Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tuesday July 31 The leave of absence eve

Primo: I'm a little bit scared.

Me: Why?

Primo: Because my leave starts tomorrow.

Me: So?

Primo: All this talk about campaigning and now I really have to do it.

Me: Yes you do.

Primo: I can't just sit around and be lazy.

Me: Oh no you cannot.

Primo: I have to get out there.

Me: You bet your sweet bippy you do. If I had to get a job so you can do this, you are darn well going to campaign full time.

Reasons not to marry a politician

Fortunately, Primo is an engineer before all else. Which means attention to detail and infinite patience.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wednesday July 25 letter from Doris

Doris sent me an email. She BCC'd Primo on it. Because - because - because I don't know why. That's just how that family rolls. They blind copy everyone on everything so they can be even more indignant about the injustices that are done to them.

I've intended to write you ever since you started your new job--congratulations on your tenacity to find the position in this poor employment climate. Primo has said how supportive you have been in his new venture and how much of the household burden you already shoulder. How was your garden this season? It saddens me greatly that I am mostly unable to keep up with even a minimum of flower bed maintenance. Right now the weeds are winning.

I hope you and Primo will enjoy your upcoming week on [the lake]. I'll venture that you don't include swimming up there. A friend of mine from my working days at [a chemical company] accompanied me on a short vacation to Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Lake Superior's Copper Harbor. She was a strong swimmer and actually swam quite a distance in the ICE COLD water. Not me! I can barely stand any chill these days and if the sun isn't shining and the pool water isn't over 80, I don't go to water aerobics.

We are very pleased that Primo's employer has granted him a leave of absence for the remainder of the campaign season. I've cautioned him not to put his fiscal security in serious jeopardy. Our nation, from my perspective, is in a precarious state with little hope of immediate or near term fixes. I believe our political system is too broken for either "party" to remedy, and the ideological extremists make the situation worse with each passing day. As I've told Primo I can't afford to waste my vote by staying away from the polls, but casting a vote for [the Polka Dot candidate] will be painfully necessary because [the Stripe's candidate] vision and personal profile portend a bleak and frightening alternative.

How do you answer that? I wrote something nice about the garden, then told her I could understand her reluctance to vote for the Polka Dot guy because I would have to have a gun to my head to vote for him.

There will be a price to pay for that response. Oh well.

PS Doris and I usually vote for different "parties."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday July 18 We fight about editing Primo's drop-off literature

Primo and I got into a fight over his campaign literature. The graphic artist and Samantha put together a flyer. I made the mistake of expressing my opinion on some of the language. I should have kept my big mouth shut, because telling Primo that I didn't like the punctuation led to this conversation:

Primo: Why don't you like it?

Me: I just don't. And I don't like the way you use "I" to start all those sentences.

Primo: Why not?

Me: Because that's my preference. But if you want to do it that way, that's fine.

Primo: No! It's not! You need to convince me that you're right!

Me: I don't care about convincing you that I'm right. I don't care how you do it.

Primo: But it has to be right.

Me: I. Don't. Care. Do it your way. It's past 10. I want to go to bed.

Primo: Why is my way wrong?

Me: It's not a right or wrong thing. It's a matter of preference. I have different preferences from you. God, why did I even say anything?

Primo is a maximizer. I am satisficer. That is, I decide what my criteria are before I make a decision, then stop once I have satisfied my conditions. Primo, on the other hand, is a maximizer. He has to evaluate every possible approach or package of bacon or container of milk to be sure that he is getting the best possible outcome.

As you might imagine, he and I do not shop well together.

Lord have mercy, he just told me that Joseph Bank has suits on sale and he thinks he should buy one. What if he wants me to go with him? I do not want to spend seven hours shopping for a suit for him.

We argued for 20 minutes until exhausted, we stopped. I kept trying to yield to his view, but the man cannot take yes for an answer. You'd think I would have learned by now.

Fortunately, we did not have to argue much over his website, as we both were appalled by Samantha's draft stating that he wants to "grow the economy." Some things, people on both sides can agree on. "Grow" used that way sets my teeth on edge.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday July 17 Primo has another union interview and the campaign strategist thinks he can't win unless he becomes Stripe like

When I got home from work, Primo told me he'd been called in for an interview with another union. "They said they left me a message, but I never got it," he said. "Samantha called me this morning and said everyone else had interviews today and why wasn't I there."

He showered and rushed over to the interview. "It didn't go well," he said. "They weren't as receptive as the first interview and had a lot of questions about how I was going to raise money."

Which is a legitimate question. Going to our bank account is not an option.

When I got home from tennis class, Primo was even more dejected. "Samantha gave me the report from the campaign strategist. He thinks the only way I can win is if I embrace Stripes ideas."

I shook my head, confused. "But why would you do that? You're running against a Stripe."

He nodded. "I know."

"Does he think that the Stripes will vote for you instead of for the actual Stripe? That makes no sense. Plus then if you do get elected, how will you vote? You need to run as who you are. Not extreme, but who you are."

"He doesn't like the numbers. He thinks the district is 62% Stripe, but that was the election before the redistricting. I think it's more 57%."

I hugged him. "We're in it. It's a long shot, but it's not insurmountable. Don't let those guys get you down."

"I'm worried about the money," he admitted.

"But I have a job. And you have a leave of absence. So we're not taking any real risks. If you don't win, then you go back to your job."

"No," he answered. "I mean about the campaign. Raising money. I don't know how I'm going to do it."

"Oh," I said. "That. That's a harder question. Because I do not want us to fund this campaign ourselves. I guess you need to figure that one out."

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sunday July 15 The new network name for our wireless and asking advice

Before the political meeting earlier this week, Primo informed me that he had changed the name of our home computer network from "Beevis," with its corresponding password "butthole" (yes, he is 12 years old) to "SmartCat," which is our cat's name. The other cat is "PrettyCat," which should give you an idea of how things work around here with cats trying to open doors and get into things. One of them can do it, the other can't.

In other news, I suggested to Primo that he call this wise political adviser he knows. Cooper used to be a state senator and now is a political consultant. His son is running for the state house in another district. Primo has been helping Cooper II on his campaign with the expectation that Cooper and Cooper II will help Primo once Cooper II's primary is over. (All Cooper II has to do is win his primary. His district is heavily Polka Dot, so he really doesn't have to worry about the Stripes challenger. He does, however, have to worry about the four Polka Dots who are running against him in the primary.)

Me: Why don't you call Cooper and ask him how to work a church crowd? He should know.

Primo: I don't want to bother him on Sunday morning!

Me: It won't be a bother. People love to be asked for advice.

Primo: I don't know.

Me: OK, then why don't you email him? I promise he will be flattered that you think enough of him to ask his opinion.

Primo: Maybe.

PS I am re-reading this now in January, after writing it six months ago, and realizing I have given Cooper I and Cooper II at least three different aliases in this story. Oh well.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saturday July 14 We make up

I felt bad about being cranky with Primo, so I called him. It was two hours after he had left for the church festival.

Me: How's it going?

Primo: I left. I'm on my way home.

Me: Why?

Primo: I felt so uncomfortable! I didn't want to bother people. Some of them were eating, some of them were listening to music.

Me: I can see that.

Primo: Plus I need a new name tag. The one I have identifies me as a Polka Dot, but in this part of town [full of Stripes], I just want to get my name out.

Me: Uh huh. But we need to figure out how to work a church festival.

Primo: I know. It just feels so awkward.

Me: Bill Proxmire used to stand at the gates of his state's fair and shake hands with everyone who walked in.

Primo: I know.

Me: Maybe we should ask one of your political friends who has already been elected how one works a church festival.

Primo: Yes.

Me: Maybe I need to go with you.

Primo: I think that would be good.

I still hate politics, but I guess if I can't beat them, I should join them.