How to meet friends and influence…anybody


DC building on a sunny day

DC building on a sunny day

So Susanne, for better or worse, has moved into a veritable community of faculty and staff, and of course, students. As I mentioned in the last post, we’ve gone to one staffer’s house for dinner, and we’ve also been over to another faculty member’s house for a chocolate tasting event which was, shall we say, very Walla Walla. To clarify–in DC, such an event would include a chocolate waterfall, set up next to a Melting Pot-like tray of pineapple, marshmallows, strawberries, cheesecake, and the like; a table of Brazilian and Peruvian or fill in your exotic country of choice dark chocolates, some European chocolate for comparison, and 6 people from the Commerce Department who would espouse on the history of chocolate, whether they actually knew anything about it or not. Out here, well, it was a bunch of folks sitting around a dining room table which barely had enough room for us and all of our host’s houseplants, eating little taster-sized chocolates that she got from a friend. Way more down to earth and simplified. And, I suppose, much less pretentious.


Walla Walla petunias

Walla Walla petunias

The ready-made crowd is nice, but I feel the need to meet some people on my own, as if meeting everyone through Susanne would doom me to a life apart from any decision-making I could do. Which I know isn’t true. But it appeared to me to be healthier to find avenues of my own toward friendship and comraderie. So I ventured down to the local, lonely Democratic headquarters for the county.

Boy, were they happy to see me! So happy! Happy happy joy joy! I thought I might get a Busby Berkeley musical number upon my entrance. Now just for kicks I may have to visit the GOP HQ to see what that experience is like. It also helps that it’s next door to the only Chinese lunch buffet in town. (And the all-you-can-eat buffet, by the way, is $6.49 — eat that, Baltimore former coworkers! So if you want to meet up next Friday, let me know.)

At first, they didn’t know what to do with me. I have hours and hours of free time right now. Should he canvass for us or do some phone bank work? Or be at the phones here? Immediately clear to me was that each person does in fact make a difference. As someone said to me last weekend, one person is the difference between a phone ringing endlessly at the HQ because nobody’s there to answer it, or a person to pick it up and respond.

I didn’t think the canvassing would work too well given the state of my knee rehabilitation, so I have opted for the phone bank. Oh boy. Can’t wait until I get my massively long list of numbers to call, so people can curse at me and hang up on me. But I’m sure I’ll make some new friends there — and they’ll be Democrats. Which means, I’m not sure.

Last Saturday Susanne and I went to a fundraiser event for the local HIV non-profit education and healthcare provider, Blue Mountain Heart to Heart. The idea is that over the course of a specific week, Walla2 residents host dinners at their homes and people come over to donate and eat, and then at the end of the week, the organization hosts another party with desserts to announce how much money was raised, and thank everyone for their work and donations. It’s along the lines of what Food & Friends does in DC to raise money, although for that effort folks go out to participating restaurants who donate a portion of the proceeds of their take for that night. So here I guess Heart to Heart gets more percentage of the donation, since the dinner hosts don’t hold anything back, but the number overall is a lot smaller. At any rate, we met a lot of nice people, and now I have a date for the first debate on September 26 — at Becky and Bob’s house. (I am not making this up.) Which brings me to another question — who the hell schedules a debate on a Friday? Do they think we’re going to watch on a tavern TV with the NBA pre-season games playing on the next screen over? That’ll be the day.

Anyway, the DC Democratic HQ and the bleeding-heart liberals’ fundraising event aside, how else to meet people in Walla Walla? Well, I have a couple more route here. One was supposed to be bowling. I mean, seriously, I love bowlers. They want activity but not too much activity. They want teammates but not too much competition. They typically enjoy beer and other light refreshment. They’re definitely on the dorky side, and generally not very pretentious. My kind of people! I think I have to wait until January, though, because Mr. Knee here had to get overexcited at the Billie Jean song at his wedding, and he’s still not ready to fling the strikes down the lane. So that means…

I hope to meet people at the orthopedic’s office tomorrow! Hurt people here I come!

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4 Comments on “How to meet friends and influence…anybody”

  1. Jody
    September 17, 2008 at 9:32 pm #

    I suggest cozying up to folks running the tasting rooms and wineries! 😉

  2. evmaroon
    September 17, 2008 at 9:42 pm #

    You’re right, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that! That cider house woman was very nice, after all.

  3. Robin H.
    September 22, 2008 at 5:17 pm #

    I thought about you last night while watching the “Mighty Orioles” play the Yankees in their last game ever at Yankee stadium. In a way, I’m glad the Yanks won. I’ve been enjoying your blog. Hope all is well. SSA misses you!

  4. evmaroon
    September 23, 2008 at 7:00 am #

    How nice of you, especially since our season didn’t go very well! I miss my buddies at SSA, too, and I hope you get to break in a nice neighbor when one moves in. How’s your autumn going so far?

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