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Beer & Foaming At The Mouth On The Campaign Trail

By Tom ‘incumbent’ Waters
October 1st, 2008

The irony strikes in the form of an election year, and I can’t decide who’s done more pulpit pounding, baby kissing or hand shaking this year: the candidates or us.

Once the planning stages of a traditional wedding are complete (depending on what sort of engagement one has entered into, be it floating, time bomb countdown or low fixed introductory rate), the groom enters the fourth level of hell: the promotional junket. After standing up at a wedding together where the blissful couple whipped everything together in six months without a backup plan in case it rained (which, sure enough, it did), we thought it would be a capital idea to overshoot our dream wedding by setting the date a year and a half past the proposal. What foolish, foolish dreamers we were. Not to sound negative in the least, but that’s sort of like finding peace in the fact that you’re going to be swinging from the gallows in a week and then discovering that some leftist wacko organization has filed and succeeded in gaining an appeal from the supreme court for your death sentence.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still excited about the wedding. If I had it to do over again at this point, though, I probably would have eloped, not told anyone, driven to Vegas with the little woman, driven to Tijuana, or gone to City Hall to get the paperwork filed and then purchased a goatskin condom on the way home so that we could start makin’ some babies. A year and a half is just too goddamned long. Once Lindsay took care of the first four hundred pages in our wedding planning bible, she was done, and we just about forgot that we were walking down the aisle. Until this summer. The one that I’m in the middle of. The one where we’ve run the entire campaigning gauntlet of hair pulling insanity that I like to refer to as campaigning.

The irony strikes in the form of an election year, and I can’t decide who’s done more pulpit pounding, baby kissing or hand shaking this year: the candidates or us. We’re ‘making it legal’ this September (one month away). Since…oh…May, we’ve had no less than fifty eight speaking engagements, personal appearances, sit down dinners, fund raisers and charity drives. A week. Every week. For the entire summer. And for those who don’t know me, I value my privacy. I prefer to sit inert on my days off blindly staring at the television shoveling salted and cured meats towards my face or guzzling coffee down my gullet until a nap commences. So losing anything that resembles a day off has been problematic at best. Losing my sanity was an afterthought.

We’ve had graduations, graduation parties, going away parties, vacations that weren’t really vacations, holiday get-togethers, work stressors in the form of additional trainings and seminars, and so on and so on and so forth. Now normally (in the past before we were a promotional entity trade marked and incorporated by an overseas investor), I had the occasional right to first time refusal on all in store appearances. Not the case this summer. Even though we’re expecting to get screwed by quite a few attendees, our attitude toward the wedding has been to keep everyone’s recent memory of our coupleness minty fresh and daisy wonderful so that they open their wallets come reception time and bearer bonds spring forth. One can dream, right?

So I’ve made every occasion out of 348 save one in the past three months. Sitting on a bed of nails screaming into the back of my hand and holding it together just barely in a Howard Hughes state of keeping it together. Despite what many may think, I am not a social animal. Quite the contrary. I have two or three venues whereby I come out of my shell: the bar, my home and sometimes, work. None of these locales have anything to do with coming out cotillions, sweet sixteens, fare thee wells, booster gatherings, daughters of the revolution meetings and so on and so on and so forth. And yet I’ve had to. And yet we’ve brought it on ourselves.

The worst is over, though. The gauntlet has been run. Our social engagements are waning off and we’re into the end zone with a time out and a putting wedge firmly wrapped around our foot, as they say on the football field of dreams. And we are five or six weeks away from the biggest event of our lives. The aisle walk. The taking of vows. The consummation. This is good, because if I had to utter another campaign slogan, throw up the twin v’s for victory or cut another ribbon, I would have taken the commemorative gold scissors and jabbed them into my own medulla oblongata or fished someone else’s eyeballs out with my twin fork shaped fingers.

If I had it to do over, we would have opened a much shorter window for the wedding. Live and learn, though. The worst is behind us. After two and three months of digging into each other, external pressure, putting a happy face on having no safe haven to speak of and near lethal doses of cocktails for the sake of soldiering through it, we’re out of the blast radius. And after the wedding, I’m out of the wedding business. For good. The next person who asks me or my blushing bride if we want to stand up is going to get their head caved in with my fist or the nearest folding chair. That’s the positive spin from the spin doctors at campaign headquarters and you can take that to the bank!