So when your dad comes into town from Cape Cod, you can peruse the Chelsea art galleries or maybe buy tickets to the recent Woody Allen movie or catch up on each others’ lives while watching the boats go by on the Hudson River…
or better yet
just make him phone bank for the Obama campaign.
Despite years of Democratic rantings, my dad hadn’t volunteered for a campaign since knocking on doors for Eugene McCarthy. Umm…. who? Yeah, that was 1968.
So he agreed on Sunday to end his 40 year hiatus and dive back into the political trenches.
If he was looking for gritty politics, this wasn’t it.
We arrive at a super posh, west village duplex that has an enormous wrap around balcony, with gorgeous views of the city.
We’re handed a list of potential supporters and given talking points. Oh and feel free to help yourself to the bottled water, fresh fruit and gourmet cookies.
Well, ok. Now I remember freezing my tush off in New Hampshire for Mr. Bill Clinton and I don’t remember anybody ever offering me any god damn gourmet cookies.
I am really nervous at first because of the whole cold-calling-strangers-who-might-be-really-mean-to-me thing. But you know what? After the first call, it’s all incredibly easy.
I call North Carolina voters and they are so darn nice. One woman says to me in the sweetest, most heavenly southern voice, “I’m sorry sugar but I’m voting for McCain.”
There is one little unfortunate exchange…
“Hi. This is Kelcey Kintner calling from the Obama Campaign. I’m looking for Gary or Pauline. This must be Gary,” I say.
“No, This is Pauline,” she responds in a gruff voice.
Oh. Sorry about that. I’m telling you, she REALLY sounded like a man. She/he is still undecided.
I am not afraid to use my womanly charms with the men either. Heck, it works for Sarah Palin.
And I’m certainly not above saying things like, “Arden Jones… Wow, that sounds like a movie star name.” Because it really does.
And I joke with them about how they are receiving millions of calls from the campaigns because they live in swing states and wouldn’t it have been great to be this popular in high school.
I reach at lot of Obama supporters and I have to say the whole thing is incredibly energizing. I encourage you to try it once. Come on. Once. Just click here.
There’s only two weeks left.
And there really is power in doing something.
Just ask retired U.S. General and Republican Colin Powell, a former Secretary of State for George W. Bush.
Because he just endorsed Barack Obama.
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Man, politics is crazy ugly… even with Joe, the infamous unlicensed, tax-owing plumber, around to unite us.
By the way, I’m starting to regret that I impulsively and enthusiastically joined Facebook’s Joe the Plumber Fan Club.
But Joe aside, no matter who you favor in this political race, things are getting seriously stressful.
I feel so desperate to do something.
And I can’t really give any more money.
So after ignoring about 387 emails from Obama’s campaign (very persistent, committed folks who apparently don’t have small children), this line finally got my intention…
“In October of 2000, Al Gore had a double-digit lead in the polls. By Election Day, it came down to one state and a handful of votes.”
Honestly, now I want to throw-up.
So with this startling information and “Project Runway” now concluded (Leanne is the winner? Really?! With all those repetitive, monotonous wave patterns and her melancholy vibe?), I am going to sit down this week and call some undecided voters in swing states.
It’s not my favorite thing to cold call strangers but really, isn’t 4 years of the McCain/Palin administration just a hair worse? Plus, a friend told me that the older folks are just so happy to talk to someone.
That made me kind of sad.
And then a lot less scared.
If you also want to do something, visit here. Even Obama recently half joked about the Democrats, “Don’t underestimate our ability to screw it up.”
I will be glad when this whole election madness is over and I can go back to telling you all stories about my kids. Like 4 year-old Dylan who said to me this morning, “I need a new piece of toast because I only took one bite but then I got up to do some dancing and I lost my toast and now I have none.”
Oh Dylan, that happens to me constantly during breakfast.
But for now, as we continue to debate politics, there is one thing we can all agree on…
I had no idea that you all were such Paul Rudd enthusiasts.
Imagine my embarrassment that I’ve been going on and on about crushes like Joe Scarborough and Michael Cera when you really wanted to hear about the former bar mitvah dj from Jersey (yeah, yeah I do my research. Do you think I just phone this crap in?).
But really, I had no idea that Rudd would evoke such passion. So from this day forward, I promise to stalk the “Knocked Up” star on any and all future public and private school tours. You know, in a secret, super cool, stealth way. I won’t get myself thrown in jail or anything.
Is it my own political wishful leanings or does Rudd look like a Democrat?
Before I begin, Senator McCain would just like to tell you that his 104 year-old great great great aunt Bertha has been hospitalized for a minor fainting spell. He sends his thoughts and prayers.
As for me… Having witnessed 3 tedious presidential debates and 1 barely entertaining, mostly grating vice presidential debate, I am just so enormously relieved that Obama turned down McCain’s original request for TEN town hall meetings.
For that reason alone, Obama gets my vote.
Sure it’s super fun to watch the candidates wander around the stage and endlessly suck up to undecided voters (How is anyone STILL undecided? I think they all just want to be on TV).
But TEN town hall meetings? In this economy, no one needs that kind of agony.
So thankfully this was the last hurrah.
And we had the chance to witness a classic, love triangle. Both Obama and McCain are desperately fighting for the affection of Joe the Plumber.
If I remember history correctly, McCain first dated Joe the Plumber and then Obama stole him away with his smooth rap and fancy economic policy.
Now McCain is trying to woo him back with his tax plan, his constant blinking and his copious note taking.
Or at least that’s how I remember it.
I hope Joe the Plumber picks the right man in November.
If not, I hope he at least comes to fix my broken washing machine.
Since moms are usually right, I end with advice from moderator Bob Schieffer’s mom.
“Go vote now. It will make you feel big and strong.”
Or my slightly tweaked version…
“Go vote now. It will make you feel super skinny, sexy and strong.”
Seriously, go vote.
So I tried ever-so-quietly to creep out of the apartment at 6:45 this morning. But seconds before leaving, I inadvertently woke up 22 month-old Summer who immediately started uncontrollably wailing at the top of her lungs.
Which woke up Rick.
And then 4 year-old Dylan.
And since I had to rush out the door, I mumbled apologies and hightailed it out of the apartment. As I made my way towards the elevator, I could hear Summer hysterically crying, “MOMMY! I want Mommy!!!! MOMMY!!”
And poor, exhausted Rick desperately trying to reason with her. “She’s coming back. Mommy is coming back. Now let’s all lie down and get some rest, ” he pleaded.
“MOMMY!!!!!” the screaming continued.
Should I go back? But I’ll be late. And it probably won’t help at all. Oh crap.
So I held my ears, hopped into the elevator and headed uptown to attend the Mommy Blogger Monologues, effortlessly and brilliantly hosted by Maria Bailey, the author of “Mom 3.0” and the host of Mom Talk Radio.
It started at 7:30 in the morning and may I say thankfully, the Mommy Blogger Monologues and the Vagina Monologues have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Because really, who could talk about their vagina at 7:30 in the morning? Way too early.
Instead, this was an amazing chance for companies to hear directly from mom bloggers on ways to build mutually beneficial relationships and successfully target the mom audience.
I was so honored to be on the panel with moms like Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom (who has incredible taste, a beautiful website AND 5 kids). Oh, and she’s one of the founders of Kirtsy. And super smart when it comes to navigating social media. Can you force someone to be your best friend? I might just try.
As I sat on this panel, I really felt respected as a businesswoman and a blogger.
Of course, once these companies check out my website, they’ll know I have a recent habit of lying about a nonexistent fly fishing hobby and the ability to step in my own kid’s poop.
And, of course, a visual of me in my eighties senior prom dress.
That dress just screams future successful businesswoman and respected blogger. Pink taffeta is powerful like that.
Reunions are a trippy, time travel experience. Suddenly your face to face with your past, just with a few more wrinkles, and far less bangs.
Our Staples High School Class of 1988 motto, “Was It As Good for You?”, along with, “Fornicate with ’88” (yes, really) held the promise of a rocking 20th reunion. But I didn’t really know what to expect.
The culture of high school thrives on a hierarchy – who’s cool, who’s pretty, who’s stoned and of course, who’s not cool, pretty or stoned.
But 20 years later, you don’t get extra points for smoking cigarettes in the school courtyard or throwing the best parties when your parents are away. It’s about how you view your own life. Are you happy? Is this who you wanted to be? Are you proud of the person you’ve become?
Oh ok, it’s also about how you look.
Well, maybe ALL about how you look.
So here’s me and high school gal pal Abby before our senior prom…
We kind of look 12. Are you mad I’m not showing you our hunky prom dates?
And here we are this past weekend (minus the taffeta)…
And here is me with other members of my girl posse at the reunion…
If you look closely, you’ll see contributing mama Jordana Bales.
One of the first guys I ran into at the reunion gushed over me like this…
“You look the same,” he said. “Very well preserved,” he joked.
Like I just left a botox session? Like I’m an Egyptian mummy? Like I live in a jar of pickles? Really, that is the lamest compliment ever.
I recommended that he instead use phrases like, “Wow. You look gorgeous.” and the equally popular, “How did you manage to stay so unbelievably beautiful?”
There were some strange choices – like this former classmate who put his hair into some kind of 80s inspired ponytail.
No, that wasn’t my prom date.
But mostly the reunion was about repeating this phrase, “I live in New York City, I’m married with two kids and I write a blog. So what’s going on with you?” over and over again.
Then I would head to the bar for another glass of sauvignon blanc and repeat life summary to familiar looking girl from 9th grade algebra class who’s also standing at the bar.
Once in awhile to mix it up, I’d mention that I do a tremendous amount of fly fishing in the Hudson River. My exact phrase, “You fly fish? Me too. In fact, I fly fish the sh-t out of Manhattan.”
But mostly, I tried to stick to things that were actually true.
So how do I feel now that it’s over?
I think I’m just sort of relieved that I’m no longer in high school. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.”
No, I never read the book. Just the cliff notes. Did anyone really read the book?
But I think Charles Dickens got it right. He was definitely talking about high school.