Mental Gymnastics

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Facebook Former and I have been IM'ing each other on an almost nightly basis. He's been filling me in on the happenings in the political world of my birth state. For me, being involved in politics was a birthright.

My father was on the county party executive committee from before I was born, and the state party executive committee beginning in my teenage years. My mother was a voting inspector who worked the polls every election. My first memory of politics was when during the 1972 presidential election. She was working the polls as usual and I was with her. She told me to go outside and remove the bumper sticker from the back of our car since it was parked so close to the building and some people might consider that politicking.

Since I graduated from university a year early, my "gap year" was spent volunteering for a United States senatorial candidate. When he was elected, volunteering led to a paid position in his main district office which just so happened to be in the city where the university is located. It was the perfect opportunity because I had been accepted to the law school. My full-time position became part-time as torts and civil procedure and others filled my mornings; my afternoons were spent at the office, evenings studying. The senator wanted me in his Washington office, so off to DC I went.

After leaving the paid workforce to stay home with the kids, my ties to politics were reduced to nuggets gleaned from talks with my father. Without him, news from the state has dried up totally. Until the Facebook Former showed up and started peppering me with more information about the goings-on in state politics than I'd heard for years.

One thing I've noticed about IM'ing him is that he keeps me on my toes. He's very quick-witted and expects me to use parts of my brain that have lain dormant for a long time. Chatting online with him is both exhilarating and exhausting. Chatting with FF, I'm expected to know not only big words but nuances in labels and descriptions. After too many years of Big Bird, Anime, and Miley Cyrus, it's good to knock out the cobwebs and exercise the brain. Just slow down a little. After the other night I think I sprained my cerebellum.


  1. Hopefully your mother had a McGovern bumper sticker.

  2. Me, too. My great-grandfather was a state representative and ran for governor of Texas. He was almost elected although he never campaigned. Years later my brother served twelve years in the State House. My parents campaigned for John Connally, LBJ, and others. Yellowdogs. My brother became a turncoat in 1996 and was beat out that year (same year my mother died). Mother always said she'd die before she voted republican. She voted (absentee from her hospital bed) republican for my brother on a Monday, slipped into a coma on Monday night, and died on Wednesday morning. We don't hold Bubba responsible, of course, but it was a little uncanny.

    How can someone who reads Russian literature complain of dormant brain cells?