One of the great benefits of working away from home is that you’re not there when the phone rings. I suppose there might be a few obsessives who use call forwarding so as not to miss a single exciting call. My philosophy is: if you don’t know me well enough to know when I am available to take your call, I don’t want to talk to you. Would that Massachusetts senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and her surrogates could take the hint: I’m not picking up the phone, Lizzie, because I don’t want to talk to the lot of you.
To be fair, persistence in politics can be a very good thing. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Persistence worked for Richard Nixon, and for Ronald Reagan too. Neither gave up in the face of defeat. And so it is with Lizzie. She keeps on calling me–once a day for weeks on end–and I keep on not answering. Her persistence in the face of such rejection, I suppose, puts Lizzie in the good company of the aforementioned.
I confess that I find Lizzie’s ardent fixation with my answering machine a little strange. Maybe even a little…creepy. It’s like she’s stalking me, though, again, since I am not at home when she invades my personal space with her incessant telephoning, it’s almost as if she is not making good use of the hunting and tracking skills passed down to her by her ancestors.
But what I find the most puzzling is that her calls, as I say, are invariably placed in the middle of the day, when I am at the office working my middle-class fingers to the bone. I can only conclude that Lizzie thinks I am parked on my couch, eating bon bons and whiling away my time watching HGTV as I await her call. Given her trademark empathy for the middle class, I wonder why she doesn’t know I am at work?
Perhaps the transcript of one of her recent calls can shed some light on the issue. I am able to reproduce it in its entirety thanks to Comcast’s fabulous voice-to-email feature:
You have a new Voicemail message from: 781-906-0513.
“Hi this is Elizabeth Warren. Calling to let you know that tomorrow we’ll be having a wife’s telephone town hall with thousands of your neighbors. I’ll be talking about working with President Obama and about our fight for middle class families. One I call tomorrow and just stay on the wine. Again this is Elizabeth Warren and I look forward to speaking with you tomorrow. Paid for by Elizabeth for in May. 6172866715.”
Poor Lizzie sounds like she might’ve “stayed on the wine” a little too long as she recorded this invitation. I am puzzled, too, that I should be invited to this particular event, given that I am a spinster and therefore no more welcome at a “wife’s telephone town hall” than a school for black kids is in Lizzie’s neck of Cambridge. As I think about it, I am more than a little offended that she assumes I am married. Talk about stereotyping!
If Elizabeth Warren really had the best interests of middle-class women at heart, then she would educate herself about that demographic. Memo to the Warren campaign: Somebody let the candidate know that 1) most middle-class women work the day shift; 2) most middle-class women express their political identities as individuals–not as somebody’s “wife”; and 3) can you please ask Lizzie to send me some of that wine?