Wednesday, March 09, 2005

My brief stint as a political wife wannabe

The Opinion Journal article below made me think of this story...

My senior year in college the president of the Young Democrats pursued me relentlessly. He took his job seriously (as president and pursuer). He even wore a suit and tie to class. (I still haven't figured that one out.)

I was so not a political girl. It did not appeal to me at all. I ignored him fairly successfully until an Honors professor of mine (who is, ironically, now my brother-in-law and swears this was not to make my life hell) made us partners for a project in an Honors Political Science class. We now had to spend a month working side by side on a project that would be about half of our course grade. It was harder to say no when I had to see him all the time.

I finally agree to go out with him. We go to an opera at the college, which always brings the professors out. He knows everyone there. He introduces me to everyone - and makes a special point to introduce me to Dr. Lucas, the president at the time. He keeps leaving me after an introduction to chat with the next person on his imaginary list. I somehow make it through this evening of long introductions, much hand-shaking and little music.

I did not have fun. I ask him later, "Why did you try so hard to get me to go out with you and then take me to an event like that for a first date? It just makes no sense." His reply? "I thought you would make a perfect politician's wife and I was just testing you." I was flabbergasted, on many levels. First, that he thought I would make a great politician's wife, which I still don't see. And, two, that he was talking about marriage so casually and strategically at the same time. That he was, in essence, trying to find the woman he thought could get him elected somewhere at some time.

I cleared up very quickly that I did not plan on being a politician's wife and also did not plan on being any man's wife who wanted me only for my party talk skills and also did not plan on being his wife (or his date for the next opera even). The funny part about this story (besides the fact that some man thought I could keep my mouth shut enough to be a politician's wife) is that by the end of his senior year, this boy had done a complete about-face.

We lost touch after class was over and it was clear to him I was not going to vote along party lines. I saw him in the library just before graduation and he looked like a mountain man. Ratty t-shirt, wrinkled shorts, full beard and circles under his eyes. He spoke briefly but obviously wasn't interested in telling me the whole story. I always wondered if some pretty country girl convinced him he would be a great goatfarmer's husband. I guess I'll never know...

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