Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Ability To Turn One Event Into A Novel

Today I took the kids to Read With Me. A venture that I end every week vowing I will never do again. It's in a corner of the library of the elementary school. We get to check out books at the end and for some reason that draws me back like---some bad drug simile I haven't the energy to think up.

The kids sit on a set of carpeted steps that wrap around one corner of the library. Avee spends the entire time gathering up stuffed animal/characters (Clifford, Shrek, life-size Donkey) and hauling them to her own little corner of her own little world and singing to them or tossing them in the air to catch. OR incessantly traipsing across the stairs and over kids and moms and back again and managing to get herself in the most dense concentration of bodies and books and bags and coats so that I can't get to her, while she smiles smugly at me stuck across the stairs with Daniel in his banana trap sling strapped to me. And Bo likes to correct the story-teller. As he has done since he was two. Now it's not so much correcting as it is continuing to answer her questions, long after she's moved on. He's very in to synonyms and that makes for very long answers to simple questions like, "What does the man up in the tree have on his head."

Today before we left I wanted to remind him of the talk we'd had last week. We discussed only answering when he's called on and only giving one answer, maybe two, and to not talk when the story time lady is talking. So I said, "Bo, remember what rules we need to follow at story time?" He promptly answered, "Yes, don't play with fie-yoh sings." Wha? Fire? Really? Whatever.

Today was different. For me. The kids were exactly the same as described above. But today, one of my friends there mentioned that the neighboring town was having an opening for their Romney Campaign office and that Mitt might be there.

I didn't have my cell phone to call J and I knew he'd want to be there and I started the "I don't have my cell phone, I can't breathe without my cell phone" panic. You know you've seen it. I think my other friend recognized it, but she stayed calm and said, "Shall we leave?"

So we did. 15 minutes, 3 coats, 2 craft projects, and 1 hiding child later.

I called J as soon as I got home and told him about the meeting and told him that Mitt was "supposed to show up." And although J works across the river, in another state, and even though at night when I'm calling him and asking him where he is and he's "just leaving" and shows up 40-95 minutes later, he called me 8 minutes later and he was right there at the office.
I could hear the adrenaline pulsing through his veins, over the phone.

I thought it a shame to be so close and not get a chance to meet the Govanuh. So I totally harassed my friend who's daughter I was watching and agreed to watch several days ago. "Are you done yet? How about now? Now? Are you leaving the store yet? How about now?" Not unlike Bo 20 minutes into our 6 hour roadtrips to Missouri. Her errand was fairly brief so, after farming Bo off at his friend's house, I met her at the store, gave her back her daughter, and zipped over to the meeting.

I threw Danyo into the sling because he was sleeping, yelled at Avee for taking off her cast sock, grabbed her and ran into the small office with standing room only. People were pushed back even into the cold entry way. I was late and felt it only fair that I stay there. Put these Iowans are kind. Most of them started motioning or nudging me into the room where it was warmer. You know, for the kids.

The room was small and there were probably only 100 people, if that, in the whole room, but I could NOT find J. So I let go of Avee's hand and said, "Go find Daddy." And she did. The girl amazes me. She clearly has no problem traipsing across rooms crowded with people (see above) and I really just think her stepping on toes and falling in laps is way more acceptable than me doing it.

2 seconds after I found J, in the complete opposite side of the room, by the cookies, Avee had found her way to him. I was impressed.

I got to hear the tail end of Romney's speech and then a handful of questions that people asked.

Now, Romney has been a household name in this household for well over a year. And now that we live in Iowa and our opinion and action really matters, and the caucuses are just around the corner....holy moly. He's a household name fo' sho.

So, this was a happy day for J and it was really fun for me to go and watch it be a happy day for him. I was just going to get a picture of him with Mitt, but somehow an little old lady got in the mix and she started telling me what to do and suddenly I was next to Mitt with the giant banana holding Danyo and it was all so very unpleasant. Well, that's not true. Meeting Mitt was very enjoyable. He's a nice man. He comes across very genuine and very...I don't know the exact word, real. He was approachable. I know that because I approached him.

Anyway, you will not be seeing much of me in the photo with Mitt because it was entirely unpleasant for me to see. Some redhaired sumo wrestler stood in front of me so you can't really see me, and I just don't want that published on the internets.
I jokingly said to Mr. Romney, "This is the happiest day of my husband's life" and without it taking from me one single bit, I'm quite sure it's very close to the truth. Governor Romney laughed and said, "I sure hope not!"

And that little old lady, she was adorable. She got me to take a picture of her and Mitt, with my camera. When we were all done with the posing and smiling and handshaking, she was bent over a chair writing her address. Afraid that I would walk off before she could give it to me, without stopping writing, she reached back and grabbed my pant leg. And held on. I laughed out loud. Not that I'm not VERY used to my pant legs being grabbed, this was quite different.

The only other presidential candidate/hopeful I have "met" was also Governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis. He came to my hometown when I was in 8th grade. I was involved in setting up for his speech since it was taking place right next to my junior high. There were only about 5 of us involved, so we got to meet him and stay for the speech. I remember being swept up in his fist pumping and shouts of victory. There was a lot of energy in the room and even though in real life I didn't understand, care, or even believe much of what he said, in the moment, I did.

With Mitt, it was quite different. Being married to J has made me care and understand much more. So, listening to Romney speak was an interesting contrast. He spoke as if he were speaking to us one on one. It wasn't a crowd pleasing, get your emotions going, kind of talk. He was articulate. He knew what he was talking about and there was an almost tangible feeling of conviction in some of the things he said. I wish he would have said just once, "Can I get a whoop whooooooop!?" but he didn't. Not even once. Booooooooooooooring. :)

It was a good day. I bet if we had Pho tonight for dinner, this could be the most perfectest day EVOH for J. I'm the kind of woman that can do that for her man.


Leslie said...

alls i can say is, a whole lot is riding on your iowan butts, now. do you have a mitt bumper sticker on your car? i have extras . . . :)

Alicia said...

Holy Cow! I was just thinking about you guys earlier and wondering if you were enjoying your Iowian status for this VERY reason. Thanks for answering my mental question. Just one more reason you are my favorite blogger.

Tell Jay congratulations! The left side of your haircut looks great.

Beckie said...

YAY!!! I am super happy for J, I know it's a dream come true, only because he's been talking about it for forevuh! And you totally are that kind of woman how does it for her man, you go girl! Can I get a Waht, what, mabey a little sumpin, sumpin? PS...don;t ever cut yourself out of a picture again...because I miss your face.

S said...

Yup he looks happy.

Kim said...

If I knew this was that important of an event for J and your family...I would have never pawned my kid off on you, silly....glad to be a character in your post though, very honored....

Kim said...

where can I get a bumper sticker???

Big Jay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
No Cool Story said...


NO WAY!!!!

Oh boy!

No Cool Story said...

Daily Hero is mighty impressed.
Congrats J! (I'm going to need your autograph.)

hey! Why are you cutting yourself in half? What up yo!
I wanted to see you and the banana :)

I had to google "traipsing".

No Cool Story said...

Guess what I had today for lunch?

(But I called it "Poe")

Rebecca said...

You lucky Iowonian.. I super happy for J and I love the "This is the happiest day of my husband's life" Governor Romney laughed and said, "I sure hope not!" now can I get a what what.. I am with beckie.. a little somein somein.. And the banana trap/hammock.. too funny!! Thank you for making a short story long.. I needed it!! said...

I dont get US politics but I hope Mitt has a chance - get out there and put your missionary skills to use and door knock missy! I would have given anything for a whoop whoop !!!

TheVasquez3 said...


MommyJ said...

Yay for Mitt!! Oh so happy that even though my little vote over here in NC will not matter because our primary is so late in the game... yours in Iowa is so hugely important! Get that bumper sticker all ready!

MommyJ said...

oh... and I enjoyed the novel too. Very enjoyable. As an english professor once told me... "you have a very compelling personal voice."

MommyJ said...

that was meant as a compliment to you... not to me.