For a time I lived in Monterey, California. I credit this time with providing me with many important pivotal moments in my life. I spent a lot of hours staring at, listening to, or collecting sea glass beside the grand and pounding Pacific ocean. I discovered Jägermeister and learned that I should never drink it, ever. I came to terms with recognizing calamari steak as an acceptable breakfast menu item.
While there I met a congressman at the post office. He asked me if I had a pen. Looking back, what congressman would ever travel without a pen?! That’s ridiculous. Anyway, he was actually just running for congress. He gave me a button with his face on it when I loaned him my pen. Then he poised my pen over a piece of mail, and asked me for my number. I was so caught off-guard by his bold and smarmy request that I gave it to him, like a doofus. Then he said “here’s my card” and gave me his card.
I don’t think I was even 21 yet, and was certainly not political office first lady material, what with the seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time boy-short haircut, and the rusty dented Ford Escort I drove around (this was before I realized that what kind of car you drive is indicative of what kind of worth you have as a human being. I hadn’t lived in California very long yet).
He called me the requisite two days later, and asked if I wanted to join him at the farmer’s market. I agreed and met him there, because I like vegetables just as much as the next gal. Instead of shopping, though, I ended up watching political schmoozing at it’s (not quite) finest. I was wide-eyed and keenly aware that I was not dressed for the occasion. The wannabe congressman introduced me to several pink-cheeked jovial community members, and each one gave me their card. I accepted them all because frankly I was dumbstruck and wondering how in the fuck I’d managed to find myself in this odd situation. At one point, as we were nearing my favorite cooky old guy vendor, I was introduced to yet another tall, ill-fitting-suit-wearing man, accepted his card, and then reached into my inside jacket pocket for some money. “Oh!” said the man. “Do you have a card?” Startled again, I stuttered out “ump…uh, no,” and then thought to myself ‘Well I have got to get some cards made!’
I wasted no time and the very next day I was at Kinko’s, styling the perfect card so that never again would I be caught in an awkward situation and made to feel like an aimless layabout by the political hopefuls of the greater Monterey County voting district. This is what I came up with:
The kid behind the counter tried to steer me in another direction, advising me that “usually there’s a little more…uh, information on these.” I assured him that this would do just fine, and waited while he printed them for me.
It didn’t take long before I was once again asked for my card, and I self-importantly handed it over. The reaction was to look at the front, turn it over, turn it over again, and finally look up at me and smile as if it said what it was supposed to. I was disappointed with this reaction. Did no one get my joke?! I decided that dating a congress hopeful was not in my best interest.
The next time I saw Mr. Congress, he was a member of the night shift janitorial staff that cleaned the restaurant I worked for. I suppose he didn’t drum up enough votes to win. Or maybe he just ran out of cards.