of people over Thursday night for political stuff. Still, I told him I would vacuum and wash the floors tonight.

"Why?" he asked.

"So your political friends don't see how messy the house is," I answered.

"Don't worry," he said. "I won't let them out of the living room."

So we're cool.

Wednesday July 11 Samantha backs me up

Primo: Your friend wrote an inflammatory comment on my facebook page!

Me: It's not inflammatory. It's an honest attempt to engage you intellectually and understand what you think.

Primo: Inflammatory.

Me: You know, that is not the proper way to react to a potential constituent. You need to be less defensive.

Samantha: I'm going to jump in here. Primo, I want you to do something for me. When someone says something you don't like, I want you to pause, take a deep breath, and then say, "Thank you. I will think about what you said." You don't get people to vote for you by telling them they're stupid."

Me: Told you so.

Wednesday July 11 The third day

My new boss told me on my first day that we don't get paid for hours we work past 40.

Which I thought, "Duh. That's because we're exempt from being paid for overtime because we are so highly compensated."

That's a joke. But I wrote it with a straight face.

He said it in the context of explaining the group's hours to me. Some people come in at 7, some at 8, some a little later. "But we don't get paid for any hours we work more than 40," he said.

At the time, I took it as a joyful thing: that he was letting me know, without saying in so many words, that I would not be expected to work more than an 8-hour day.

Which would be very, very nice, as I have not worked under that expectation since 1989. Which, incidentally, is the last time I was paid the salary I am making now, only when I was making the salary back then, I did not have the education or experience to do the job for which I have been hired. Also, I had insurance for which I paid none of the premium and charged a $5 copay for office visits and drugs. Now, Primo and I together have a $5,000 deductible before anything kicks in. So really, I am making [my salary - $5,000] or at least potentially [my salary - $5,000].

So yeah. Lousy pay, lousy benefits. What can you do?

At least you can not have to work late.

But now I am worried that he told me that as a warning - that even though I will be expected to put in the late hours, I shouldn't expect any OT.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tuesday July 10 More politics - fundraising with the city council guy

When I got home from work, there was a politician in the living room - which we almost never use because it's either too hot or too cold in there most of the time because we have the heating and a/c shut off in there because if we didn't, our electric bill would be about a million dollars a month. It was one of the guys on the city council, meeting with Primo and talking about campaign stuff.

I thought it was boring, so after I offered City Council Guy something to drink, I left.

That's when I noticed that the bedroom door was closed.

We don't keep the bedroom door closed.

I opened it. Primo had closed it because he never made the bed today.

I guess I am glad that at least he closed the door.

He later informed me that CCG has offered to host a fundraising party for Primo at his house.

Which is cool with me because that's a house I don't have to clean. And probably wouldn't have happened if City Council Guy had seen the messy bedroom.

Then Primo informed me that Samantha and some of his other helpers are coming here for a meeting on Thursday.

"I won't be here," I told him. "I have a meeting at the library that night."

He said nothing.

"So that means if you want to feed them anything, you'll have to get it or fix it or whatever."

He said nothing. I think he was in shock.

Ha. That's what he gets. If I have a job that has me out of the house until 6:30 in the afternoon, I don't have time to play wifey.

Unfortunately, what it also means is that I won't have time to clean the house before they come. Thursday - Before Job - was my normal cleaning day. By late Thursday afternoon, my house sparkled. Sheets washed and changed, bathroom cleaned, floors vacuumed and washed, cat hair removed to the extent possible.

Now, the house will stay dirty until the weekend. And I will spend 1/4 of my free weekend time cleaning.

On Thursday evening, my house will look about as bad as it ever looks.

And there will be several Polka Dot women here.

Looking at my dirty house.

Whom will they judge?

Not my Polka Dot husband, but me.

Tuesday July 10 Second day of work

My second day of work was not as bad as the first. For one thing, my feet don't hurt so much. Either I am getting used to high heels or the Ferragamos are more comfortable than the Bruno Maglis.

But Primo and I fought last night and we were both cranky and I felt guilty about being cranky because why shouldn't I work? Why should Primo be the only breadwinner in the family? I am educated and able bodied. I should contribute, especially now that there is something else he wants to do.

But who's going to do the cooking? Who will clean the house? Who will let the cats out during the day?

This is not going to be easy.

It's probably only going to get harder as the campaign activity gets underway.

He stayed up all night working on work and on his campaign positioning statement.

He might not do so well at my new workplace, where the employee manual says that one of the possible reasons for termination is excessive sleeping on the job. They probably wouldn't care that he'd been up all night.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Monday July 9 First day of work blues

Now I remember. I hate working. I hate being away from home all day. I hate feeling the pressure to perform, especially when I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing. I hate wearing high heels. Oh the pain. Perhaps I'll get used to them. I hope so, because I have no flat shoes appropriate for work. I don't want to have to buy new shoes. I don't want to buy new anything. Spending money to work defeats the purpose of working. The purpose is to end up with more money, not less.

I hate getting up early and taking a shower. I hate feeling like an idiot because I don't know what's going on. I hate dealing with HR and benefits and getting a phone and a computer.

I hate not being able to go to the bathroom whenever I want and not to worry about anyone listening to me pee.

I hate having to remember all the things I need to do that are not work related so I can do them once I get home, like email my doctor to ask him to change my prescription to a different drug because my new insurance is AWFUL and doesn't cover prescription drugs until I've spent a $3,000 deductible. Or something like that.

I hate not getting home until after 6:00 and then still having to make dinner and get my things ready for the next day, including my clothes and my gym clothes and my breakfast and lunch.

Primo better win this election. This better be worth it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sunday July 8 I don't want to play referee

Did I mention that a Stripes friend of mine, whom Primo has met once, wants Primo to clarify something Primo wrote on his candidate facebook page? My friend wrote,

Okay, I generally agree with not signing pledges. However, I would then like you in this post to then follow that up by stating your position on taxes rather than slam your opponent. I want a debate on ideas and while that pledge doesn't do much to facilitate debate, neither does unsupported blanket statements of "caused tremendous damage...." and not outlining your thoughts on the issue of taxation.

Primo wants to be all "Did you see what he wrote?!" with me and I'm all, "1. Yes I saw it, 2. what's wrong with it, and 3. he's a voter in your district so don't you think you should answer the question?"

And then I'm all, "Leave me out of this. I don't want to argue about my politics with you and I certainly don't want to argue about someone else's politics with you."

Sunday July 8 Photos for the campaign literature

I am feeling a bit sick to my stomach. A few months ago, Primo and I had photos taken by a professional photographer. I did it mostly to get my mother off my back. She always wants to take a photo of Primo and me right before she is leaving after having visited us. This is usually in the morning, before either of us has showered. She doesn't suggest taking the photo on the evening when we all get dressed up to go out to eat. No, it's always after we've loaded her car and she's about to pull out and I look like crap.

Not that I look so good the rest of the time. I am never photogenic. I hate having my photo taken. I never look good in photos. Or maybe I don't look good in real life and the photos merely mirror reality. Whatever. I don't want to have my photo taken.

But we had photos done and of the 120 shots, there are maybe two that I like.

Now Samantha says we need photos for campaign literature.

I don't know why they need photos with the candidate's wife. I would like to stay out of this whole thing.

Here is the email exchange between Samantha and the graphic artist. Read this and weep for the crap that is involved in a political campaign.

On Jul 3, 2012, at 11:59 PM, Samantha Giles wrote:

Hi Sergio,

Below you will find a link to professional photography for Primo. Within the next couple of days could you please look it over and let us know which shots you would like us to order. The ordering process takes a few days, so the sooner the better. Please keep in mind that Primo is limited to ordering proofs on 8 or so photos. Additional photos come at an additional charge.

Remember, we will need to convince a substantial amount of stripes to vote for him, so although I love the cat shots, the feline is more a liberal intellectual beast, whereas the dog is the "man's best friend".

My preferences and my amateur opinions:
  • #29 (goofy, playful)
  • #41 (traditional)
  • #48
  • #49 (in polka dot lit I'd stray from this as it is somewhat master (male) who is dominating the woman, but it might work well in the western suburbs)
  • #95 is my favorite, but Primo might be squinting too much?
  • #99 is really good, too, but with same squinting issue
  • #101 is REALLY artistically distinct from anything you see in typical lit, yet maybe too much so?? I like it.
  • #103 -- FEMINIST! I like this b/c Gold Digger looks tough and sexy. This sex appeal might be just the right amount of racy to hook some. Unfortunately, Primo looks a little high.
  • #107 playful yet serious. Primo in charge, but Gold Digger appears to be a trouble-maker (which makes Primo look tough enough to "handle" her)
  • #111 pretty cute, playful wife, man in charge (but we'd need to change the shirt color from coral to something more masculine)
Let me know if you have questions. And, for kicks, let me know if my comments resonated with your trained eye, or if I am bullshitting completely :)



From: Sergio Escobar <>
Date: Sun, Jul 8, 2012 at 1:56 PM
Subject: Re: photos for Primo's door card
To: Samantha Giles <>
Cc: Primo <>

Those suggestions are all fine. Some of the subliminal messages behind the images are hard to
get though; like, I never saw the feline as a liberal intellectual beast; I just thought of them as a lazy pet. 
We definitely need a mixture of both the serious side of Primo and the warm, goofy and inviting side.
If we include both sides, we can't go wrong in our attempt to connect to voters.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Friday July 6 The loss of freedom

I passed my drug test so now I have an official job offer. I start Monday. As in, I lose my freedom on Monday.

I love Primo to death and I like his friends (well, most of them, except for the one who doesn't like me because I'm not Catholic enough), but having one of his friends visit this week, while I am trying to do everything I need to do before I start work, including savoring my last moments of goofing off, has been a wee bit stressful for me. You couldn't ask for a better houseguest, so that's not the issue. It's just that being a hostess is not top of mind for me right now.

I have turned into a cranky bitch.

Primo found out that in the last election, this district went 62% Stripes.

He'd better get out and start knocking on doors.

Wednesday Fourth of July parade

Primo is going to walk the parade route to meet voters. He was all stressed because he doesn't have any campaign literature to pass out, but I pointed out that giving people a flyer while they're at a parade pretty much guarantees they'll just toss it in the trash. Or on the ground. That's wasteful and it's littering.

"Better just to introduce yourself, tell people you're running, and ask them to vote for you," I said.

Samantha gave him the same advice. I think he's reluctant to campaign on his own behalf - he hasn't done it yet.

"I collected nominating signatures," he noted.

That's not the same.

He is going to campaign. I am going to stay at home and read my book. I want to enjoy my last few days of freedom. Spending an hour in the already-84 degree heat is not my idea of a good time.

Primo said that the union folks who interviewed him two weeks ago gave Samantha some feedback about me. "She didn't seem very supportive," they said.

I snorted when he told me this. "Yeah. Because when you said you could self fund some of the campaign but didn't want to put $50,000 of our own money into it, I agreed with you. That's not unsupportive, that's just rational. I'll bet even Hilary Clinton wouldn't want to put $50,000 of their own money into Bill's campaign. Tell them that I am getting a job just so you can run. If that's not supportive, I don't know what is."

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Tuesday July 3 Cheating on our car

Me: I found another bus route! The first one I found was going to take an hour just in the bus, with a transfer in the middle. But this one is just one bus and only 31 minutes from bus stop to bus stop. I'd have to walk three blocks to get to the stop, but that's OK. I hate driving. I'd love to be able to read while someone else drives me to work.

Primo: I guess that's good.

Me: So we wouldn't need to buy another car! We could get by with what we have.*

Primo: I have to tell you something.

Me: What?

Primo: I looked at cars on a car website the other day. I looked at some cars I would consider buying.

Me: You don't love our cars. You're cheating on them.

* We actually do have two cars, but I am not allowed to drive the '65 Corvair. Not that I want to. Actually, Primo has never said I am not allowed to drive his antique car. He just gets very nervous any time I get within a yard of it. For a while, he didn't even want me to open the door. He would open it for me because he had to make sure it was done right. Then he had some repairs done and now I open my own doors. The Corvair is not good for everyday transportation, though, because it is a gas guzzler, it's not that safe, and it is rusting, which means driving it in the winter on salted roads is a no-go.

Tuesday July 3 Messaging

"If I take the bus to work and we don't buy another car, you can position yourself as a green candidate," I said to Primo.

"But I'm not a green candidate," he said. "Samantha is working on crafting a message for me. She wants something centrist. She suggested I say something about 'holding the line on taxes.'"

If I had been drinking something at that moment, I would have snorted it out of my nose. Fortunately, we were in bed and not at a fine restaurant. We don't usually drink in bed, so liquid emerging from my nose wasn't an issue.

I laughed. "You have never once, not since I met you, mentioned anything about holding the line on taxes! If anything, you say, 'Make them higher! Tax the rich!'"

"I know," he smiled. "That's why I told Samantha it wouldn't work."