As my journey began to the role of a real housewife, volunteering became a way to find out how I was going to reinvent Kay. At first I dabbled in local politics and volunteered for the Ann Arbor Democratic Party. However, at that point in time the local Dems made the Real Housewives of New Jersey seem tame. At my first meeting a woman ran out crying, a woman with whom I am now well acquainted, followed by a sympathetic supporter. I ended up volunteering on his campaign. I stayed on for awhile and got to know the players and made some good friends. Most of the people I met truly did care about others and making a difference. A few, as is very typical in politics, only cared about themselves and their very narrow agenda.
What I learned from the experience was that running for office even in a small city is very hard work. Knocking on many doors, calling people you do not know, raising funds and lots of weekend and evening work. I learned that it is something I would never want to do. I do enjoy helping out on a candidate’s campaign when I truly believe in that person. So far in my time here I have really only believed in one candidate, Ned Staebler. I helped on another campaign because several people got behind a disabled woman to put her on the ballot and advance their own agenda, and she was not capable of driving and struggled to walk the neighborhoods. I felt such empathy for her and saw the manipulation going on that I felt I had to help her out once in awhile. Neither of my candidates won. I was very happy in the latter instance, because she was not qualified and was being manipulated and very depressed in the former, because he was incredibly qualified.
One of my other volunteer experiences led to my current work at the University of Michigan Health System, but since I am still working there that blog/story/novel will have to wait until I am truly a real housewife and famous writer, or at least a writer earning a bit of income.
Neither of these volunteer ventures or ideas are actually befitting of a real housewife. If the shows are correct, real housewives do not involve themselves in politics nor do they volunteer stocking supplies on an inpatient medical unit. They raise money for charity and sit on steering committees and give speeches. So as more befitting of my role I am trying to coordinate a Toys for Tots drive this year at my husband’s practice, but so far no one from the charity organization will return my phone calls. How dare they get in the way of my becoming a real housewife!
My current part time position is also not befitting of my role as a real housewife. Real housewives do not work at medical centers. They are interior decorators, jewelry designers, real estate agents, party planners or social commentators. I keep reminding my husband of this and he promptly tells me to get ready for work. Perhaps in a few years I will be able to be a full time real housewife and writer. First we have to finish meeting my husband’s obligations from his first marriage. I think writing is a much more appropriate real housewife career, don’t you? Can you think of others?
After all this weekend my role requires that I host something called a cider making open house, where I will be descended upon by other real housewives and their offspring. It is a tradition my husband has kept going for his children. Most of my former parties were dinner parties for my gay and single friends and the straight couples invited were in the minority, but in my new role it is the opposite. I hope I will find enough topics for polite discussion with the other real housewives. Let’s see, their charitable events, their perfect children, other real housewives and making cider and how delicious it is. I am having some of my friends over so I shall survive it. I am certain of it. We real housewives are made of tough stuff. One of my friends pointed out that I keep throwing parties where I am descended upon by large numbers of people that I do not know well. The first was our wedding reception where my husband’s very large family arrived. Picture the Von Trapp family with children and you may get a faint idea of what it was like. Now at this party it will be the private school moms whose children attend school with my stepdaughter. As I have already written, I have invited enough of my friends to create a buffer, and there is always the cider with a bit of rum to fall back on. All I need are my gays. Unfortunately, my gay friends and brother are all living elsewhere, not that I could convince them to attend a cider making party any way, but I could try.
So think of me this weekend, as I long to be at Neiman Marcus, but instead am sipping cider with the suburban real housewives. I know it is a tough life.