Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thursday May 17 I need to get a job because Primo is cranky

Primo was very cranky today. The stress of trying to campaign while he is also doing his regular job is wearing on him. And on me. He tells me I don't have any stress because I'm not the one with a job. I tell him that living with him is stressful enough. He is the Typhoid Mary of stress.

He wants me to find a job so he can quit his job. That's fine. I don't mind working. But if I'm going to work so he can quit, that means he has to do all the things I do: clean the house, cut the grass, cook, do laundry. He says he'll be happy to do all that, but that he doesn't have the same standards for housecleaning that I do. I think if I become the breadwinner, I get to define a certain standard, right?

I would also expect that if I get a job and he quits his job, I will no longer be in charge of ironing his shirts. He has been dressing very nicely for his campaign events: slacks or khakis with a button-down and a sport coat. He has been asking me to iron his shirts. As if Polka Dots cared about personal appearance. I've seen their women. Did I tell you the story about the lecture we attended where the audience was almost all Polka Dots? There were a lot of not-so-old women with long gray hair in banana clips, wearing Crocs and mom jeans and knitting.

Although I have to say now that I am coloring my hair to cover gray rather than just to have a different look, I am starting to think that going gray isn't such a bad idea. It's a pain in the neck to color my hair, especially now that it's really obvious when it's growing out. Before, the roots were not so easy to see because my hair was just drab, mousy brown underneath the Clairol #24 Clove. Now, I have graying roots and it's clear when I need to do a touch up.

So maybe I shouldn't be so hard on those graying women. But I can still mock them for their shoe choice.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wednesday May 16 Doris' women's group wants to give money to Primo's campaign

Primo has already asked Sly and Doris for money. They agreed to donate $1,000 to his campaign, but wanted to give more. "That's illegal," he told them, with regret.

"Can we give it to your brothers and have them give it to you?" they asked.

As well they should. Primo has not taken a penny from them since he finished college. His two half brothers, on the other hand, have been seeking and getting financial help from Sly and Doris for years and years, including a $250,000 investment in a failed business.

Primo told them that he had to follow the campaign contribution rules. "It's not worth it to get caught," he said.

Doris called yesterday and told Primo that her Polka Dots women's group wants to contribute to the campaign. Good! We'll take as much money as we can get. I do not want to spend our money on this campaign.

My mom sent Primo a $100 check for his birthday. Sly and Doris sent him a bag of chocolates and a book on using your grill as a smoker, a book that we returned because we had no interest whatsoever in using the grill as a smoker, partly because we have a smoker and partly because we don't do that much smoking.

"Couldn't your mom and dad have given you that extra thousand they wanted to donate as a birthday present?" I asked.

"Yes, they could have," he said.

"So why didn't they?"

He shrugged.

"Why don't they pay for your plane ticket next month?" Primo is going to his mom and dad's for a week. They expect twice a year visits, which do not include, as many of you already know, pickup service at the airport.

"They didn't care if they saw me when my sister was alive," Primo said. "Then they moved to a place where it's an hour to get to the airport. And I'm supposed to pay to visit them and to rent a car twice a year."

"They know that if you win this election, our income is going to plummet, right? And that you won't be getting frequent flier miles or Hertz points any more? Which means that you won't be able to afford to fly there twice a year and get a car. Are they prepared to pay for extra visits? Because I'm not."

"I think that's one of the reasons they don't think I should run," Primo said. "I think they know it will mean less time for them."

"Tell them to pay for your plane ticket," I said.

Wednesday May 16 Political Wife 2

I can't bear it. The Political Wife showed up 45 minutes late. She admired my shoes, complimented me on the lunch I had made, and was very nice. Now I am going to have to like her.

Samantha, the Political Wife, arrived at lunchtime, so I made tomato-mozzarella salad for everyone. Instead of meeting in the living room, which is clean and (mostly) free of cat hair, we squeezed around the kitchen table, where she had full view of the dirty kitchen floor. Thursday is my cleaning day. This was Wednesday. The house was about as dirty as it gets. Great.

But it was actually interesting. She laid out her proposal and her strategy for running Primo's campaign. She has a staffer who does menial tasks for her - I said I would do menial tasks to save the $10/hour she pays. I can enter names into a database just as well as someone else.

She explained that someone would need to "shadow" Primo at his events. That means walking around behind him, making sure he doesn't spend all 30 minutes talking to one person.

"I can do that," I said. "But his big challenge is that he likes to explain the really little details of everything and peoples' eyes start to glaze over."

"That's exactly why we do it," she said. "You have 30 minutes to work a room. You identify the key people to talk to, get in and get out. I could not get Theresa's husband to do that. He would spend the entire time talking to one person."

I turned to Primo. "I can do this for you. I can keep you moving. But will you get upset if I'm telling you to come on? It might come easier from someone who's not your wife."

He said he would be fine with it. We'll see.

Primo went upstairs to get something. "I told Primo he needs to get his hair cut by a hairdresser in the district," Samantha said.


"Because hairdressers know things. They're plugged into the gossip. He said that his hairdresser is one block outside of the district."

I laughed. "Her salon is one block outside of the district. Mr Literal. She lives in the district. I had her sign the petition already. Honestly. Engineers."

Wednesday May 16 Political Wife 1

The Political Wife was supposed to be here half an hour ago. I got up early and went to the gym early just so I'd be back in time for this meeting. Primo says he doesn't care that she's late because he's always late. I pointed out that I am not late and that I lost sleep over this.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Monday May 14 The Political Wife is coming over

Oh great the Political Wife is coming over on Wednesday to present her proposal (to manage his campaign) to Primo.

I clean the house on Thursday. Which means that on Wednesday, it's about as dirty as it gets.

Although why I should worry about impressing someone who wants a $4,000 check for one month is beyond me. She should be trying to impress us.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sunday May 13 Politics is his mistress

Primo: I've got another love in my life.

Me: I know.

Primo: Politics has become my new wife.

Me: No. Not your wife. Your mistress.

Primo: What's the difference?

Me: Politics gets the best of you and does nothing for you. I don't see politics washing your clothes, cooking your dinner, or cleaning your bathroom.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sunday May 13 Primo's birthday karaoke party

We invited some of my friends and Primo's bar and political friends to meet us at a nearby bar for Sunday night karaoke, which is the absolute best kind as it starts at the reasonable hour of 7:00 p.m. instead of the usual musician/bar time hour of 10:00 p.m.ish. Or 10:30 p.m.ish. I treasure my sleep. By 10:30 p.m.ish, I want to be in bed. So the early bird karaoke is my kind of thing. Perfect.

Not that we were there at 7:00. All the good intentions in the world will not make Primo on time. Blesshisheart. I am a "on time means getting there five minutes early" person and Primo is a "as long as the sun is still in the sky, I'm cool" guy.

Which works just fine with his bar and musician friends, but I had invited non-bar, non-musician friends.

So when we walked into the bar at 7:40, we found my friends waiting. They had been there since 7:00. Because that's when I told them we would be there.

My stupid fault, of course. I should never have told them we'd be there at such a ridiculously early hour. Although I have pointed out to Primo that he needs to get a better on-time record if he is going to be a serious candidate. Bill Clinton can get away with being late because he's Bill Clinton. Primo cannot.

My friend Dawn had a present for Primo. Dawn is a big Stripes supporter. She has volunteered for the Stripes Guy for Governor. She likes to argue with Primo. More power to her. I hate arguing with him, so am always happy to find someone who will deflect arguing from me.

She handed him a bag that was tied with ribbon. Primo carefully untied the ribbon and pulled out a wrapped tube. He peeled off the tape, then removed the wrapping paper. It was a tube of paper. He opened it.

It said, "Stripes Guy for Governor."

I started laughing. Dawn laughed. Keith, my other friend, who is also a Stripe, laughed.

Primo bent over double laughing. "This is hilarious!" he said.

"You can put a photo of that on your facebook campaign page," Dawn suggested.

Primo shook his head. "Oh no. Noooooo. The Polka Dots would not appreciate this."

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sunday May 13 Primo is a high quality candidate

Primo was all excited because the Polka Dot state senate leader said he might come to the karaoke party. "He's a Polka Dot big shot!" Primo said. "He says I'm a high-quality candidate!"

"Of course you are," I said. "You have a legitimate job. You've worked your entire career in the private sector. You're not a community organizer. You look like your voters: middle class, employed, homeowner. And you're obviously not going into politics for the money."

"What's wrong with being a community organizer?" Primo asked.

"Explain to me what one is again," I said. "They do - what? Nobody knows what they do."

Primo's political friend Rich chimed in. "In some neighborhoods, being a community organizer is considered a good thing."

I looked at him and said dryly, "I am guessing not in the affluent suburbs."

He smiled. "Nope. Probably not."

Primo said, "Polka Dot big shot sent me a text! Look!"

He and Rich huddled around Primo's smarty-pants phone. I looked over his shoulder. "Primo, happy birthday! I had planned to come to your party but I had to go to a wake. See you around."

"See!" Primo said. "He was going to come!"

"Well," I said. "It's easy for him to say he was going to come, especially if he didn't come. He might be just telling you what you want to hear. But it is nice that he does know who you are and thinks you are worth cultivating."

"Because I am a high-quality candidate," Primo said.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday May 13 Mothers Day pancake breakfast

Primo came home from a meeting with his campaign manager, aka The Political Wife.

"There's a Mothers Day pancake breakfast at the community center on Sunday," he said. "PW wants me to go and collect signatures."

I felt sick to me stomach. "Do I have to go?"

"It's the kind of thing where it would look bad if you didn't," he admitted.

"I can't think of anything I want to do less than go to a pancake breakfast on Mothers Day and ask people to take political action," I said. "Don't you think people are sick of politics by now? And don't you think that asking for signatures for your petition at an event like this is kind of tacky?"

"I think I need to do this," he said. "And I need you to go with me."

Sunday morning, I got up. Ate because I was starving. Felt sick to my stomach because we were going to campaign at a non-political, strictly social event.

Primo showered and shaved. He asked me to iron his shirt. Which I didn't want to do because I hate ironing. "Just wear a different shirt," I suggested. He didn't like that idea.

"It's my birthday," he reminded me. (Which it was.) "Won't you please iron this shirt for me? I really like it."

"Fine!" I huffed. I ironed his stupid shirt and of course it got wrinkled again as soon as he put it on.

I showered. Got dressed. Slowly. I was dreading this.

We drove to the community center. Walked in. It was crowded. Hundreds of people eating pancakes. Primo bought our tickets. Six dollars each. We went to the food line. "I'm not hungry," I told him.

"Then why are we here?" he asked. "I thought you wanted to eat!"

"We're here because you want to campaign! I didn't want to come!"

"Why did you let me buy you a ticket if you weren't going to eat?"

"How do you not buy a ticket for a fundraiser when you're there to campaign? I'm not hungry. I feel sick to my stomach. How are you going to do this?" I gestured to the room.

"I don't know," he admitted. "I've never done this before, either."

He got his pancakes. "Do you want to sit here?" he asked.

"I don't know. I don't care."

"Why are you acting so weird? You're all cranky!"

"Because I don't want to do this!"

"But I'm not campaigning right now. I didn't even ask you to carry a clipboard and get signatures. Why is this so awful for you?"

"Because I feel like we're intruding. I'm not a mother and this is a stupid Mothers Day thing. I hate Mothers Day to begin with, so why am I helping celebrate it?"

He sighed. "It's my birthday and you're being cranky. Let's just sit."

"Fine," I huffed again. I sat down and crossed my arms. I looked around again. "I really don't know how you're supposed to do this."

He shook his head. "I don't either. But I'm not approaching anyone right now, so why not just relax?"

He had a point. He ate his pancakes. "Are you going to give your ticket away?" he asked.

"No way. I guess I might as well get something to eat. But only because I don't want six dollars to go to waste."

We finished eating. Even though he'd had a ten-minute head start, we finished at the same time because he's the slowest eater in the world.

"Now what?" I asked.

"I don't know," he answered.

I looked around. The breakfast was being run by the local police department. Two cops were manning the coffee stand. "There's nobody getting coffee," I said. "Go talk to those cops."

He looked. "I don't know. They look busy."

"They're not busy!" I exclaimed. "Look! There's nobody there!"

We stood and I pulled his arm. "As long as we're here - and as long as we've already paid, you might as well do what needs to be done."

He resisted. "I don't know what to say."

I sighed. "Good grief. You're the one who wanted to come here! We are not letting this all be for nothing."

I pulled harder. "All right, all right!" he said. "Stop pulling. It looks bad."

"Then come on!" I urged.

We walked to the coffee stand. Primo stood silent for a minute. I looked at the one cop and said, "This is my husband. He's running for the state house."

Primo extended his hand. "Hi, I'm Primo." He launched into his speech. The cop didn't bite. He wasn't mean or rude.

I identified three more policemen. "Let's go talk to them," I said. I did it again: "This is my husband, Primo. He's running for the state house in November. He's an engineer, so we've never done this before. We're not quite sure how to go about it."

A woman waved at me. "Gold Digger!" she called.

We walked up to her table. It was Deb, the woman who owns the consignment shop where I take a lot of my clothes. "What are you doing here?" she asked.

"Remember how I told you my husband was running for the state house?" I asked. "We're here campaigning."

"But you're in a mixed marriage!" she said.

I rolled my eyes. "I know," I said. "I'm going to get a book out of this."

She laughed. "This is what love looks like," she said to the man standing next to her.

She and I agreed that neither party represented us. "I am the party of me," I said.

"Me, too!"

Primo asked if she would sign his nominating petition. "Just to get me on the ballot," he assured her. "You don't have to promise to vote for me."

"Sure!" she said.

We approached a few more of the people working at the event. Most of them signed the petition. The few who didn't were very polite about it. Nobody was mean or rude to us. It wasn't so bad.