Friday, April 16, 2010

A Cautionary Tale: Lesson #2, and a plug for Critique This WIP

I'm back with Lesson #2 as promised.

So to bring you up to speed if any of you are joining us for the first time, Lesson #1 of the Cautionary Tale is that it's important to listen when your significant other speaks to you. Even if you're in the middle of working through a pivotal scene in your WIP. It's equally important NOT to answer any questions with mppphhh, or uh huh, or yes, unless you are aware of what has been asked of you. Trust me on this.

I didn't listen. And I did answer uh huh, mpppphhh, and yes. And a week and a half later I came home to a tower of campaign materials on my doorstep, and a hubby who is now running for town board.

So after moving the stack of materials, and after confronting hubby, who replayed the entire conversation for my edification, I shrugged, and asked myself, "Well how much work could it be?"

Okay. Second mistake.

LESSON NUMBER 2. If you ever become involved in a campaign for public office, no matter how lowly the position, it will be A LOT of work. When I say a lot, I don't mean you'll have to dress up, look pretty on DH's arm and smile adoringly as he gives his positions on the issues. I tend to be an introvert, but I could manage that, right? In the name of being a supportive spouse?

I wouldn't know. Because I haven't gotten a chance to do the above. What I have gotten to do is hand out said campaign materials. I'm not talking a couple hundred cards. Nope. He ordered 52,000 cards. And obviously he couldn't pass them all out himself, even if he was working hard on it. So, like any supportive spouse, I took a stack, put on my walking shoes and started campaigning. It was the least I could do for accidentally encouraging him to run, right? Besides, the stacks of boxes sitting in the living room made me feel guilty every time I walked by. Okay, so I'd hand out some cards.

In between handing out cards, it is also apparently important to write letters to the editor of the local paper. You see, it's an effective way to delineate the candidate's stances on the issues. Except that the candidate him/herself can't have their letters published. Candidates spouses however, can have their letters published. Oh well, I'm a writer, right? I can knock out a few letters to the editor and sound halfway intelligent. Right? Right. Ummm--it's actually harder than it sounds. The trick is to write in sound bites that can't be taken out of context and misconstrued. Ha. Ha, ha, ha, ha.

But that isn't all! As a candidate's spouse, you are subject to answering questions about DH's stance on the issues, including law enforcement. In the grocery store. At the zoo. At the children's school. Good thing I was listening when he told me what his stance was. Now, you may wonder how anyone recognized me as a candidate’s spouse.

Which brings us to LESSON 3: Do NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT, try to put highlights in your hair at home when your hubby is running for office.

Non-sequitur? Nope. Stay tuned, it'll make perfect sense.


  1. I think it's awesome that he wants to run, but I'm glad it's you're hubbie and not mine. Thank you for this advice - I never realized what my half listening could lead to. I definitely need to work on my listening skills. You're a good wife - hope he appreciates you.

  2. Lol! Thanks Mary!
    He does appreciate me, so there is at least that.
    And now I too know to work on my listening skills...

  3. Yeah, well, that's a horrifying tale. I will listen, even though I really don't want to (most of the time). But if my hubby decided to run for office, I think I'd stroke on the spot. Because it is, after all, all about me, right? hehe. I may enjoy following politics, but certainly not participating. Even in our tiny town it can get ugly. No thank you. I guess that's why we end up with the candidates we end up with (your hubby excluded, of course) is that people who are well qualified for leadership positions are often smart enough not to get messed up in the political hoo-haw. Good luck! I hope your hubby is elected and can make a difference.

  4. I am so proud of you both - it is hard to look outside yourselves and see what you can do to reach out and make a difference for others. :)

  5. Another proud fellow blogger right here!

    In fact, I'm SO proud I gave you an award on my blog!! Congrats, Merissa!

  6. Thanks you guys!
    Rest assured Margaret, the nastiness came. That'd be Lesson 4 or maybe 5 in the saga. You won't believe it. Or maybe you would, being that you're familiar with small town politics...

    Amparo, I tried to leave you a thank you note on your blog, but unfortunately I couldn't get blogspot to let me post on it. So, Thanks so much! I love the award!

  7. I think my children wait to tell me and ask me things for when I'm at work at my computer. I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "But I told you and you said I could go." To which I reply, "There is no way I would have told you it was okay to sleep at your friend's house (the one with the two older brothers) when her parents are out of town!" (Although maybe I did and didn't realize it. Yikes!) Now I make it a habit to stop working or make them stop talking so there will be no further confusion.

    Re: campaigning. When I was young, very young, my grandfather ran for town judge. My mother hung huge cardboard signs on my sister and I and marched us around town to hand out pencils with my grandfather's info on them. My mother was a bold campaigner, not afraid to cross into enemy territory. And people are not always nice during an election...even to cute little girls. I shiver at the thought of ever going through something like that again. Good luck!