Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ch 1 Primo’s mom and dad don’t offer us anything to eat or drink, even though we are guests in their home and isn’t that kind of the standard? Houseguests arrive at your house and you ask if they hunger or thirst?

We arrive at Primo’s mom and dad’s house. In the car Primo rented. Because they won’t pick us up at the airport the WAY NORMAL PARENTS DO.

They do shake my hand. So there is that. 

But there has been almost no eye contact so far. I have tried to make eye contact with them, but they do not seem to be interested in making eye contact with me. It’s the weirdest thing. I keep trying – I even put my glasses on, so you know I am serious about seeing what was going on, and they will not look at me! People! I am not used to this! I am not used to being ignored! This is bizarre.

And unlike with my family, who throws[1] food at people[2], and even though we have been traveling since 7 a.m. our time and it is now just after lunch our time, they do not offer us anything to eat or drink.

Nothing! Not even a, “Would you like a glass of water?!” And for sure not a, “You must be starving! Did they feed you on the plane? It’s been a while since we have flown, but we expect that airline meals have not gotten any better. Here! Let us give you some food!”

Nope. They. Do. Not. Offer. Food.

I am hungry. I eat three meals a day.

OK. I eat three meals a day. At least.

Had I known they were not going to feed us, I would have insisted that we stop for lunch – because we could have because we rented a car – and I would have brought some emergency food with me. But I hate spending money on restaurant food (you guys, I am a very good cook) and it didn’t even occur to me that they would not offer food to us the second we crossed the threshold. Ha. Shows you how dumb and sheltered I am.

I just assumed the usual social niceties would be observed, but I was wrong.

When we arrive, I give Doris a small hostess gift – some fancy cornmeal I had gotten at an arts and crafts fair. Everyone likes fancy versions of everyday things, right? She thanks me and puts the bag on the kitchen counter.

As in – I gave them food. I gave them food. And they are not even asking me if I want something to eat.

After about an hour, I finally ask for some water. Is that rude? Did I wait long enough? I have never had to ask for water before. My people – we like to feed people.

Without even looking at me, Doris tells Primo to get me some water. I follow Primo into the kitchen.

Me: When are we going to eat lunch? I’m hungry!

Primo : They don’t eat lunch.

Me: What do you mean, they don’t eat lunch?

  Primo: They don’t. They have breakfast and they have a snack in the late afternoon and then they have supper.

What are the rules on this? My dad gave me a stern talking to once because I didn't have coffee in my house. "But Dad!" I protested. "I don't drink coffee!"

"Yes, but you might have guests who want coffee," he answered. "Like me."

So I bought coffee and a little Cuban stovetop coffee maker, which is called a cafetera in case anyone wanted to know, and used it for my coffee-drinking company.

Me: But I’m hungry! Aren’t you?

Primo : I can make it until supper.

He’s like a python – he can get by with eating once a day.

Me: I can’t! I’m hungry! And I’ll get a headache if my blood sugar drops. I didn’t bring a lot of migraine drugs with me. Imitrex is really expensive and it makes me feel crummy.

Primo : Let me see if I can find something for you in here. What about this?

Me: Cracker Barrel? Are you kidding me? That’s bad cheese.

Apparently, I have forgotten the part about Hungry Beggars Cannot Be Choosy and Demand the Good Cheese.

Primo : They don’t get the good stuff, but that’s what’s available. Want some? I think there might be some nuts in the cupboard, too. I’ll put together a plate for you.

Primo and I return to the living room with water and snacks.

Sly: It’s not snack time!

Primo : We haven’t eaten since breakfast, Dad. I made a little snack for Goldie and me.

This is the part where I wait for a horrified exclamation from Sly and Doris of, “What were we thinking? You must be starving! Please! Let us give you some lunch!”


It does not happen.

So I eat the cheese.

[1] Not literally. I mean “throws” as in “offers.”
[2] You have to tell my grandmother “no” at least three times to convince her that no, you do not want lemon pie or rhubarb bars or chocolate chip cookies or anything to eat at all, thankyouverymuch.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Ch 1 We spend money to fly to Florida and Primo’s mom and dad don’t even pick us up at the airport

Me: What do you mean, we have to rent a car?

Primo: To get from the airport to my mom and dad’s.

Me: They aren’t going to pick us up?

Primo: No! It’s an hour drive!

Me: So? I had a two-hour layover in Denver once and my mom drove up from Colorado Springs just to hang out with me.

Primo: They don’t like to drive that long.

Me: So you have to pay to rent a car?

Primo: They think I am made of money.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

In which Primo wants to tell Ted how awful Ted has been so that Ted will see the error of his ways and apologize

I know.

I laughed, too, when Primo proposed this. Primo is so sincere and honest and will bend over backwards to help his friends.

Ted is a jerk.

If Primo tells Ted that Ted has upset Primo with all the jerky things Ted has done, Ted will, I guarantee, get super defensive and will then attack Primo.

Although if this happens, maybe it would make it easier for Primo to shake the dust off his shoes about Ted. I am fine with Ted never being a part of our lives again.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Chapter 1 part 2

My sister thinks I am uptight

Me: Jenny. Have you ever taken a boyfriend to mom’s and shared a room with him?

Jenny: Are you KIDDING me? Which mom are you talking about?

Me: Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Jenny: Why?

Me: Primo is taking me to meet his parents—

Jenny: It’s about time. You guys have been together for more than a year.

Me: Yeah, well. They live in Florida so it’s not exactly easy to get there. Anyhow, Primo told his parents that I want to sleep in a separate room from him--

Jenny: Wait. He had to tell them that?

Me: Yes. I guess it’s not the default for them. He says his parents “pride themselves on being hip.”

Jenny: I’ve stayed in the same room with a boyfriend at his mom and dad’s. I never even thought twice about it.

Me: But what about taking a boyfriend to visit mom?

Jenny: That’s totally different! That is not how mom rolls! Mom does not pride herself on being hip.

Me: No kidding.

Jenny: So they just assumed you guys would be in the same bedroom?

Me: Yes.

Jenny: Are you guys sharing a room now?

Me: Umm. Yes. But at his place or at my place.

Jenny: I thought you weren’t going to sleep with him until his divorce was final.

Me: Yeah well that resolution didn’t last very long.

Jenny: Homewrecker.

Me: Hey! He had already moved to Austin and filed when I met him. It’s been six years since he split with his ex-wife!

Jenny: She’s not his ex-wife. Legally.

Me: You know what I mean.

Jenny: Yeah, whatever, you homewrecker. When was the last time you visited a boyfriend’s parents?

Me: Probably not since I was in my mid-twenties.

Jenny: You are old now. Nobody cares. Maybe they’ll ask you to smoke pot with them.

Me: Nope. They hate drugs.

Jenny: It’s just sex they are hip about?

Me: I guess so. I am not getting a good vibe about this. I didn’t think it would be a big deal, but I guess it is. I have never slept in the same room with a boyfriend at his mom and dad’s and hadn’t even thought about it, but then Primo mentioned that they will put us both in the guest room.

Jenny: That is a little weird that you don’t want to be in the same bedroom with him.

Me: No! It’s that I don’t want to be in the same bedroom with him at his mom and dad’s! That’s the weird part. When we stayed with his friend Doug last year, Doug didn’t want us in the same room. He said it would be a bad influence on his kids. Primo said if we couldn’t be in the same room then we weren’t coming. I didn’t care about that. It’s just in front of parents that it feels wrong.

Jenny: Call me when you get there. I want to know what happens.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Maybe the first chapter? Or part of it?

Raise your hands: How many of you slept in the same room as your significant other the first time you went to his parents’ house and stayed there overnight?

Yeah. Me neither.

Every single time I have ever visited the parents (1), I have stayed in my own room and the boyfriend has stayed in his own room.

Anytime I have taken a boyfriend to my parents’ house, we have had separate sleeping quarters.

It never even occurred to me that it would be any other way – that parents would expect their child, even their adult child, to share a room with his SO.

But then, I have never met Primo’s mom and dad before.

“They pride themselves on being hip,” he tells me when he explains that they are very annoyed at the idea that I would not be comfortable sharing a room with him under their roof.

Wait. “Annoyed” is probably not the right word.

They are pissed.

Primo: They just don’t want to clean the spare room. And, like I said, they pride themselves on being hip.

Me: Parents are not supposed to be hip. I can promise you that when we go to my mom’s house, we will be in separate rooms. My mother is not hip.

1. I have multiple data points on parental visits. Not with the guy in grad school whose parents, it turned out, didn’t even know I existed. That, my friends, is a red flag that should not be ignored. I ignored it. But that’s a different story.

Friday, April 7, 2017

In which Primo is called a rabble rouser

You guys, you know I don't always agree with Primo about politics. And you know he can talk LordHaveMercy can he talk.

But he is not rude. He is not disruptive. He is not impolite.

The other day, he was at a local party meeting. There were about ten people there. He got there too late to eat any of the pizza the other people had ordered, but he bought a beer. It is rude to use an establishment as a meeting place and not pay some sort of rent.

He encouraged the other people there to go to the town halls our congressman and our state representative are holding. Both the congressman and the state rep are of the other party.

Primo has run against both men. He has met both men in person. One time, he was on a flight back from DC and ended up sitting next to congressman, with whom he had a very nice conversation - congressman knew who Primo was and that Primo was running against him.

State rep, the first time Primo ran against him, made a point to seek Primo out to introduce himself.

Primo writes to congressman all the time. This congressman signs all of his constituent letters by hand. When he sees that the letter is to Primo, he crosses out the "Mr Digger" and writes, "Primo" in its place.

At state rep's town hall last week, state rep sought Primo out afterwards, said hello, and asked how I (we have met) am doing.

State rep and congressman have never been anything but gracious to Primo. They understand, as Primo does, that there is nothing personal about their disagreements.

So Primo was very upset to learn that a local talk show host had talked some trash about him.

Someone else at the local meeting had overheard Primo and had called the talk show host, saying that Primo, the "leader" of the group (he is not) was trying to "organize protests" (um no - Primo has attended protests but going to a town hall meeting and respectfully asking questions of one's elected representative is not "organizing a protest"). Not to mention, BlessHisHeart, that Primo is not an organizer. He is a thinker - he analyzes issues deeply and has ideas about how to fix them, but he is not an organizer. At all. I live with him. I know.

Primo wrote this on facebook:

Here's some entertaining news: I was mentioned by [local talk show host] yesterday! (Listen to this podcast starting at 13:55.) He read a report from an unnamed listener describing me as "the leader" of the Drinking Liberally [our city] group, which I am not, and accusing me of "organizing protests against [other party] elected officials at their town hall meetings." Pretty much everything he said about our discussion was incorrect, including that we were not buying food or drinks at the business. I was simply mentioning the upcoming town halls and suggesting that my [of the same party] friends should try to attend. I'm confident that both [state rep] and Congressman X would say that I participate respectfully in their meetings.

If someone had called Primo an ultra-his party who believes in A, B, and C, he would have smiled and said, "Yes." But to be accused of bad behavior that you have not committed? That hurts.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

In which I try to convince Primo that a neutral third-party as trustee for the grandkids might actually be better for them and would not be a sign that Primo was betraying his nieces and nephews

Niece #2 wanted money from the trust for a car.

Primo already disbursed funds to Niece #1 for a car.

Stephanie's boyfriend of several years sells cars. He found a car for N2, but there was some weird stuff in the contract about how he couldn't waive the commission and that bothered Primo A LOT.

Me: Either you are going to have to be super involved in this kind of decision or you are going to have to let it go.

Primo: But what if Stephanie's boyfriend* is scamming N2 on the car?

Me: It's her money. She's an adult. And now, your parents are winning, because they are pitting you against the rest of your family. Why else would they designate you as the trustee for their grandchildren's money instead of the children's parents?

Primo: I hate doing this.

Me: Then resign!

Primo: But I would feel guilty - like I had abandoned a responsibility.

Me: If a lawyer were the trustee, he could ask all these questions about the commission and even if it makes the family angry at him, it does not affect the rest of their relationship. The kids might be better off with a neutral third party who does not have to balance family ties with the trust.

Primo: Maybe.

* Who is a lovely man and who has not given us any reason to believe he is dishonest

Thursday, March 30, 2017

In which Primo discovers that people really really really like getting handwritten thank-you notes

Primo's stationery (ary?) arrived before Christmas. He has been writing the notes since then. I understand that politicians are busy and you can't write an entire note for every campaign contribution - most notes we have gotten have been printed postcards with the candidate's signature as the only handwritten item, but when someone prepares a bunch of food for a campaign event and hauls it from Capitol City to Our City 90 miles away or when someone donates $100, that is a lot and it merits a handwritten thank you.

Primo: I ran into two people who got thank you notes from me.

Me: And?

Primo: They made a point of thanking me! They were so happy to get them!

Me: That's really nice.

Primo: A guy I used to work with had sent me a contribution and I wrote him a note. We're not really in touch - someone else at work had shared my campaign page with him and he started following and then sent me some money. He wrote me a letter. A LETTER!

Me: Retail politics. Plus, when people give you their hard-earned money, it's really nice for that to be acknowledged.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

In which Primo muses that maybe Sly would have changed the will if he had lived longer because he was so grateful at all the help Primo was giving him and I bite my tongue

Primo: Maybe my dad would realize how grateful he was to me and acknowledge all the help I had given them.

Me: Umm. OK.

Primo: Although on my dad's last day, when Jack and I were with him in the room, he was delirious and saying that he was going to disinherit Jack and me and leave it all to Ted.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

In which Primo reminds me that Sly said I was selfish, which confuses me, because I do not expect people to sacrifice themselves for my satisfaction, and then I realize that Sly's definition of selfish was "Anyone who didn't want to do what Sly wants"



devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one'sown interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself:
selfish motives.

Primo: Oh yeah. Really, the selfish person was my dad.

Me: Just saying --

Sunday, March 19, 2017

In which we identify the second good thing that Sly and Doris left us - they can disinherit you from money, but they can't keep you from taking the gallon-sized ziplocks home if you are the person in charge of cleaning out the house. Or the lump crab, which really, was not that good.

Primo, do we have legal-sized envelopes? I want to mail at least a dozen Christmas letters next week to the people who send me physical cards.
If we don't, if it's convenient for you, would you get some on the way home?
Otherwise, we/I can get some later this week.
Also, when you come home, would you please put the trash and compost that are sitting outside the back door in the trash/compost?
You mean regular business-sized envelopes?
I have plenty of them.
Shirley wrapped herself around my neck while I was doing squats
for ten minutes
I think she was sleeping
Part of my inheritance. My parents had a big box of envelopes.
Shirley loves you!
We got envelopes and the giant ziplocks!
Chat Conversation End

Seen 12:32pm

Thursday, March 9, 2017

In which we get a Christmas card for Sly and Doris addressed to them at our address and we cannot figure out how that happened

How? How does it happen that someone - not a catalog, not a charity, not a political organization - has our address as Sly and Doris' address?

I really want to know.

And I want it to stop. I want not to get their mail. I want not to have frequent reminders of them. Our Christmas this year was so much nicer without them. Five years ago, we went to Spain for Christmas and Sly and Doris were furious. They sent Primo an email telling him - these were their words - that he was a "bad son." Sly told Primo that Doris was threatening suicide. Doris sent Primo an email on Christmas day telling him that "everything sucks and I get despondent."

I am not making this stuff up, people. Those of you from nice families might find it hard to believe that parents like Sly and Doris exist, but they do!

But they are finally gone and Primo and I are getting to have a life without their constant demands and drama and it is nice. Am I asking too much not to get their dang mail?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

In which we return from being gone for ten days but do not find any pears from Ted

But Ted did call us on Christmas, when we were at the airport. We had a long layover in Atlanta and were getting into the "We are going on vacation!" and "We are going to be eating churros y chocolate in less than 24 hours!" groove when Primo's phone rang.

It was Ted.


Christmas is supposed to be a happy day, not a Deal With The Drama That Is Ted day.

Man, I cannot stand him. The guy is such a jerk. Who expects to be paid for attending his own father's funeral?

(Although I have to cut Ted some slack here when I think about the part where Sly abandoned Ted and Jack to an woman Sly spent the rest of his life defining as the evil alcoholic harridan bitch from hell, even to Ted and Jack, which really? This is how you talk about your sons' mother to them?

And how Sly refused to pay anything for Ted's college, saying that Ted, who went to a decent school - not fabulous, but decent, could have gone to the tier 4 school where Sly taught for free. Sly also pointed out that his child support obligations ended when Ted turned 18. And that Ted's stepfather could afford to pay Ted's tuition - even though Ted's stepfather was not, you know, Ted's father.

Sly didn't have the same attitude toward Primo. He never suggested that Primo attend the college where Sly taught and he paid all of Primo's college bills.

So - hmmm. Maybe Ted has reason to feel a little disrespected by Sly and maybe Sly should have paid for Ted to attend his funeral because honestly, if I were Ted, that might the only way I would have gone.)(I went to Sly's funeral to support Primo and to make sure that he was dead.)

OK. But even with these caveats and a degree of sympathy for Ted for having such a crummy father, neither of us want to talk to him.

But Primo said, "If I don't talk to him now, he will just keep calling."

"You could block his number," I said. "That's what I have done."

Primo rolled his eyes. "I'm going to get it over with."

He came back a few minutes later.

"Is he sending us pears again?" I asked.

"He didn't mention it."

"Did he ask for money?"


"That's weird."

"Yeah. He didn't even suggest that it was looming."

"But we know it is."

When we got home from the trip, there were no pears waiting. Ted is falling down on the job.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

In which Primo does not rush into the very rash decision of buying monogrammed stationery

It has been more than six weeks since the election.

Wonderful people gave time and money to Primo's campaign.

Primo still has not written thank-you notes to them. I am trying not to care, because it's not me and my notes, but man is it stressful. Those people need to be thanked. This needs to be DONE.

On Sunday, Primo came downstairs with what remains of the monogrammed stationery I bought for him years ago. There is only one piece left.

He needs to write way more than one thank-you note.

We found the vendor online. Found some stationery he liked. Found a good price. It's made in the US, which is always a plus - we want our fellow citizens to have good jobs.

"Should I order this for you?" I asked.

No! Not yet!

I wanted to know what additional information he needed to make this decision.

He was not ready.

Every night, I asked again.

No! Not yet!

Last night, he was ready.

"But should I get 100 pieces?" he asked.

"Sure," I said. "It's something you'll use the rest of your life. It's not a perishable."

"But that's a lot."

"If you die before you use it all, I will use it up."

"Your name is not Primo!"

"I will cross it out,"  I assured him.

Then he told me that he was going to pay extra to guarantee shipping by Christmas (next Sunday).

"If only there had been a way to pay regular shipping and still get it in time," I said.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

In which Primo does not win and Ted calls and we worry that all kinds of drama will start again

I have not written anything for a few months because

1. I am lazy

2. Not much has been going on



(Which you knew)

Oh - and Primo did not win. Which was sad. He outperformed other candidates in his party upballot, but that's easy - Primo is a man of integrity who has never lied to or been snarky to the American people. That is, Primo is not a jerk, which is something I cannot say about anyone else who was on the national ballot.

Back to Ted.

Today is Dec 17. It is one week until Christmas. Here is what Ted has been doing over the past few weeks. We know he is working up to asking for money.

1. He texted Primo repeatedly after the election, offering his (unasked-for) opinion. Primo was all stressed because Ted wanted to talk and Primo did not want to talk. I said that just because Ted wants does not mean he gets. Primo never called Ted.

2. He sent Primo an email about some karaoke machine that was on sale, telling Primo that in an alternate universe, he would be giving this to Primo for Christmas.

"He's working up to asking you for money," I said.

3. He sent Primo a text about Nancy, whose birthday was last week. Ted has never commemorated Nancy's birthday before to Primo in any way.

He is going to ask for money. I just know it. The only question is will he send us some pears again this year?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

In which Primo notes that he should be calling people to ask for money even though [our state's football team] just lost and lost big and people are all, "Well, that's it for this year" and are depressed

Primo: If I were a serious politician, I would be calling people as soon as the game is over.

Me: Right. Because all people want after [the big football team in our state] lose is to hear from a politician.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

In which Primo accidentally sends a LinkedIn invitation to his opponent, which still is not as mortifying as when I learned that you can see who has looked at your LinkedIn profile and I wonder if my old boyfriends, whom I have been googlestalking, know about that feature

Primo: You know how LinkedIn is always pestering you?

Me: Yes.

Primo: I never do anything on LinkedIn, but I clicked through to the "People you may know" section.

Me: And?

Primo: They suggested I connect with [my opponent]!

Me: OK, that's weird!

Primo: So I clicked through to look at his profile and I accidentally sent him an invitation to connect!

Me: That's awkward.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

In which our sweet catsitter, who just turned 18, says he will vote for Primo

The reply to my request that our sweet, sweet catsitter, who is a senior in high school, feed our cats when we go on vacation over Christmas:

Yup! I will be in town. Also I saw the sign for Primo around the neighborhood. Good luck! I plan on voting for him!


In which Primo thinks about doing a report ahead of time rather than staying up all night to finish in a panic, which has been his preferred approach for doing taxes and other things that the lack of doing can put a person in prison

Primo: There's one thing I haven't been procrastinating on.

Me: What?

Primo: There is nothing worse than doing a campaign finance report at the last minute.

[I would say that there's nothing worse than doing anything at the last minute, but whatever.]

Me: OK.

Primo: So as I have been getting contributions, I have been adding them.

Me: Instead of staying up all night the day before the report is due?

Primo: Yes!

Me: Who ARE you? And what have you done with my husband?

In which the mother in law of Primo's best friend asks us how to donate to Primo's campaign and we realize, once again, how lucky we are to have such wonderful people in our livesl

Mrs W wrote,

Good Morning, Goldie:
How is the wife of the candidate holding up? As well as the candidate? I hope...
What a grueling and grotesque campaign this has been. Given my level of agony and disgust, I'm well aware that yours is infinitely worse.

I'd like to make a contribution to Primo's campaign; however I don't wish to put it on a credit card.
Would you please let me know how to do so by check -- name of payee line and address to which it should be sent.
I hope that Primo has a chance to be the victor rather than the perennial sacrificial lamb. Please keep me up-to-date.
Wishing you both fortitude and victory!!!
With love,

In which a reporter - I am shocked, shocked! - gets it wrong again

Primo: You know that guy who called me for an interview?

Me: Umm. Yes. Of course.

Primo: The article was printed today. He made some mistakes.

Me: Like what?

Primo: Instead of writing that I am a "chip designer," he says I am a "ship designer."

Me: At least there is not a big difference between designing microchips and designing ocean-going vessels.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

In which a politician whom I have never liked anyhow donates $1,000 to a candidate who is running unopposed in November but only $100 to Primo, even though Primo has donated money to this politician and has helped him campaign

Primo: Politician X gave $100 to my campaign last night.

Me: Wow! That's really nice. I think he's a total sleazeball, but that's nice of him to contribute.

Primo: He gave $1,000 to [Candidate Y], too.

Me: Really?

Primo: She won her primary in August and is running unopposed. So she doesn't even need the money.

Me: That seems kind of - unbalanced.

Primo: I have done doors for him. I have helped him a lot. I have contributed to his campaigns.

Me: Did he at least contribute as much to you as you have given to him?

Primo: Nope.

Me: I see.

Primo: So now I know where I stand.

Me: So you're not going to give him more money or help?

Primo: Um. No.

In which Primo redeems himself over the vaseline debacle by digging the salted caramel flavored frozen custard out from its hiding place in the chest freezer and preparing a bowl of salted caramel frozen custard with freshly-baked pie crust odds and ends on top for me

In which Primo suggests that I am just so, so much better at removing petroleum-based stains from all clothing, especially his

Primo: I got vaseline on my pants!

Me: How?

Primo: I was at Sandy's house and she wasn't home but one of her [Senate candidate's] signs was crooked so I straightened it out for her.

Me: And?

Primo: And she had put vaseline on it because there have been some sign-stealing incidents on her street!

Me: That's what you get for meddling with someone else's business.

Primo: I wasn't meddling! I was trying to help! I was doing the right thing!

Me: And you are not seeing a problem with this?

Primo: It was the right thing to do!

Me: Uh huh.

Primo: Will you clean the stain off my pants?

Me: No, but I will tell you how to do it.

Primo: No! I want you to do it!

Me: That's OK. I'll just tell you.

Primo: But - but - I don't have time! I'm busy!

Me: Oh, and I didn't spend all day working?

Primo: But you already know how to do it!

Me: Yes.

Primo: And you're already good at it!

Me: All you need is practice.

Primo: But - but - but - it's not something I should need to know how to do. It happens so rarely.

Me: So?

Primo: It's your telling me I need to learn how to bake an apple pie. You're already so good at it that there's no reason for me to learn how.

Me: Now you are advocating for division of labor and specialization?

Primo: Yep.

Me: Kind of ironic that the only time you are in favor of free market policies is when they benefit you.

In which Primo sings at his karaoke fundraiser and he is so, so fabulous and it is so, so fun


Sunday, February 5, 2017

In which it is about two weeks until the election and I wonder how on earth politicians ever find time to have affairs because they don't even have time to get busy at home

Here is how Primo has been spending his time:
  • Doing doors
  • Delivering yard signs
  • Having me take photos of him for a mailer
  • Getting materials to other people doing doors for him
  • Picking the photo for the mailer
  • Probably drafting the mailer with the artist
Here is what he has not been doing:
  • Anything. With. His. Wife.
At least I have not had to shave my legs lately. Why bother?

In which Primo laments that he has no volunteers

to which I say, "Did you ever email the people who volunteered on your last campaign?"

to which he answers, "No."

And I say, "Have you emailed people you have met during this campaign who expressed an interest in helping?"

and he says, "No."

Then I ask, "Have you asked the people whom you have helped on their campaigns to help you?"

and he answers, "No."

Which makes me wonder what kind of elected representative Primo would be if he is not willing to ask people for stuff. It seems that once elected, all politicians ever do is ask for more money and more time and more more more from people THEY SHOULD BE LEAVING ALONE. Dang. Once you are elected, go do your dang job. Quit asking for more money. Quit it.

One of the things I like about Primo is he is not a grabby, asky person. However - one email to people who might want to help him - something like, "Dear person who wants me to be elected - would you please help me by doing doors for one afternoon/distributing ten yard signs/donating ten dollars to my campaign?"

That? That would not be so awful. One email. Just one. Not pushy. To people who had already expressed an interest.

But that's not how Primo rolls. I guess that's good. I guess I won't ever wake up to discover that Primo has been taken by the feds for running some Ponzi-scheme operation from our basement.

In which people who do not live in our house or pay or bills suggest that Primo host an election night party

Primo: I saw some guys at K's party last night. They said I should have an election night party.

Me: Oh really?

Primo: I don't think my campaign is important enough for that.

Me: If they want to host a party at their house, that's fine.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

In which Primo is interviewed by the local paper and for a radio show where one of the questions they ask him is about marijuana legalization, which is not part of his campaign at all, and people give money to his campaign without even being asked, which astonishes and delights us

We are only a few weeks from the election. We are both exhausted. Primo is going into full campaign mode, which means knocking on doors every day all day.

Which means he is not doing his usual home chores, which means if they are to be done, I am doing them, which I am, because I like living in a clean house.

We had this conversation last night about the cat vomit I saw on the carpet in the basement (where, by the way, there is about five times as much uncarpeted, raw cement floor than paid to buy and install by the square yard non-vomit or hair-repelling carpet):
Me: Hey! You said Shirley had vomited. I thought you had cleaned it up!
Primo: Yeah! I saw it this morning ON MY WAY TO DO LAUNDRY!
Me: Really? I saw it tonight AFTER WORK!
So then he cleaned it up while I watched the rest of season one of Madame Secretary, which was good - I accomplished my mission.

Although he does have time to go to Woodman's and buy, buy, buy. The list is just a suggestion. Most times, he goes off-list and that's not a horrible thing but do we really need

* three containers of Kim-chee flavored instant ramen soup
* ground turkey (Me: This stuff is 27% fat, you know. I never buy it. Primo: Oh! I thought just because it was turkey, it was good! Me: Yeah, they rely on that.)
* more frozen chicken breasts - we are trying to reduce inventory, not replenish everything - we don't have room in the freezer for the ten pounds of roasted Hatch chiles our friends bought for us and have in their freezer.

OK. I am being bitchy here and I said I would not do that. What does crack me up is that Primo has set the stock reorder point for toothpaste, razors, and toilet paper at 18 months. That is, Primo ensures that we have an 18-month supply of these products in the house at all times. 

When the apocalypse comes and there is no toilet paper to be found, Primo and I will be in tall cotton.

Primo is getting so good! He has become a much better speaker. He is more confident and although the only pivoting he does is with me - witness

Me: They had the head of the DNR on the radio this morning talking about the cool stuff they have done to make hunting licenses and deer tags easier.
Primo: The head of the DNR is [bad because of political stuff]
Me: That's not what I want to talk about. You can report your deer online now! And you can keep your license on your phone! Or link it electronically to your drivers license so the game warden just has to scan your drivers license!
Primo: [political stuff]
Me: How come you can pivot with me but you always answer the question when some political person asks you something instead of pivoting to your agenda and your talking points?

Anyhow, he talked to the paper and then he had a live radio interview. The plan for the radio interview was to pivot to education, his main thing.

Me: Would you like some feedback on your speaking?
Primo: Sure.
Me: Stop talking way before you think you are done.
Primo: I talk a lot.
Me: Yes. You are talking to friendlies. You don't need to convince them or to bore them with a lot of technical supporting detail.
Primo: OK.

But they asked him about all kinds of other things that had nothing to do with his platform, one of the main ones being about the legalization of pot, which both Primo and I support. I think all drugs should be legal. Adults should be able to ruin their own lives if they want. They are not, however, allowed to ruin the lives of their children, so if you want to spend your days in an altered state, as much as I think it should be very, very hard for the State to separate children from their parents, you should lose your kids.

Primo: They asked about pot. I answered, then I finally said, "I'd like to mention a few more things." I got in the stuff about education! It was at the very end, but I did it.

Like I said - he is getting good. :)

People have been contributing to his campaign! It's so bizarre and so, so nice. The absolute worst thing about politics is having to ask for money. I guess if we were really rich, we could spend a ton of our money on the campaign, but we are not really rich or even somewhat rich. We are ordinary middle-class people with one professional job between them.

Most of the contributions are small - $20 here and there, but even $20 is a big deal. That's four fancy coffees. Or a decent dinner out for one person. Half a tank of gas. It is not throw-away money.

But some of them are big - a couple hundred dollars. That is astonishing. We are so, so grateful to all the contributors and their confidence in Primo. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

In which Primo gets yard signs that do not have to be folded and then stapled in 12 different places

 and it is worth the extra $1.10 per sign - these cost $3.50 each vs the $2 something that the signs cost four years ago - not to deal with the drama and the paper cuts and the damn staples.


The Woman who assembled hundreds of yard signs for the first campaign, a task that required stapling each sign in ten different places and involved many many paper cuts, even though you wouldn't think that heavy paper could give a person a paper cut (it can)

We are rich people now, spending big bucks on yard signs.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

In which one of Primo's benefactors says he will pay for the food at the karaoke fundraiser

We are lucky to know this political insider/kingmaker named - hmmm - let's call him Magwitch, not because he is a reformed criminal (although he did used to hold elected office - but no - Magwitch is kind and honest and he just really likes Primo) - who loves Primo and has been a strong supporter since the first campaign.

Magwitch is an extrovert who loooooves politics and wants to be involved in everything and he is always out doing something political.

He and his wife and his son, who is an elected representative at the state level, said they would like to donate the food for the karaoke fundraiser.

We are stunned, because we did not expect that kind of generosity from anyone. Also, because based on my experience attending political fundraisers over the past few years, nobody expects decent food. However, every event Magwitch and Mrs Magwitch have hosted has been delicious. They find a way to hire some guy who lives in their son's district to make BBQ and get the neighbors to make dessert and it's a mac and cheese, red velvet cake, and cornbread feast every single time. These are about the only events I don't get cranky attending with Primo or even donating money to, because the food is always worth it and I get to see people I like (hey Shauntay! Hey Ruth! Hey Stephanie!), which is not so common for political events. Liking the people, I mean. Usually, I can leave them more than I can take them, but Magwitch et al have good vibes and draw good people to them.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

In which the organizer responds and encourages Primo to come just to network

email from the event organizer:

Last thing - 

Our privacy clause does not exclude you from networking at this event and using these contacts to follow up with and discuss your campaign after forum. I've made great contacts through forum and been able to both help contact and benefit from those I've met through forum. So again, I would encourage you to come this evening and come at 5:30 to meet and greet with people and sit down and have dinner with the members. There is a lot of time to mingle during these events.  

Trump's campaign manager had to drop out at the last minute because of Trump's daughter's visit so this will most likely open up more time for the local session. 

On Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 4:20 PM, [the event organizer] wrote:

Hi Primo, 

I am sorry I was not able to get back to you right away. I have just started a new job and have been juggling this event and another event I am planning. The event is private and it is meant to inform our members. We seek to not have anyone quoted by media in these meetings to keep the dialogue open and honest. Members are intended to learn from the discussions and take back insights from the event to their communities, but they are not meant to quote people or speakers at our events. This means that yes we take some ideas from the forum, but we keep our sources to ourselves. This is usually to protect speakers and members from being scrutinized for their honest opinions and thoughts or lack of knowledge related to issues. Race is a huge issue that we talk about and many people have missteps when speaking about this, but it is a necessary when trying to have these difficult conversations. 

While this forum is different because you are actively running for election. I encourage you to come tonight and we can discuss further with the president. There will still be a restriction on any social media during the actual event. It is natural to want to campaign and influence as many potential voters as possible, so I understand your concerns and they are completely legitimate so I will work with our leadership that suits both of our interests. 

Additionally, we have after forum at a bar close to the venue and there are no restrictions on media then except that you are not allowed to say this is a forum event. This can also be a very good opportunity to speak with potential voters and know that they can directly quote you. 

Please feel free to call me if you would like to speak more in depth. 

Thank you for your patience, 

In which Primo, after getting no explanation about the request for confidentiality, declines to participate in the Secret Society forum, and I am very proud

Dear [organizers],

Having not received a response to my request for clarification of the confidentiality requirements for this evening's event, I must decline the invitation to participate. I apologize for the late notice, but I was not aware until last night that there were any restrictions on writing or posting about what will be discussed during the forum.

As a candidate for public office, I am not comfortable with participating in any kind of private or confidential debate, discussion, or forum with my opponent or any representative of his campaign. Issues that matter to the residents of my state house district should be discussed publicly, and in my view it is not appropriate to describe a private event that includes multiple candidates or their representatives as as a "forum" or "town hall." I understand that events such as tonight's forum may not be open to the public because of capacity restrictions, membership requirements or security considerations, but my participation will not be helpful to the voters in my district or to my campaign if the topics discussed during the forum and the candidates' positions on those issues cannot be discussed publicly after the event.

I am sure that tonight's discussion will be very interesting, but I am sorry that I cannot attend given my (rough, perhaps incomplete) understanding of the rules for confidentiality.

With regret,


In which Primo asks for more information about the forum

From the organizer:

One last thing that I forgot to mention, at the forum we aim to foster candid conversations that are not restricted by the fear of public scrutiny. In order to maintain this, all of our meetings are behind closed doors and are invite only. We do not allow media at any of our events. This also includes social media. We remind our members at the beginning of each meeting that there are no social media postings while the forum is taking place or after about the discussion. Please keep this in mind before tomorrow's event. 

Thank you again for your participation!

Primo's response

Thank you for sending the agenda, the questions, and the rules for tomorrow's event, but I must say that I am frustrated by the late delivery of this information.

All I knew until this week (based on a few phone conversations and text messages exchanged with [the organizer]) were the start time of the event (5:30) and the fact that there would be some period of time for food and drink before the discussion. I was surprised to see that the portion of the program pertaining to state issues and my campaign will not begin until 7:45.

As someone who has not previously participated in or attended a [Secret Society] Forum event, I was also surprised by your message about the rules. I understand no posting on social media or tweeting during the event, but is it also true that nothing discussed, revealed, or learned at the event should be discussed after the event? Even more specifically, do you ask that we not even say anything about having participated in the forum or who was in attendance?

Please let me know exactly what is OK and not OK to discuss about the forum.

Thanks and best regards,


In which Primo discusses the Secret Society with a friend of his

Primo's email about the secret society to his friend who is helping with the campaign:

I have become more and more curious about the [Secret] Forum, especially after the revelations of the past day.
[Our friend on the county board] either is a member or has been a participant in the past. I copied you on my response to his message, which suggests to me that he may be a member. It seemed that he was trying to suggest that I should not participate.
There is almost nothing on the Internet about the [Secret] Forum, but after some digging I learned some very disturbing things from this brief article:
  • [Someone who ran for state supreme court] is or was a member.
  • The group has a strict code of silence.
  • The last time it was mentioned in the [local paper] was 1999 (by [political columnists]). Unfortunately, the links to the old articles in the Google archive no longer work.
The Form 990-N filings reveal very little other than the name of one officer per year (i.e., per filing). If you click on this link to the most recent filing, you'll see that the name of the "Principal Officer" was [someone]. I don't know who she is, but if you click (within that page) on the links to the filings for previous years, some interesting names come up:

Tax year 2011: [a Primo nemesis who was a Primo friend until he switched sides] (!)
Tax year 2008: [someone on the other side who is high profile] 
This seems to confirm my conspiracy theory about [former friend]. He was a servant of the rich and powerful, and eventually someone took care of him by getting him a high-paying job at [a good place to work].
[My opponent] is apparently a member of a similar high-powered group, the [State secret] Forum:
I am tempted to attend the event just to see who is there and take a look behind the curtains of power, but I have a feeling that I might be asked to sign some kind of confidentiality agreement.

The right thing to do is probably to decline the invitation because I am running for public office and I am not interested in discussing or debating things with my opponent (or his representative) in a non-public setting. Any event with representatives of general election campaigns that is billed as a "forum" or "town hall" should be open to the public or should allow what happens to be reported in the media.
Really weird stuff...