Another whirlwind weekend of events, but last weekend had a very big turning point for my campaign – my mom arrived on Saturday, and will be staying through Election Day to help me with my campaign! (And I will also use the four week visit to sell her on moving here… mwa ha ha.)
Friday night kicked off with a break from campaigning, as my friend Kelly and I went to a gala benefit / play. Curious Theatre Company is a unique theater whose mission is “to engage the community in important contemporary issues through provocative musical theater.” They were doing a “Cake and Cocktails” event for their new show, The Cake by Bekah Brunstetter. The premise was fascinating:
“Jen lives in New York but has always dreamed of getting married in her small North Carolina hometown, so she heads down south to ask Della, her late mother’s best friend, to do the honors of baking the wedding cake. Della’s cakes are legendary, even earning her a spot as a contestant on the “Great American Baking Show.” She is overjoyed at Jen’s request, until she realizes there’s not just one bride, but two, forcing her to re-examine some of her deeply-held beliefs, as well as her own marriage.”
While the script was wonderful, I was a little disappointed in the performance itself. The actress playing Della came off as cartoonish and over-the-top, which made the audience laugh at her rather than sympathize as she struggled to reconcile her beliefs with what was happening in front of her. With everything going on in this country, I thought it could have been really powerful to see someone evolve in their thinking and become a better person; instead, Della was portrayed as a totally backward Southern hick for the audience to mock. As the play went on, I found myself really frustrated by the portrayal (and paying close attention to what were choices by the director / actors vs what was actually in the script). While I of course agree that Della was wrong to be homophobic, I think a lot was lost by not portraying the more nuanced view of someone faced with a clash between family and beliefs, who has to figure out which one to jettison. Bummer 🙁
Fortunately, the event (with hors d’oeuvres, champagne, and of course, cake) was a lot of fun – and it was wonderful to take a break from campaigning and get to catch up with my good friend Kelly, who I haven’t seen in weeks. I miss my friends!
Saturday began with me getting right back to the campaign trail and meeting a neighbor for coffee. We had a great conversation, and he had some fascinating insights about how our Planning Committee works. Meanwhile, I was thrilled to make another friend in the neighborhood! While I know in just the last paragraph I was lamenting how much I miss my friends, one of the best parts of campaigning has been getting to meet so many new friends in the neighborhood.
After breakfast, I had a few hours free to catch up on email and chores around the house. I have really been letting the cleaning slide lately, but I needed to prepare for a special houseguest: my mom! She was flying in to stay for a full month, to help me with campaign activities, and I was so excited for her arrival. Beyond just getting to spend time with her, which I always love, it was going to be amazing to have someone I knew was totally on my side – especially in light of how frustrated I’ve been with people judging me throughout the campaign and always assuming the worst.
I timed my arrival to the airport perfectly, pulling up just a moment before she walked out the door with her bags. (Good thing, too – the staff at Denver Airport is pretty aggressive about not letting you wait for a pickup!) But we weren’t heading home just yet; instead, we headed back to my neighborhood, picked up my friend Chris, and then headed over to another friend’s home – Jen and Lee Simon, who host the monthly Sounds of Simon house concerts in their living room. Yippee! I was so excited to introduce my mom to this unique experience.
This month’s show was very different. While most of the show I’ve been to have been singer / songwriters playing acoustic guitar, the October show was Pip the Pansy – an electronic pop artist who happens to be married to Sam Burchfield, who I saw at Sounds of Simon in July. Pip the Pansy played backup for Sam then, and this time, Sam was running the synthesizer for her. So sweet that they support each other like this!
Meanwhile, my mom, friends, and I (which also included my friends Heather and Kelly) had a blast at the much smaller / lower-key than usual event.
After that fun night, Sunday morning we had to get back to work. My mom and I spent several hours in the morning getting more of my signs out around town, and also making sure the ones already in place were still standing up straight. With the strong winds in my area, the signs tend to get bent and crooked pretty quickly! The bentonite clay soil we have also doesn’t make it easy to push the stakes into the ground, so this was a surprisingly exhausting task.
No rest for the weary, though – after a shower to get the dirt / mud off me, it was back to the campaign trail. A neighbor was hosting a campaign party for me in the afternoon (!), so I needed to prepare a speech to give. I got word that there was going to be someone coming to the event specifically to question me on my political party affiliation, so I also had to be ready for lots of questions on that (even though I am running for a non-partisan position). I was pretty nervous, and early on in the event, hit a snag that totally shook me up 🙁 Fortunately, the rest of the event went pretty well – one of the current Trustees was there to introduce me, and it felt great to have his support.
When the event wrapped up, my Mom and I headed home for a few minutes, and then quickly hightailed it downtown for the last event of the weekend: I had scored us both tickets to Dear Evan Hansen, and we were meeting a few neighbors for drinks beforehand. Neither my mom nor I had any idea what Dear Evan Hansen was about ahead of time, but wow – it definitely hit me hard and I cried quite a bit throughout!
With that, the weekend was over – it had been a busy one! I managed to squeeze in time for both friends and campaigning, but I think it came at the price of rest. Need to fix that next weekend…