Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rubbing Elbows

Last night my husband and I attended an event for local democrats. The event consisted of local candidates giving speeches about why we should elect them and then watching the Presidential debate, which was projected onto a huge screen in our historic theater.

It felt great to shed my sweats and puffy vest and wriggle into a nice dress skirt and heels. For the first time in weeks (maybe months) I felt not just like a member of the human race, but I felt hot! It was great leaving Jacob home with my sister too. I was only gone two hours but it was the longest I've ever been away from him. I enjoyed the break.

My husband and I sat at an empty table reserved for my husband's boss (who never showed). I had just finished making some unprofessional remark about how Obama made me hot all over when my husband nudged me and nodded toward two men and one woman who sat down unnoticed on my other side. One happened to be the old Mayor who is currently running for State Representative, the other was a State Senator and the third was the Speaker of the House of Representatives. I turned red hoping they hadn't heard my comment.

My husband and I are fairly used to being around elected figures. My husband works for a public agency and I interned at that agency for almost two years. The work put us into direct contact with Mayors and County Commissioners (who sit on the board of the agency and technically are the real bosses), and State Representatives. I even got to job shadow one of our State Representatives two years ago and when I see her at functions, she still remembers me. That, of course, makes me feel special. For a while, I even shared an office with our Congressman, thought he was rarely there.

My point is this isn't the only time I've been humiliated in front of elected officials. Two years ago, at a dinner function after I had my wisdom teeth pulled out, I was seated next to a County Commissioner and a local Mayor. They witnessed my undainty attempt to eat cooked carrots with swollen gums. At least three of those carrots popped out of my sore mouth and onto the floor/my lap.

Then at a conference dinner in San Francisco, we dined with our boss, a County Commissioner, and her very short Republican husband. After three glasses of wine, the Commissioner's husband talked about his recent trip to Disneyland and how much he hated it. My husband then shot out a remark about how he would hate it too if he was too short to ride on the rides.Turns out he had a sense of humor...Thank GOD!

But last night, it was very cool to sit next to the Senator and Speaker of the House. I got to listen to the elected officials at our table talk like real people and not just politicians. My favorite comment was by the Senator. While holding a chicken kebob in one hand he snickered, "I never pass up an opportunity to eat meat on a stick."

About the debate: I'm not a die-hard democrat but I'm certainly not a republican. I like to take things issue by issue and I will vote for the person I agree most with regardless of party ties. It was a little infuriating to see the intense democrats at the event make rude and ignorant comments about McCain's answers during the debate. I agree that he had some awful and redundant answers (sometimes he completely failed to answer the qt!). I will also say that he sounded like a whiny baby when he asked for more time to speak ("Obama got more time, I want more time too!"). But I feel like some people want to just hate him without sincerely trying to listen to his position or give him a chance. Of course, I think he blew any chance he would have been given, but some people at the event were just so negative.

Obama on the other hand was patient and calm and intelligent and gracious. I think I'm in love.

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