The place was not easy to find. I had given everyone the address, but I had not been there before myself, so I could not explain that the building was set very far back from the street, that the suite we wanted was not listed on the building directory, and that it was important to take the back elevator and not the front elevator to get to the fourth floor. The front elevator only goes to the third and fifth floors, even though it has buttons for the second and fourth floors. You press "4" and nothing happens. You wonder if you need a card key. You get confused.
Then you finally figure out - because you finally understand what the large "3" and "5" painted on the wall next to the elevator mean - that this is not the fourth-floor elevator.
I found where we were supposed to be. Neither Ralph nor Potsie were there, even though one of them was supposed to be. There was a young woman - Tiffany - working. Only one of my friends was there. I worried that nobody would be able to find the room easily, so I went back downstairs to wait outside and direct people.
The volunteers trickled in. I thought, "We're supposed to start at 5:30!" Yet what do you say when it's a workday and people are volunteering? They're doing you a favor. You take what you can get.
Almost everyone was there by 5:45. Tiffany was getting people started, explaining how the system works. At 6:00, Primo and Kristy showed up, soaking wet. He and Kristy had been doing doors and they had gotten caught in the rain. He ran out to put his yard sign in front of the proper elevator. Our neighbors arrived shortly after. Maybe the sign helped.
I put out the polenta cake. I did everything I could to avoid calling. I hate this kind of thing.
Christina sat next to me. She made a call. The person was mean to her. She took off her headset, took a deep breath, closed her eyes. Made another call. Same thing. Mean person. "This is hard," she whispered.
I decided if I was going to ask her to do this, I better do it, too.
First call. Hangup.
Second call. "Not interested at this time, thank you."
Third call. "We're eating supper." Well, then why did you answer the phone?
Fourth call. I actually got a chance to talk. "I am calling on behalf of my husband, Primo, who is running for the state house. He's an engineer who has never run for office before and he did not warn me about this before we got married." That usually gets a laugh.
Fifth call. "Is he a PD or a Stripe?"
Me: He's running as a PD.
Me: He is married to a Stripe. We're a mixed marriage.
Voter [laughs]: Voter: Yes, I have that in my family.
Me: And do you hate each other because of your politics? No. You love each other and find a way to work together despite the differences. If we can do that in our homes, why can't we do that in the capitol?
Christina and I persevered. I told her I would never ask her to do this again.
Eight o'clock arrived. We stopped calling. Primo thanked everyone and gave out "Primo for State House" t-shirts. We have a ton of them. We ate cake.
Amazingly, everyone agreed to return next Thursday. I think they're nuts, but I'm glad they're willing to do it. I wish I didn't have to.