The older I get, the more it becomes abundantly clear that politics can really screw up your sex life.
Take, for example, Bill Clinton.
The last time I was single during an election, Bill Clinton won. I was a freshman at a very conservative university in the South. God-fearing, Budweiser-drinking, bow-tie-wearing college frat boys were on my agenda. I kept my beliefs quiet. I wanted a date, not to be blacklisted from every party for the fall semester. When political bashing erupted, I just smiled and said, "Umm, this apple strawberry wine cooler is delicious, ya'll."
Over the years, I migrated even further south, as in Florida, and I found safety with like-minded individuals. I could quietly give a little fist pump for Hilary without everyone throwing beer cans at me.
Then I got divorced. My marital status wasn't the only winds of change rolling in. Just as my life was turning upside down, it seemed so was my social circles' stance on everything from welfare to healthcare.
I don't put political stickers on my car. Nor do I wax poetically on my Facebook page about why my candidate is the "only" choice. However, I do write a blog. One that makes reference to my vagina on a regular basis, a vagina I am actually quite fond of and prefer to keep free of eminent domain. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which side of the fence my lady bits are positioned on. However, I don't make a big deal about it nor would you ever see me posing in a Baywatch-esque swimsuit endorsing a candidate. (For the record, posing with mountains of Krispy Kreme doughnuts would not be a problem.)
But now here I am, at the peak of my single status prowess and political tensions are at an all time high. Eventually, a date will ask your thoughts on the election. I could get away with deferring to my wine cooler in college, but at my age, there's only so much chardonnay one can drink before coming up for air and answering the question.
Some dates try to use discretion, scampering around the topic with inquiries like, "Do you prefer CNN or Fox for your news?" or "Did you see that movie, 'An Inconvenient Truth?'" (As if my answers to either of those questions would definitely out my political leanings. Ok, maybe they would.) Generally, I'm an open book. If the chemistry is rocking, I have no problem telling a love interest what color underwear I'm wearing on the third date. But inquiring as to what lever I'm pulling in the voting booth? I'm a little old-fashioned for that. Let's keep the mystery alive, shall we?
Recently, however, I never even made it to the first date without politics ratting me out prior to curfew. It was the last night of an extended gig in a different city. I decided to patronize the most fabulous establishment in town to celebrate. As I was sitting in this swankiest of lounges, sipping champagne, an incredibly handsome man walks in and takes the seat next to me. Things were about to get interesting.
The conversation soon turned to where we were from. "Washington D.C.," he said. I'm not world traveled, but I do know that if you are from LA, chance are good you are tied to the entertainment industry, and if you reside in D.C., well, you probably have an solidly formed opinion on politics. I had a 50/50 chance this was not going to go my way.
Our chemistry was off the charts. "Have dinner with me," he said seductively.
"I can't," I protested as I motioned to the open notebook strategically placed in front of me. I wasn't very convincing.
"You're going to decline dinner with me to work? On a Friday night. While you are drinking champagne?"
He saw through my guise. I knew I either had to kill the fantasy or make it happen. "So what do you do in D.C.?"
"I'm in politics. I own a company that is one of the leading fundraisers for the Republican Party," he delivered proudly.
It was then that I had my epiphany: Politics might get an overweight white guy laid, but for the rest of us, politics can be a certified game killer. You can both like long walks on the beach, foreign films, Seinfeld reruns, and vacationing in Napa, but if your core beliefs are on opposite sides of the aisle, it's highly doubtful you will ever walk down the aisle, unless you are Carville and Matalin, and I still don't understand how one doesn't stab the other when they sleep.
"Are you sure you won't have dinner with me?" He made one last attempt in an even sexier tone.
"I can't. But thank you." I delivered the news with a "this hurts me more than it does you" ring to it.
About an hour later, he sent over a glass of champagne. The note read, "Here's to the best party coming out on top November 6th."
I'll drink to that and to these elections being over. We need to get back to debating important things, like which Baldwin brother is the best actor.