Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: The Rain In Spain Falls Mainly On The Plain

You guys, I am so, so proud.

He did this all by himself.

"TOGETHER WE CAN!" HE DID THAT! Oh bless his "People should do what's right because it's right" heart. :)

I am beaming.

Primo: You were right! But sometimes I think if there aren't enough words, people won't have enough reasons to like me! Isn't the way to make something better by adding more information?

PS His logo and his photo do show on the real version. I am just too lazy to edit them.

The Candidate's Wife: Arguing with Primo, who wants to include ALL THE WORDS on his campaign door flyer

Round One
Primo: Would you check what I have written?

Me: OK - you need to make this a lot shorter.  Here:

Primo: What? WHY?

Me: Because people are going to read this between the door and the trash can and you want to make sure they know what you want them to know.

Primo: But you cut everything!

Me: People know what a website is. They know what an email address is. You don't know if you're going to be primaried,, so you don't need the date of the primary election on there. And you need to focus on just three issues, at least here.

Primo: I don't want to leave out [issues]. They are timely. 

Me: Then put them on your website. People can get more information if they want it. In this piece, you are flirting. You are not getting naked. Three things. Three. They are going to throw this away the second they read it.

Round Two
Primo: OK. What about this?

Me: No! TAKE OUT THE WORDS! And take out the part about "more Polka Dots in [capital]. This is about you. This is about getting you elected.

Primo: I want to help other candidates.

Me: You cannot help anyone if you don't win this election. Focus on your campaign! And take out all those extra words!

Primo: But - but! You are so forceful about this! What makes you so sure?

Me: Because I have spent this week re-writing the marketing copy of four other people in Marketing Communications BECAUSE I KNOW HOW TO DO IT! I get paid to do this!

(NB Love this man. He spent last week cleaning our basement after it flooded from sewer backup. That is where attention to detail is super important. We make a good team.)(But he uses too many words.)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: This is not New York City people here get up early

The event was at the Presbyterian church in our neighborhood - a winter farmers market and brunch from 9:00 to 12:00.

Their services are at 8:30 and 10:30.

What would be the optimal time to go to meet the most voters, would you think?

Hint: Not after the 10:30 service. Not at 11:30 a.m. when  the scrambled eggs are gone and when everyone has already eaten breakfast/brunch and needs to get home because the day is already half over and there are things to do at home. Not at 11:30 a.m. when the people who aren't lazy have already showered, dressed, and gotten their butts out of the house.

Oh well.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: I love BEING RIGHT

Just two hours ago, Primo was telling me that going to a play was not a good way to campaign. I said that all he has to do is wear his "Primo for State House" button and maybe introduce himself to two or three people and that other opportunities might arise organically.

(I also pointed out that he could promote the event with something about how this was a fundraiser for arts in our schools and wouldn't it be great if all public schools had the funding they needed.)

So. I suggested we go to the ice rink in our neighborhood - they were having a family skate night.

We got our skates. Somehow, talking to the three women who were volunteering to hand out the skates, we got on the topic of being tricked into moving here where it's cold and being tricked into marriage to a politician. That is, Primo got to introduce himself to three voters who got to

1. Hear his name
2. See his face
3. Realize he is not a complete weirdo.

When we were taking our skates off, a woman sitting next to us asked Primo about his campaign button.

Woman: I have to ask. I see your buttons. Are you running for office?

Primo: Yes. I am running for the State House as a [Primo's party].

Woman: I knew it! I was a Poli Sci major in college. I volunteered on X's Senate campaign! I did doors, I called, I went to events! It was great!

Primo: I ran in 2012, in 2014, and in 2016. And I am running again now. But this time, I think I can win.

Woman: And you're in the neighborhood?

Primo: Yes. In X district.

Woman: That's my district! That's fabulous that you are running.

Primo: I don't have any cards with me.

Woman: No, I can find you!

Me: Want to do doors again or are you done with that?

Woman: I don't think so - but you never know! I will find your campaign page! Good luck!


Me: I. Told. You. So.

Primo: Maybe. Yes.

PS That dialog is just the skeleton of what we said. I am lazy and didn't want to write everything. But the Poli Sci woman and the three women who were volunteering and I covered, in detail

  • Cremating our mothers 
    • After they are dead, of course!
    • Because our mothers are Midwesterners and very practical 
    • Because it's so expensive to transport a corpse across state lines
  • Engineers
    • Primo wanted size 10.5 skates. They had only 10. As he is putting them on, a volunteer says, "Oh! A size 12 just came in! Would you rather have those?" Primo explains in great detail why skates that are too small are better than skates that are too big.
    • "Oh he's an engineer?" they said. "Yeah, that explains everything."
    • Primo wants the silverware stacked by type and by size
  • Primo tricked me into moving here
  • Politicians trick people into marrying them
    • They start out as normal people, like engineers
    • "Have you noticed this INJUSTICE?"
    • "Someone has to DO something!"
    • "I will run for office!"

Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: A community event in our district is a place to meet voters, PRIMO

Primo: You want me to go to a middle-school play?

Me: No. I want you to go to events in our district where voters will be.

Primo: I don't want to go to a middle-school play!

Me: Do you want to go to where voters are?

Primo: But I don't want to go to this play! I don't want to accost voters!

Me: You wear your button. You introduce yourself to three people. It's not that hard.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: I cut the number of words in Primo's fundraising email IN HALF and it just about kills him because he is an engineer and details are his jam

As I tell Primo, when he asks me to review his facebook posts or his emails and then ARGUES WITH ME ABOUT THEM, "If only you knew someone who wrote marketing copy FOR A LIVING."

You know - like me.

That's what I do.

I am a marketing person. I write stuff. For money. I write about topics that most people would find very boring (I don't - I think my job is fascinating and I love my boss and my co-workers) and I do it very well.

Primo, being an engineer, wants to explain every single little detail and wants to substantiate every claim.

His email started like this:

I am running for the State Assembly because xth District residents are hungry for real, honest representation in [the capital]. We need sensible, long-term plans to strengthen our public schools, fix our roads, bring down health care costs, and create family-supporting jobs while protecting our environment.

One issue that is very important to my neighbors -- and to a large percentage of people in the metro area -- is the unfinished Highway X. There is no question that the crumbling and obsolete Highway X needed to be rebuilt, but the project was inadequately funded from the start. Much of the work has been completed, but construction on the north leg (I-XX / US YY between Oak Blvd. and Pine St.) was suspended after the reconstruction of one bridge and is now indefinitely delayed. Two years ago, I talked to a district resident who was waiting for a sound wall to be installed near the rebuilt Main St. bridge. He is still waiting!

Our state's transportation funding crisis has been worsening for years.

[four more paragraphs]

[of detail]

[although also a call to action, but that needs to be a lot sooner in the email]


Me: It's too long.

Primo: I knew you'd say that. But [campaign manager] likes it.

Me: It's. Too. Long.

Primo: No it's not!

Me: Look. You don't have to listen to me. You can do it however you want. But I am telling you that as a new reader, I get to the second paragraph and I am already bored.

Primo: But I need to include that information!

Me: No, you don't. You need to get people to read this and agree with you on this one issue and then go to your facebook page or your website and maybe give you money.

Primo: Fine. Then how?

Me: This:

Are you sick and tired of the never-ending construction on Highway X?

So am I.

That's why I am running for the State Assembly. We need sensible, long-term plans for our roads. We also to strengthen our public schools, bring down health care costs, and create family-supporting jobs while protecting our environment.

Our state's transportation funding crisis has been worsening for years.

[two more short paragraphs]

Primo: But there's no detail!

Me: They can always go to your website for more information.

Primo: And the guy! Who's waiting for a sound wall!

Me: Does not support the main message of "Finish the highway!"

Primo: But all the work that's not done yet!

Me: People know! 

Primo: Grumble grumble grumble.

Me: Do it however you want, sweetie. It's your email. I'm just saying you need to give people a reason to keep reading. You start with an emotional hook and get to the point quickly.

Primo: Grumble.

Two hours later.

Primo: You're right. It's a lot better your way. Thank you.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: Primo gets some tough love about campaigning from a legislator friend

One of the things Primo hates the most about running for office is the feeling that he is bothering people when he talks to them about running. He doesn't mind talking to strangers when he is at a political event or when he is knocking on doors, but he is very uncomfortable talking about himself and about the campaign if he is at a non-political event, like a block party or a church youth group fundraiser. He doesn't want to bother people or intrude.

I tell him that if he is comfortable knocking on someone's door and interrupting them AT HOME that he should be fine at any other gathering.

At the least, I tell him, wear a campaign button!

And go to events in our district!

I am not the only person telling him this.

He got an email from a friend of his who is a representative. This friend - we shall call him Hamilton, although that is not his name - is echoing what other friends are saying, which is that Primo is spending wayyyyy too much time helping other people in their events and not enough time in his own district campaigning.


I write with love and support, but I do need to share a few things that aren't easy to say - and a few ideas that I think are really great.

Here's the tough news: Primo, I believe you need to be in district more, less events for others.  You need to be selfish.  You need to be at neighborhood or community based events meeting people you don't yet know.*

 [*That is the part Primo hates!] 

The political circles know you, they support you.  You support them back, which is good, but unless you're raising money by going, you gotta stay back in the burbs and connect with voters.  Example: Becky is a friend, you support her, that's all good but there is no cross over between her district and yours.  You can also rule out getting money from her, as she's running, on balance an evening event like that needs to become less of a priority.  

I say the same thing about my own fundraisers coming up.  Don't come to my events, stay in district and connect as best you can.  Obviously there won't be events every night but you get the point... 

Now, the [PAC] event is a room where you can get money.  If you go to an event like that you've got to bring lit/business cards and make a hard ask from some of the political folks there.  Mike and Steve can each direct thousands to you.  They'll tell you that they can't do it this early in the campaign cycle, but you need to ask.  You need to stick your hand out and say "I'm going to win and I need your support.  How much can you contribute?"**

[**Also torture for Primo and, I think, for most normal people.]

Primo, you are in the spotlight.  Lots of people around the state and country have eyes on your district.  We expect you to win.  I believe you will, but I don't say that like a coach tells the worst kid on the team that they tried their best - I mean I expect you to win.  I expect you to be ruthless and selfish and go get this.  You can win.  You will win.  You just need to do it.  That takes an unwavering commitment to you and your district.  

"But how do I work a room?" Primo asked me. "How do I go somewhere where I don't know anyone?"

I have no idea. I am also not a room worker. Nothing fills me with more dread than having to enter a room of strangers and there is almost nothing I would rather do than be at home by myself or with Primo and the cats and some books. I don't enjoy being around other people. It's torture. And it's boring.

Primo called Hamilton and asked.

Guess what? Hamilton is also an introvert. Campaigning is torture for him, too. He has the added challenge of not being the same race as almost everyone else in his district, so, as he told Primo, he really stands out.

But he does it anyhow.

His rules are simple:

He goes to the events.

He makes sure to meet the organizer.

And he talks to at least three people he doesn't know.

Then he lets himself leave.

He gave Primo a formula.

Primo is an engineer. He loves formulas.

And we went to the church youth group fundraiser on Friday. We sat at a table of people we did not know. Primo met all three adults at the table. And he talked to them. And it actually came up organically in the conversation that he was running for office and THEY WERE INTERESTED.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: People give Primo their hard-earned money and he wants to be worthy of them

You guys, we are so grateful every single time someone sends Primo a campaign contribution. This one came with a really nice note:

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: Nobody ever said, "I wish that guy had talked longer!"

Me: You wrote, "Listen to inspiring speeches!" on your post about your karaoke fundraiser.

Primo: I know!

Me: Because that's what everyone wants to do - hear speeches.

Primo: Oh! You're right!

Me: Yeah, don't talk about forcing people to listen to speeches.

Primo: I need to change that from "listen to inspiring speeches" to "hear inspiring speeches!"

Me: Ummm. I think you are missing the point.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: How an engineer packs (so not political, actually, unless one of you guys can think of a way to apply this to politics - I can't)

Me: I packed my Bon Appetit magazine. Where is it?

Primo: Oh. I moved it to a different suitcase.

Me: Why?

Primo: Because it was the only magazine in the pink suitcase. I put it with the other books.

Me: You mean you moved it for aesthetics.

Primo: Yes. It was the right thing to do.

Me: It's a suitcase. Of dirty clothes.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: The story about the Opponent is on the news but they don't mention that Primo is already running in the race

Primo: [Campaign manager] just called me. They had it on the news that [Opponent] is running.

Me: Wow. That was fast.

Primo: Well, [Opponent] already holds a state office, so it's news, I guess. They didn't mention my name at all.

Me: Ouch.

Primo: [Campaign Manager] says I still might get some media calls.

Me: That would be good.

Primo: I am not supposed to say [Opponent's] name or refer to him in any way.

Me: That's what Ruthie told you when we saw her in Houston!

Primo: What?

Me: She was the campaign manager for that person for school board. When you were telling her about your campaign, she said, "That's the last time I ever want to hear your opponent's name* cross your lips. You never ever ever say it out loud again."

Primo: I won't!

* Actually the incumbent, but the point remains.

The Candidate's Wife: Primo gets an opponent

Primo: Whoa! This just got real!

Me: What happened?

Primo: The guy who blah blah blah ran blah blah blah filed today!

Me: Oh no!

Primo: No! He's on the other side!

Me: Oh - I thought you were being primaried.

Primo: No! He's on the other side. And he's AWFUL! This is GREAT!

Me: What makes him awful?

Primo: He's really extreme. His endorsements are from really extreme people - Extreme Person A, Extreme Person B, and Extreme Person C.

Me: Not the incumbent?

[NB The incumbent is running for a higher-level seat this election.]

Primo: Nope.

Me: Wait. The person who holds the seat currently is not endorsing the person on his side who is running for the seat now?

Primo: Nope.

Me: Wow.

Primo: And you know what else? [Nice Political Mentor Guy Who Knows Everyone] said he thinks [Incumbent] would rather have me win that seat than the guy on his side.

Me: He would rather have someone from the other side win than this guy?

Primo: Well, he would rather have me win than this guy. But yeah. He does not like this guy. [Political Mentor] says that [Incumbent] likes me.

Me: Why wouldn't he? You like him. He's a nice guy.* You just don't agree with each other.

* Which he is. We have met [Incumbent] a few times. He really is a nice guy.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: He married the wrong woman

Primo: Hey! How come you are ironing those napkins?

Me: Because they look nicer when they are ironed.

Primo: I thought you were against ironing.

Me: Not against ironing napkins.

Primo: How come you don't ever want to iron my shirts?

Me: Because I am against ironing other peoples' clothes.

Primo: But shouldn't you be interested in ironing my clothes?

Me: You should have married an ironing woman instead of a golddigger.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: How people use facebook BlessTheirHearts

Primo: I got a facebook message from an older lady who was mad at me.

Me: About what?

Primo: Some older people - they just don't get facebook.

Me: In which way?

Primo: She is really upset that I like [the governor's] page. She says I am not a true Democrat.

Me: Ah yes. Because you want to stay informed about what the opposition is doing.

Primo: She thinks I have betrayed the cause.

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: How an English major does a colonoscopy vs how an engineer does a colonoscopy

How an English major does a colonoscopy

  • Two days before the procedure, follow the instructions
  • Day before procedure, follow the instructions
  • Day of procedure, follow the instructions

How an engineer does a colonoscopy

  • Three days before procedure, ask wife to find the diet instructions in her email
  • Read the diet instructions and complain
  • Spend two days doing research about colonoscopy prep protocols, finding evidence that other GI clinics do not require the level of fasting that local clinic does
  • Day of the prep, complain about being hungry
  • Message wife at work citing various sources about fasting protocols

American medicine is behind the times. Recent studies have shown that it's OK to eat low-residue foods (like eggs) the day before a colonoscopy. I'm not going to do that, but our hospital is not doing it right.
The doctors are probably afraid of change.
I also found an Australian colonoscopy prep guide that says alcohol in moderation is fine as part of a low-residue diet. I do intend to drink a beer tonight. (What could that possibly hurt?)

  • Message wife to tell her you are cranky
  • Wait until 6 p.m. the day before the procedure to start the prep
  • Accelerate the prep, drinking ten ounces instead of eight ounces of liquid every ten minutes - "I will be able to drink the entire amount in one hour!"
  • Complain about being hungry
  • Argue with wife, who is not a physician, about whether
    • A beer is possible
    • It is necessary to complete the second half of the prep liquid if certain conditions are already being met
  • Complain about being hungry
  • Morning of procedure, announce hunger
  • After procedure, argue with nurse about fentanyl and whether driving in the evening will be OK

Co-worker's advice about husband: Don’t let him take the conversation into narrowly focused details — the nature of chemical compositions, the potential flaws in FDA testing, etc. It’s where engineers know they can win, but it’s a trap!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: I suggest that Primo go to the Cub Scouts' pancake breakfast to campaign but then we agree that it seems so - so - sleazy

Me: The Cub Scouts are having a pancake breakfast next Sunday at St. Mathilda's. You should go.

Primo: Why?

Me: To get your name out there.

Primo: To campaign?

Me: Yes.

Primo: But that seems so wrong.

Me: You don't have to do a hard sell. Just talk to people.

Primo: But it's not even my church. It would seem so obvious.

Me: Yeah, I guess.

Primo: I don't think I can do that. If it were a church I already attended, that would be fine. But to go just to campaign?

Me: I know that people do do this. I just don't know how.

Monday, January 22, 2018

In which I get yet more catalogs that used to go to Doris

So I wrote a letter to the CEO.

Greg Sweeney, President and CEO
The Potpourri Group Inc.
101 Billerica Ave., Bldg. 2 N. Billerica, MA 01862

January 2, 2018

Dear Mr. Sweeney,

I am taking the desperate step of sending you a letter via the USPO as trying to stop your catalogs from coming to my house via regular channels is not working.

Since 2012, when my husband’s mother ordered something for me from one of your catalogs (I returned it because bless her heart, my late mother in law had horrible taste), I have been unable to stop the flow of catalogs.

By the way, I have not ordered a product from a paper catalog since I was in my 20s. I am a 54 years old, middle class, employed, married no children white female with an MBA. You may want to add this information to your “probably not a target demographic for us” list, as I do not think I am at all unusual.

Here are the things I have tried to get you to stop sending me catalogs: 
  •         February 2012: Submitted a request via the Catalog Favorites website for catalogs to stop
  •          April 2012: Submitted a request via the Catalog Favorites website for catalogs to stop
  •          September 2015: My husband put his mother’s name, his father’s name, and their address on the Deceased Do Not Contact list. (Mother died May 2015, father died July 2015)
  •          September 2015: My husband put in a forwarding order for his parents mail so he could get their mail at our house as he closed their estate.
  •          At some point, you guys decided that a forwarding order trumped a “Deceased do not contact” order and started sending Doris’s catalogs to my home address.
  •          I tried to get you to stop.

o    I don’t want your stuff
o    Even if I did want your stuff, I would not buy it from a catalog – I would go online
o    I really don’t want my dead mother in law’s mail
  •          I submitted repeated requests to your websites, yet continued to get catalogs, to the point that yesterday, I got catalogs addressed to the request I sent you via your sites a few months ago


Mr. Sweeney, I do not know how I can be more clear.

I do not ever want a catalog from your group to hit my mailbox. Even 50 years after I am dead, I do not want Potpourri Group catalogs to arrive at [my address].

I say this as someone who has a (God willing) defined benefit coming someday from International Paper, which means I have a strong interest in the consumption of coated papers. Yet I do not want your catalogs. Please remove me and remove my address (and you might as well remove Doris, as she has been dead for over two years) from any list you have now and any list you might ever have in the future.


 The Gold Digger

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: I help Primo with a fundraising email but he doesn't like my edits

Primo: What do you think of this fundraising email? [That he is writing for his campaign]

Me: I think it's too long.

Primo: But I need to say all that!

Me: You need to get to the point.

Primo: I am a man of many words.

Me: I know.

Primo: What should I do?

Me: [All the copyediting and writing advice]

Primo: No!

Me: If only you knew someone who wrote for a living.

Primo: What?

Me: Like - what if my whole job were to figure out how to write about boring things in a way that would make people want to read the copy?

Primo: Oh yeah.

Me: What if I actually knew what I was talking about?


Primo: I showed the email to [his communications guy]. He says it's too long.

Me: Huh. Who knew?

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: What makes a person a weirdo?

Me: Did you get a chance to email [that person who wants to volunteer] about going to that governors candidates' session on Tuesday?

Primo: I wrote one but haven't sent it.

Me: Why not?

Primo: Because I wrote it at 3:00 a.m.

Me: So?

Primo: I didn't want him to think I am some weirdo who writes emails at 3 a.m.!

Me: But - you are some weirdo who writes emails at 3 a.m.!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: Primo discovers that the board of his group has a spy

Primo: Something bad happened!

Me: What? (Thinking - someone we know has died!)

Primo: It's BAD!

Me: Oh no! (My sister called him late at night to tell him my mom fell and broke her hip! Primo has cancer! The library burned down!)

Primo: We've discovered that Boris, on the board of ActivistsRUs, is an infiltrator!

Me: What do you mean?

Primo: I mean he's from the Other Side!

Me: But - he's in your group!

Primo: He's running for county supervisor against Natasha.

Me: Which is good, right?

Primo: I know you are not a fan of Natasha.

Me: She is not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Primo: I know.

Me: She said she didn't know why Arizona was worried about illegal immigrants from Mexico because it's not like Mexico and Arizona share a border.

Primo: We thought Boris was running to the left of Natasha.

Me: But he's not?

Primo: Turns out he ran in 2012 and he is not left!

Me: But - he is in your group!

Primo: We think he's a spy.

Me: But the alternative is Natasha.

Primo: I would rather have someone really dumb who agrees with me on positions than someone smart who is on the other side.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Spam spam spam

You guys, I had no idea that comments were going to spam. All comments are sent to my hotmail. Any comment on a post older than two weeks goes to moderation (or something like that), but other than that, if I see it in hotmail, I assume it's been published. I never suspected that a system that would allow comments about how to get your boyfriend to beg to have you back would block comments from actual people who make thoughtful comments.

I am sorry about that! I do not block non-spam comments. I don't even block the comments of the readers who take Sly and Doris' side, mostly because I am so fascinated that such people exist.

Thanks to the Cosmic Avenger for bringing this to my attention.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: Ted's email to Primo is not as awful as I thought it would be but then even a stopped clock is right twice a day, but he is not staying at our house, no matter how nice his email is

Ted sent this email and it actually reads like the email of a nice person who has never

1. Screamed at Primo
2. Implied that Primo is dishonest and/or stupid
3. Screamed at Primo
4. Tried to get Primo to reimburse him for the expense he incurred attending his own father's funeral.*

So it's a nice note and I am suspicious.

Because there is nothing in my history with Ted that indicates that he is a nice person.

Delightful note you sent and I hope to help with more than a small unsolicited contribution!

Shall dispense with small talk for now but please note very proud of you and I like reading about your “productive fundraising.”
 A few ideas:
1. Depending on circumstances (my mom’s health, status of work commitments), I would be eager to pop by at or near election time on my dime and work in the trenches for you. Give that some thought. Our local politician/acquaintance impressed me a few years ago when I went to volunteer because his (out-of-state) brother was manning the volunteer shop and walking people through the top-line talking points, etc. Obvious considerations would be keeping me on point and preserving your wine cellar in the evenings.
2. Doubt I can do much here here with my erstwhile political networks, outside of begging a few friends to donate a little money.
3. This is my Big Thought (and related to my core experience): I suggest that you make several short-form “pitches” about you, primarily, and your platform, second. With a tiny bit of inexpensive production savvy (which I’m happy to provide from afar at no cost), I believe that you can get across to multi-generational voters with what used to be expensive political commercials. You run these on your website and FB, obviously, but I’m thinking that other outlets—traditional and new—would be receptive to running :10, :15, :30, and maybe even 1:00 and 1:30 spots in rotation. Need to noodle on this a bit more.
Key point, Primo, about #3, is to emphasize you and your dedication to constituents. In today’s ideology-heavy society, I still feel a glimmer of hope for good, strong, positive politicians who are genuine. You fit the bill.
love big bro

I really am torn. This is a lovely note. I cannot deny that.




There is nothing in history to indicate that Ted will not turn into a jerk in a second. That he will not scream at Primo or send him nasty emails or make demands.

I do not trust him.


If he wants to help Primo from afar, that is fine. If he wants to ask his friends to send money to Primo, that is fine.

But. He is not invited to stay at our house. LordHaveMercy, that would stress Primo out so much and by extension would stress me out. Plus it would also stress me out without Primo's stress.

Reasons for stress if Ted visited

1. Primo would have to clean out the guest room, which is actually a good thing. My philosophy is that a man who has an entire bedroom of a house dedicated as his office and who has boxes and boxes of crap in the basement does not need to also have his stuff strewn all over the guest room. Or the landing. Or the stairs. Or the hall. So for that reason - a cleaned guest room, it might be worth it to have Ted visit.

Hahahaha! I was joking! As much as I hate having Primo's crap strewn all over the guest room, I hate the idea of having Ted in my house - of ever seeing him again - even more.

2. Primo would have to pick Ted up from the airport. He would be late picking him up but you know what? I don't care about that.

3. Someone would have to feed Ted. Someone would have to plan meals.

That someone would not be me.

4. I believe Ted is a drinker and I am not interested in being around Ted when he is sober, much less when he is drunk.

5. Primo would be cranky about someone using the guest bathroom, which, in normal times, is just his bathroom.

6. Primo is already stressed out about just answering Ted's email. Seriously. He has mentioned it several times in the past few days - that he has to answer Ted's email ("No you don't" I tell him) and he doesn't know what to say ("Tell him to tell his friends to send money and thanks and that's it").

He is ignoring my advice and is just being stressed. If there's this much stress about answering an email, imagine the stress of having a visit.


Ted cannot visit us. It would cause too much drama.

However, it is very nice and very unusual to get an email from him where he is not being a jerk. So we will take that.

* Although I still have mixed feelings about this one. If my father had abandoned to an alcoholic mother when I was four years old, then moved away, then tried to get out of paying child support for me, and then said he was not going to pay for my college but paid for my younger brother's college, I, too, would have mixed feelings about attending his funeral. If it were I, I would go only to make sure he was dead.

Oh wait. That was me. And that is the only reason I attended Sly's funeral. That and because it was important to Primo, whom I love.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: A neighbor is upset about changes to the hunting rules and wants to take Primo hunting, which Primo thinks would be pandering but I think would be fabulous

One of our neighbors and his wife have helped with Primo's previous campaigns. They are very nice people - they even did the phone bank with us in the first election.

If you don't know what a phone bank is, let me tell you.

It is an awful horrible thing where you call people and ask them to vote for your candidate and if you

1. Hate talking to strangers
2. Hate talking about politics
3. Hate talking on the phone
4. Hate talking to anyone about anything

then a phone bank is your worst nightmare.

For hours, all you are doing is talking to people who probably hate talking on the phone as much as you do and now you have interrupted them in the middle of the Batters episode of The Great British Baking Show when they are doing the churros and everyone wants to see how the churros will turn out. Everyone.

You do not generate goodwill with people by interrupting them during a TV show they like.

So our neighbors even helped with the phone bank, which makes the pretty exceptional if you ask me.

Let's call them Scott and Zelda.

Scott emailed Primo last week about some changes to the hunting laws. He is not in favor of these changes. I am not going to copy his email here because I respect the privacy of people who have always been gracious with me.

Cross me, though, and I will publicize your jerkiness.

But Scott's email has nothing jerky in it - nothing like that - it's just that he wrote it for Primo's eyes, not anyone else's, and I want to honor that.

He suggested that he take Primo hunting so Primo could see for himself.

Primo is a city boy.

My grandfather took me fishing. He taught me to wean a calf and to ride a horse and let me sit in his lap when he drove the tractor.

Primo's grandfather taught him to play pool.

We come from very different backgrounds.

My family is almost all hunters; I don't even know what Primo's uncles do because I have never met them and Primo sees them once every 20 years at funerals. Wait. At their own funerals.

So Primo is all, "I can't do that! I'm not a hunter! It would look like I was trying to suck up to voters!" to which I said, "Hello you are in politics now what about this surprises you? That's what politicians do - they pander and they suck up!"

But then I said, "The voters here are hunters. Don't you think you should try to understand what it's all about so you would be better informed and more prepared to understand them and to represent their interests?"

To which he admitted that yes, I was right. (I relish hearing that so, so much.)(It happens so rarely. Not that he won't admit it - he will - it's just that he is right so much more often than I am.)(Of course, he cares a lot more about being right.)

He wrote back to Scott,

Your proposal to take me hunting is very interesting. I've never had a personal desire to hunt or to own a gun, although I have no problem with responsible hunting or responsible gun ownership. (I have done some target shooting, several times with a .22 rifle and once with a friend's Colt .45; after that experience, I can say that I definitely don't have any desire to fire a handgun again.) Goldie and I do eat venison, both from her family's deer processing plant and from a friend who hunts every year. 
My initial reaction was that it seemed silly to go hunting just so that I can claim to be a hunter during my campaign, but I talked to Goldie about it and she suggested that it may be something I should experience if I want to represent hunters in the Legislature. I think she may be right! It would be good to be able to say that I have gone hunting, even if I don't choose to identify myself as a hunter on my campaign literature after going hunting just once.
So maybe we'll get Primo out in blaze orange. On verra.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Candidate's Wife: Ted offers to help with the campaign and I laugh because Ted? Helping? C'est rire

Primo: Ted emailed me to thank me for the note I wrote to thank him for his contribution.

Me: Great. That's exactly why I wrote snail mail letters to your mom - I didn't want her to be able to email my right back. At least with letters, there was a lag time.

Primo: He wants to help with my campaign.

Me: Uh huh.

Primo: He does.

Me: Yes.

Primo: He could be sincere.

Me: Uh. Huh.

Primo: He could.

Me: You mean like last time when he put you in touch with his friend who spent half an hour telling you to advertise on facebook?

Primo: That was really useful.

Me: He wants to help?

Primo: That's what he says.

Me: He probably just wants to call you and tell you his opinion on things and have you tell him how wonderful he is.

Primo: Yep.

Me: Tell him to send money and to have his rich friends send money. That's the best kind of help.