Saturday, May 28, 2011

So, you're now reading the blog of an elected official!

(Whaddya mean, "whose"?  Why I oughtta...)

And... that and $2 will get you a medium coffee. But yes! I did win a seat on my local School Committee, and am now getting into the work of being on the local School Committee, about which, as promised, I will not write in specific terms here.

Campaigning, though. That was something.  Longtime readers, you know me; you know that ordinarily, I am a bit of a loner, with a self-deprecating sense of humor and quiet, non-confrontational hobbies.  I'm just not used to talking so damn much, not to mention being interviewed and photographed and quoted and being in the newspaper and on television (just local cable, but still). For a few weeks, among the other candidates' signs, there were white-on-purple signs with my name on them all over town. People gave up their Saturday mornings to hold these signs and wave to voters. Amazing.

I spoke to everyone: Town Republicans, Town Democrats, the local fish and game club (at which "where's the rest of this moose?" went over like a lead balloon... sigh), gatherings of retirees, gatherings of parents, gatherings of first graders, gatherings of puppies. Everyone. I walked around town knocking on people's doors to talk to them. I talked in coffee shops and grocery stores, playgrounds and parking lots. Wherever a registered voter, or anyone, really, would listen to me, I talked.  More importantly, wherever anyone would talk to me, I listened. 

I got very tired sometimes, and quite sick of my own voice, and my mouth felt dry a lot. I'm sort of a worrier about health-related things; Mr. Sandyshoes and I joke about that, because it is silly. One night during all this madness I said to him, "what kind of cancer does it mean you have if your mouth is dry all the time?" and he said, basically, "the kind that comes from talking constantly for weeks on end. Now shut up."

If only.

I became necessarily, utterly, reluctantly self-absorbed. At some point during the campaign I was pulling into the grocery store parking lot, and a white-on purple sign caught my eye, and for a split second I thought, "COOL! Who got one of my signs in such an awesome location?!" Then I read the sign, which said "Please return shopping carts here," and I thought, now I have lost my mind.

It became important to get out of town for a couple hours every few days just to clear my head.

At one point Mr. Sandyshoes and the girls decided to take me out to dinner to give me a break from campaigning and talking about the election. We went to a local restaurant and were seated in a booth near the door... and proceeded to campaign and talk about the election with a steady stream of well-wishers who paused to say hello on their way out.  It was really lovely. But it was not a break.

How do you feel, people would say -- how do you think it's going? And I felt good, I really did. I was a bit concerned about being in an echo chamber of sorts; the people I spoke to almost always responded positively, but surely somewhere people were responding just as positively to a candidate with a different message, and I had no idea how many. Voters really did seem to want a change on our school board, though, and that's what panned out.

It's now time to get to the real work ahead, which feels just fine to me... and also to get back to writing here, which feels pretty good as well.  Thanks for waiting out the hiatus!