Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Wednesday Oct 24 Another fundraiser, another dollar‏

Or not. Primo and I are very bad fundraisers. It is hard for us to ask for money. We have both been self-sufficient since college. I am reading a novel - The Red Book - about a Harvard class reunion. One character and her husband have a trust fund each. Their parents bought their New York apartment and their parents pay for their children's private school. The husband is a writer who has not written a book in ten years and the wife is an artist who doesn't do anything. They are horrified at the idea of having to earn a living. 

I am horrified at the idea of adults who rely on their parents. My gosh. You went to Harvard and you can't get a darn job? How pathetic is that?

Primo and I take care of ourselves. Asking for money from other people is Not What We Do. 

So we are very bad fundraisers.

A woman in the district held a fundraiser for Primo last night at her home. We drove through the fog to get there and identified her house because of the five "Primo for State House" signs in the yard and the two glowing orange pumpkins at the edge of the driveway. 

She had a little table set up just inside the front door with nametags, a sign-in sheet, and donation envelopes. The same envelopes that you hand to the guests and say, "I'm sure you'll want one of these!"

There was food: bacon-wrapped steak, artichoke dip, cream puffs, cake. 

"Oh, it's just from Costco," she said dismissively, but I was not swayed. She still had to go to the store and spend her own money. 

I know I have complained about Costco platters at fundraisers, but that was at fundraisers where we were expected to donate. It's different when someone is nice enough to host one for Primo. I'm just so grateful that someone is willing to do the work. Plus, this was good Costco stuff, not unripe cantaloupe. 

She also had wine and cider and beer. So, so nice.

We waited. And waited. And waited.

I ate. I was starving. I had gotten home from work, fed the cats, put stamps on 70 postcards, entered the data from two walk sheets, gotten my clothes ready for today, scooped the cat box, washed my lunch dishes, and  - well, I don't remember what else. But I hadn't eaten so I was hungry.

I ate and ate and still nobody.

Finally, a little old lady knocked on the door. The hostess' neighbor. 

She came in. Sat on the sofa. We made polite conversation. She had lived in the area her entire life.She had been a teacher for seven years, then quit. 

"Elementary, right?" I asked.

She nodded. The hostess asked, "How did you know?"

I nodded toward the old lady, who was wearing a pink sweater with kittens embroidered on the front. "Her sweater. Elementary school teachers always wear happy clothes like that."

Dang, I'm good.

One daughter. Husband dead three years. 

I asked how she had met her husband.

"At his wedding to my cousin," she said.

"What happened to the cousin?" I asked, which you have to admit is the perfectly logical next question.

Dead silence. No answer. Had she not heard me? Or did she not want to answer? I didn't dare ask again but you can be darn sure I want to know.

Fifteen minutes later, a friend of the hostess showed up. She got a beer and sat down. The five of us chatted lightly.

Nobody else showed up. The conversation got more political. It became pretty clear that the older lady and Primo did not agree on politics. 

Then we discovered that the friend lived out of the district.

We didn't raise a penny.

But we did have a nice evening with good food, much of which the hostess sent home with us.


  1. Oh no! Were people properly alerted to the fundraiser? Why do you think nobody showed up? Now I want to know about the elderly lady's cousin! She was only a teacher for 7 years, how long ago and she still wears kitten sweaters? Check under her patio for the no doubt "long-lost" cousin.

    1. She had invited everyone from work - she is a teacher - but they didn't come. She was soooo nice and so disappointed. It was so gracious of her to do this.

      I, too, really wanted to know what had happened to the cousin. Dead? Divorce? Who knows?