Tall Poppy Diaries

Observations and musings on life as a happy high-achiever (or what the Aussie's call a "Tall Poppy" ). "Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have." --Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


  Thanks, Mr. President ...but He'd Rather Not

I have always thought that it was important to get out and about. You want people to remember you exist. You ought to be there when others invite you to "their" soiree, so that when you need their warm body at your event, they will return the favor. For SAHM and WAHM, adult mental stimulation is vital. But yesterday, I was once again reminded that I am either totally off kilter or my husband and I are the epitome of the "Venus and Mars" cliche.

Yesterday, my husband calls me in my office and says, "Your mail's here". I give it the quick once over, tell him "Thanks", and turn around to head out the door. Then hubby says, "Oh, and we got this, too".

I turn back around and he hands me a very large envelope bearing a gold Presidential Seal. I open the envelope and find an invitation to a gathering that will attract the who's who of politics, most likely every living US President, etc., etc.

So I say, "And? Are we going?" To which hubby casually replies, "I doubt it. We would have to get a babysitter for the boys, two plane tickets, hotel room, rental car....by the time we're done, we'd be in over $1000...probably more." (Did I mention that my husband is a tax attorney? He thinks of these things....)

I regain my composure over having completely misread that going to this event would be a no-brainer and I respond, "Yes, but don't you think it would be good to re-establish some contacts that have gone dormant since we left DC? I'd like to go so I can touch base with folks regarding the book, not to mention that many of the people who'll be there are my clients. Besides, this is a kind of important event, don't ya' think."

Hubby looks at me quizzically and replies, "Yeah, but we can watch it on TV and call the people we want to talk to on the phone for a whole lot less than what it would cost to go there personally".

There it was...the most distinct difference between my husband and me. I can think of 100 reasons why being there in person would more than pay for the cost of the trip. Both of us have business and political interests that are enhanced by refreshing the personal relationships we have with the people who would attend the event. So many people to talk and bond with all together in one very small geographic area for two or three days. How could we say "No"?

Then, there is my husband. Not a fan of parties, glad-handing or schmoozing. Thinks that most anything worth doing can be accomplished via e-mail. Given the choice between a night out on the town and a night working on his computer will almost always choose the latter. And, most of all, needs to see a compelling cost/benefit analysis for any expenditure over $1. (Okay, it's not THAT bad, but almost.)

So, is it a "man" thing? Or is it a "my man" thing? Is it that I am off-base to think that there are intangible benefits to attending an event that can never be calculated, but are significant nonetheless? Could I cleverly couch a sales-pitch for the event in such a way that he might eventually believe that it was HIS idea to go all along? As with other (still-unresolved) sticky wickets I have pondered over the last week, I'll watch women's gymnastics tonight, hoping for a moment of clarity.

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