My boyfriend voted for Bush. Yes, for Bush. And he'd vote for him again if our Constitution allowed it.
Now let me duck while you spit at me. No, please go ahead. Really, I'm used to it. When this happens—the attacks, the spittle—I sometimes enlist a coping strategy. I tune out and think back to when I discovered that J was one of Them.
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When we met three years ago at a New Year's Eve party, politics never came up. We flirted, and after midnight we made out in the coatroom. The next day he called to ask me out. I agreed to brunch, but I told him there was little chance we'd date. I was seeing someone else (he was out of town, okay?), and J was in school in D.C., two hours by train from Philadelphia. The last thing I wanted was another long-distance relationship. I'd already been through two. How To Manage A Long-Distance Relationship
So at brunch when he told me he was Republican, I didn't think about it in terms of would I or wouldn't I? My immediate response was, "Pro-life?" If his answer had been yes, I'd have lost my appetite—and left. But it was no. So I kept eating.
A few months later, the guy I'd been dating was out of the picture, and J and I started the torturous and by now familiar grind of the long-distance relationship—nightly phone calls, and as many flirty e-mails as a hardworking law student and a procrastination-prone freelance writer could manage. Is Steamy Text Messaging The New Foreplay?
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Sure, I was concerned that he'd voted for a man who seemed dead set on taking away women's hard-won reproductive rights, killing off our nation's youth, and destroying the environment. But by age 30, I'd dated enough of my own political kind to know that their compassion for the teeming masses doesn't guarantee compassion for their loved ones.
The sensitive activist type I dreamed of as a college student had turned out to be, for the most part, a needy fraud with a victim complex. What's preferable—someone who is a complete ass or someone who votes for a complete ass? After a solid decade of dating within my party, I was open to something new.