(granted Im not a mr. and it wasn’t washington but it’s my blog and Im taking artistic license dammit)
So Lucy and I took Norm and Mira to the state capital on wednesday for “lobby day”. Lobby Day was an event scheduled by one of our state’s LGBT advocacy organizations. We pulled the kids out of school for what we thought would be something nice and civic minded. As you can already determine, the fact that it made the blog indicates the day was not of course what we thought it would be at all.
Friends, I was going to detail our initial positive roadtrip/conference experience. As this is already going to be long, Ill spare you the report of how Lucy and I ended up alone with the children in the congressional waiting room across town while groups of energized advocates from all over the state came and went from their meetings positively glowing with delight at the challenge of congressional debate and being involved with the legislative process. Granted, it is very cool to “make a difference”. Instead we will cut to the mostly empty room where zack the page behind the desk (yes that’s a misspelling, I think it was deliberate. Although, Im not sure I believe in Gaydar, my 25 minute observation of zack led me to the idle speculation as to whether zack was only in the page business for congressional butt-sex. I don’t say this in judgment. If I were 20 years old again, knowing what I know now, id have lived a much wilder life)(and yes, that train of thought caused me to contemplate whether I would get into a racket for the sole reason of experiencing sex with really powerful people) kept shooting us sympathetic looks while our children melted impatiently across chairs begging to go eat lunch or experience some other break in the boredom. During our wait, frantic texting was going on with our au pair (recently promoted to family manager) trying to get background information about our rep and the bill we were there to discuss. After about 20 minutes, Lucy leaned in and said quietly “maybe it’s just the hanger talking,” (for the non-Lucy speak folks, this would be that angry feeling you get when you are hungry) “but it seems kind of rude that everyone else is getting in and out and our guy has left us wait this long.” I agreed and briefed her on the au-pair text information. Apparently, our guy was an actual sponsor of the bill, which cheered us both up a bit. After our guy’s aide came out the second time and offered to speak to us instead, Lucy spoke up. “We’ve driven all the way from Youngstown to talk to him today and we had an 1130 appointment.” She also mentioned me having a child-care situation (The turnip was with Reg, Lucy’s husband. My Lucy, she’s a creative one). Impressed with her assertiveness and relieved she spoke up before I immediately rolled over in submission to Pam, I just nodded in what I hoped was an equally assertive way. Pam told us to wait and then took us back.
Friends, you get a vision of what meeting your rep will be like. Maybe it’s not west wing, but you expect dignity of some sort. It was clear at the beginning that this was not going to be that meeting. Again, I curse myself for not walking around secretly taping conversations around me, so I will sum up what I can. At the onset, despite the fact that he had been briefed about us being there and folks were all over the effing building (350 “lobbyists”) meeting with their (from all reports, much better informed) reps, he had no idea who we were or what we wanted. We told him we were there to thank him for sponsoring the bill. (It turns out upon reviewing the information, I was wrong and he did NOT sponsor the bill but he went with it). He was friendly in that political way. And then he got, well…home townish on us. Those from my town know exactly what im talking about. Those not, I just can’t even describe it. You will have to wait for the reality sitcom Im producing when my career falls apart. His whole shtick was about how he was socially liberally and glad about what we are doing but then he flat out told us why it wouldn’t pass. Who does this? Well someone from our town does. He runs down the congressional schedule and gave us a probably inappropriately realistic view about how the bill would play out. He spoke to the kids, and laughed in a rather strange way after Norm told him he was in kindergarten.
Looking back at the meeting and the 20 or so minutes afterward, I have to laugh. Without any explanation, it became clear that Mira had made the leap that although she’d only reached second grade, she was already smarter than the congressman and began to act accordingly. She was very business like as she rolled Lucy’s laptop briefcase back to the conference. We teased her that she was ready for the state house. She didn’t argue. It didn’t occur to me until later, but none of us even mentioned the meeting until lunch. I think it needed to sink in.
As we were munching on our sandwiches in the governor’s ballroom of the hyatt and the kids were engaged in their own conversation, Lucy finally said softly, “Did you find him slightly dickish?” and the gates broke open. After processing the whole meeting, we realized that he was quite likely drunk. Now I know that sounds like an aspersion but seriously folks, it really makes sense in context of how it all played out. And Im strangely ok with that. Lucy also picked up that he thought we were a couple. She described the tone of his schtick as “ah yeah, i want the lezzies to know that im down with the whole lezzie thing because Im a liberal. In fact I think it’s great you lezzies do stuff like this.” When I heard her take, I of course became immediately self-conscious, not that he thought we were a couple but that he would have thought she was seriously slumming it by hooking up with me. You could almost imagine him rating us as Lucy being “the kind of lezzie you want to see in your porn” and me being “the lezzie who munches carpet because she can’t get dick.” Lucy and my team did assure me this was my own insecurity talking which cheered me up quite a bit. (can I just tell you though how hilarious I found the word “lezzie”? I have not heard that word since probably third grade. KUDOS Lucy.)
The rest of the day was a lot of fun. The cheese barn was everything we’d hoped it would be (of course) and Lucy got to experience my “out of the box” approach to correcting driving mistakes. (Im telling you buddy, the first time you have to back off the on-ramp is the scariest. It gets much much easier.)
So that was our big day making history, instead of the “make a difference” glow, I was left more with a “spurned a drunken soft-core fantasy” sinking feeling, but still Im glad I experienced with Lucy and the crew…..next year’s gonna be much much better….