Monday, March 24, 2008

PS to Bill Richardson

Oh yeah. I nearly forgot what I’d meant to write about earlier when I got all caught up in feelings... Governor Richardson, you are an extreme dork.
For those not as tied up in New Mexico politics, here’s the background: Former Presidential hopeful Bill Richardson-- friend to the Clintons because B. Clinton had given him several political boosts during his presidency (UN Ambassador, Secretary of Energy)-- is in a tiff with with the Clintons because Richardson is endorsing B. Obama. OK, so what’s the big deal? Nothing, except my governor is making himself a bit of a laughing stock, don’t you think?
Now I don’t have too many big problems with Richardson. Or I didn’t. I didn’t have too many feelings either way in the last gubernatorial race. I did think that Steve Pierce, his oponent, was a waste of time because he didn’t even campaign. Of course Richardson was going to win by huge margins-- no one even could tell you what his opponent looked like (of course, how do you like that we have to see Pierce’s face all over the place as he and Heather Wilson scrap it out for Pete Dominici’s vacancy?). But come on, Richardson. Thank you for completely abandoning us for your campaign (leaving us in the hands of the creepy Diane Denish) for months at a time. We all know, as we’ve always known, that your eye is on that Vice Presidential nom. And now the whole country knows it too, because you waited until the last possible minute to endorse the candidate you think will win, and showing us that you are first and foremost loyal to yourself. And here’s the deal-- if I were even able to join up with the Democratic National Convention (don’t think it’s likely that they’d want a registered Republican-- though, in the spirit of full disclosure, a moderate one-- at the convention), at this precise moment, I’m leaning Obama. But I’ll have less love for him if he picks old smarmy-face Billy. If there’s one thing I don’t like about politicians, it’s the way they make you feel like shaking your hand or placating you with double talk is just part of the process-- their ascent to the top.
One last little bit of irony-- at about 5:30 this morning, I saw my esteemed governor on CNN. He stuck to his PR and campaign managers’ talking point of "stopping the blood letting" blah blah blah within the democratic party. In his earlier bid for the presidency, Richardson talked about how he wanted to run a clean campaign and keep the mud-slinging out of it. But this morning on a national program, he said that the Democrats needed to unite in running negative ads in California against John McCain. Now don’t be under the false impression that I have a great deal of love for Johnny either-- I don’t. But if that’s not flip-flopping and self-serving, I don’t know what is.

A small world

Here are a couple things worth noting:
1) This weekend I hiked Tome Hill in honor of the Easter holiday. I waited until Saturday so I could miss most of the crowd, but there were a few stragglers joining me on the morning ascent. Now, most of you know that I’m not Catholic, but I have always felt united in faith with the folks who make the yearly pilgrimage. Tome is certainly a holy place. You can’t make the trek without being changed for the better. Because I’m generally not one to address spiritual things in this forum, I’ll spare y’all the details, but I will say overhearing a family reciting the Lord’s prayer and then helping their cane-weilding octogenarian matriarch back down the hill was particularly moving. It’s days like that when the world feels a little cozier-- like we’re all in it together and we’ve got one another’s backs.
2) And speaking of a small world, let’s talk about how microscopic things can get when you are an LDS single adult about my age. There are so many connections that anonymity is absolutely impossible anymore. And I’m not just talking about within my small congregation, or even my relatively small city. The other day I got an email from my high school obsession/the boy I thought I’d want to marry from age 13-18 regarding a guy I used to work with at a newspaper in college. They’re friends. And they both are friendly (ironically) with the boy who filled that "I want to marry him" slot for the first half of my freshman year at the Brigham. This would be embarrassing to admit, but because we all know one another’s business anyway, it really doesn’t matter. I’m sure they all traded stories long ago.... The only saving grace is that we’re all inherently selfish and think mostly of ourselves, so perhaps I haven’t come up. Yeah, fat chance. But I’m ok with it.
Of course, that doesn’t seem so creepy, right? Well how about this? I randomly called my second cousin (who lives 600 miles away) last night to run a little background check on a man I’m supposed to have dinner with at some point in the near future. I wasn’t sure my cousin knew the guy, but I figured he could dig up some dirt if needed. Well, I got a slightly different report-- on the boy I’ve been seeing frequently who’s on his way out. All I’m saying is, it’s a small world and people talk.
So here’s what I’m thinking... I’m pretty sure I’ll never be the type of person to keep everything bottled up. It’s just not in my nature to be uber-discreet. But I’ve recently discovered the enjoyment (and power) that comes from not laying all your cards on the table at once. Oh, I know I’ll spill the beans eventually, but maybe I’ll try the mysterious track for a bit.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Another moment on the road less traveled

I had a really interesting experience the other night. I was talking with the erstwhile love of my life about some things he’s been going through. In all fairness to him, I’d never disclose them, but I will say this-- I was quite surprised to find how much a) I related to him and b) he reminds me of another special person in my life. Here’s the problem, though: Regarding item b, I learned quite a while ago that I wouldn’t be able to help that person until he could help himself. And I realized that little lost love boy really falls into that same category. But the more interesting thing than that was finding how clearly seeing his issues may have neutralized my feelings for the man.
OK, ok. I know what you are thinking-- how awful! She’s abandoning this man in his hour of need. Not at all. I’m willing to do nearly anything if it will help him with his specific problems. But the clarity that came from that conversation made me realize that he’s not what I need in the boyfriend department. Not because he’s "broken" or "beyond repair"-- I mean, aren’t we all in some ways? But just because we’re not right. Not together. We both knew it a long time ago, but I think we all know how comforting it can be to keep up appearances, especially when it validates our feelings of self-worth.
I also realize this makes me atypical of my gender in that I, fortunately, have learned at an early age that you can’t change people and they aren’t always going to take your side. Unlike a lot of women, I’m not looking for a "project." More like a work in progress.
Anyway, I feel strangely ok about all this. The guilt was temporary, but I really realized I’m just going to be so much more help to this man as a friend. I can’t complain about that.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Powerful, dynamic, handsome and powerful

Once upon a time, I attended the Boo Ball, a fundraiser here in Albuquerque. As I browsed through the items in the silent auction, I met the venerable Charlotte Balcomb-Lane, the former society writer at the Albuquerque Journal. She was a real-life Lois Lane-- smart, hard-working, glamorous. I was very pleased to make her acquaintance, and I think she found it charming when I took a small notepad and pen out of my tiny beaded handbag (I'd sacrificed bringing my entire wallet in favor of the paper-- I can't help it. This is what writers do). While the hoity-toity of Albuquerque's society (cough-cough) mixed and mingled and bit extravagent amounts of money on things most people would never want, Charlotte gave a cub reporter a little bit of advice-- she suggested that if I ever were to try my hand at society reporting, I could pinpoint the most powerful man in the room by first looking for the most beautiful and best-dressed woman. Inevitably, she'd be with someone worth knowing for your article, plus she'd be a lovely picture to go with your story. The advice has served me well over the years.
The other day it struck me, though-- if the most beautiful woman in the room is with the most powerful man, how do you go about finding the most powerful woman in a crowd? In my experience, she is wildly popular, but generally alone. Hmm...