I Solicit Signatures, Not Sex

One of the projects I recently participated in was helping a friend of mine campaign for an upcoming election.  Most of the work I did was behind the scenes (or should I say behind the screen). However, when the petitioning process began, I had no choice but to get my ass off of the couch.

When candidates run for office, they must obtain a certain amount of signatures from people registered within their political party.  This is what's called "petitioning".  Hitting the trail was a new experience for me. I felt apprehensive about it.  What do you say?  How do you ask strangers for their signatures?  I knew it had to be done, but how...HOW???

The answer to that question was two-fold.  A fellow volunteer for the campaign gave me a tutorial.  I tagged along while he worked his magic on patrons at one of our local Farmer's Markets.  It seemed easy enough.  And with a wave of my clipboard, I was off.

As it turned out, having a smooth spiel wasn't the only asset I possessed to get the job done.  Quite a few male callers took this as an opportunity to put their moves on me.  A lot of my conversations went something like this:

Me: "Hi. Are you a registered democrat living in the city of Rochester?"

Random guy: "Yes, I am."

Me: (thought bubble)  My face is up here.  "My friend [insert name here] is running for [insert position here]. Would you be willing to sign the petition to get her on the ballot?"

Random guy: "Sure. Anything for you."

Some attempted to carry the conversations further, venturing off into unrelated topics.  I politely ended them by nabbing my next victim.  A sprightly 68-year-old gentleman even kissed me on the cheek.  I warded him off with my clipboard.  Worst yet, he didn't even give me a signature.  The whole experience just made me feel dirty.

All in all, we were successful in our endeavor.  It did reinforce my belief that frogs come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Well that, and clipboards can be handy weapons!

A Selfie to Keep to Yourself

 Yup.  That's me in the jacket & sequins sock covers...

Yup.  That's me in the jacket & sequins sock covers...

A couple of years ago during my first tryst with online dating, I had a little trouble getting my sea legs under me.  Communicating with individuals that I didn't know seemed so awkward.  Who should initiate the conversation?  What's proper protocol to interact with someone online?  How many times should I tolerate blatant assassination of the English language before emailing a link to merriamwebster.com?

It all felt so overwhelming.  Then I saw a guy who caught my eye.  His profile picture showed him to be tall and handsome with caramel colored skin and short, curly, black hair.  Spelling & grammar did not allude him as his profile was perfectly written.  I had two mental fainting spells before sending him a message.

We chatted a bit online before exchanging phone numbers, and transitioning to text messages.  His name was Michael.  Michael Gabrielle.  "What a beautiful name," I commented.  I really did love his name.  So much so that I felt it apropos to divulge my love of MJ to him.   Without further prompting, I sent him a photo of myself dressed up in a "Thriller" costume for Halloween.  In my defense, I thought it would be a great ice breaker - demonstrating that I was the perfect blend of brains, beauty and humor.  Unfortunately, it gave off more of a "sideshow freak" vibe.  I never heard from him again.

On the brighter side of things, I certainly know what NOT to do in the future.  Although my learning didn't help me here.

Repost: First Dates & Bail Money

 Picture available on Etsy.com

Picture available on Etsy.com

About a year and half ago I spent my birthday in Atlanta, GA.  My cousin offered up her mom's house, and I did the tourist thing.  As I exited the train station closest to my cousin's house, I spotted the cutest guy!  I mentioned before that I'm not the greatest with pick up lines.  We exchanged glances as we walked past each other.  I turned around and there he was staring at me.  The ATL air must have been polluted with bravery because there I was getting ready to go in for the kill.

I approached my potential beau and boldly said, "Can I take your picture?  Because they don't make them like you where I come from."  He smiled flashing me a gorgeous set of teeth.  After taking the picture, he asked if we could exchange phone numbers.

We text each other that night.  He called the next morning to wish me a happy birthday then sent me a picture of his perfectly chiseled torso.  Under normal circumstances, this behavior warrants Shania Twain's "That Don't Impress Me Much" to blare in all areas of my mind...but I was on vacation! 

My sweetheart and I made plans to see each other the next day.  He played semi-pro football and had a game that night.  I attempted to call him the next day but went straight to voice mail.  I called a bit later with the same result.  My cousin urged me to keep calling until he picked up (I HAD shown her a picture after all).  However, chasing a guy down relentlessly is not my style.  I flew back home that Monday without communicating with him again. 

As I showered that Tuesday morning, my spidey sense tingled.  Something inside me said, "You're going to hear from him today."  I was working the evening shift at a grueling job back then.  I glanced at my phone mid-shift and saw a text from my ATL sweetheart apologizing for his disappearing act.  He went on to explain that he was arrested that Saturday night which is why we were unable to get together.

I thought to myself, "Of all the excuses he could have possibly given, this is certainly the most pathetic."  Au contraire!  Because of my busy schedule I had not paid much attention to his message. Upon further review, it was actually a picture message of his release papers from jail and the text was simply a description. At least I know he was being truthful!

We never spoke again.