Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mindy hits the Campaign Trail

This is part 2, please read previous entry first.

Lately I have been feeling like I need a change. Shake things up, meet new people. When it turns out that I don't have anything better to blog about than a toothache and a wasp squish, maybe my life has started to sink further into the abyss of mediocrity.

That energetic and convincing Jody called again. She wanted to invite me to a debate-watching party on Friday, and to come along canvassing on Saturday morning. I said that I already had plans to go scrapbooking on Friday but MAYBE I could show up on Saturday.

During the scrapbooking workshop I suggested that we turn on the TV upstairs, just to check out what was happening in the presidential debate. A couple of my scrapping friends followed me up there. We heard Obama make some familiar remarks and then McCain said something about the beginning of the end of the beginning. Huh? I complimented Lynn on the rearrangement of her family room, didn't the TV used to be against the other wall? We all agreed that without the wall unit the room was much more open. Soon there was a lively discussion going on that had nothing to do with foreign policy.

I decided to go on Saturday. I was curious about what kinds of people would be there, maybe they'd be interesting and informed. And I wanted to do something new, make a difference. They were meeting at Starbucks, a place that seems trendy and slightly collegiate to me, how fitting. I wore a lightweight sweater and my khaki crop pants, looking like the suburban housewife that I am. When I got there it was Jody, a pair of bouffant old ladies, a woman with a foreign accent and her very strange long-haired son. I was picturing a larger crowd, more interesting and activist-like. Then a guy named Eric showed up, he is some kind of regional campaign leader. He had short dark hair and squarish glasses. He handed some packets and brochures to Jody, thanked the group for coming and emphasized that the brochures were to be given out sparingly, only to the undecideds. Then he left.

We had agreed that I would be paired up with Jody. She would do the talking and I would stand there and smile and hold the brochures. Our packet had us going to the Waterstone subdivision, an area where the large 3-car garage homes look out over a plush golf course. When we got to the first house, I remembered that I hate going door to door, ever since the time I was a girl scout and ran home crying after Mrs. Zabawa complained to me about the high price for a box of cookies. What was I doing here?

I reminded myself of a saying that I once heard: You must do the thing of which you are afraid. It's all about personal growth, stretching my comfort zone. I tried to focus on that.

There was no answer at most of the houses. I figured that the people were either at the soccer fields or hiding. When someone did come, Jody would introduce us as "from the Obama campaign." I thought that might be a bit of misrepresentation in my case, since all I'd done so far was order a car magnet and down a tall french vanilla latte, but I went along with it.

Of the few people who we talked to, they either said they were already supporting Obama, or else politely admitted to being Republicans. There were a couple of undecided women who Jody talked to for a bit and then I would give them one of those brochures.

Jody noted that I seemed uncomfortable. I decided to try to look less uncomfortable by kind of swinging my hip out and putting my hand on it, but then I thought I only looked like someone who was trying very hard not to look uncomfortable.

Mostly we just walked through this very nice neighborhood chatting about our kids and our houses, and noticing the people's landscaping, all very well done. One consistent thing seemed to be that just about every house had a dog. At one house two large doberman types came rushing out and jumped all over us, which is when I decided I wanted to change my "Thing I Fear the Most" to LARGE DOGS although I doubt that getting mauled is any kind of path to elightenment.

After about an hour and a half we were finished and I was glad because my feet were starting to hurt and I had to go to the bathroom (that latte.) Jody commented that she didn't think I'd be doing this again. I said probably not but I was glad that I came this time.

And I was. Even though I did not accomplish what I thought I might, such as meeting new friends or impacting the results of the election, I did learn a couple new things, always worth it:

1. Spirea and Hydrangea go nicely together in front walkway landscaping.

2. It's not too early to put up fall seasonal decorations.

3. Most people are still in their pajamas at 11:00 on a Saturday.


Anonymous said...

Go, girl. Even though that door to door stuff seems a waste of time, and you are lucky not to have met some nut. If anyone invited you in, I hope the plan was to say NO. What you learned about choices of landscaping, pajamas on Saturday, etc.. was very interesting. It reminded me of a former co-worker who volunteered to go door to door to certain Catholic homes to collect for the Archdiocese Fund or something, so she could see decor, landscaping, and what people did around the house on Sunday afternoons. Aunt Chris

Heather Leigh said...

WOW! I'm impressed! Coffe and canvassing...two things you'll probably never find me doing. p.s. - I was at the soccer fields from 9-11:30. p.p.s. - I have spirea AND hydrangea, but not together, maybe I should replant the hydrangea to the front of the house by the spirea