11/18 – II: Misty’s State House Office

Across 128 and back into town, the Massachusetts State House is right on the corner of Boston Common at the top of Beacon Hill, where history is everywhere and parking is a bitch.   In scruffier days, we came down here to protest the Vietnam war, but now, as Misty and I find each other (with cell phones – who needs a meeting point? Oh, there you are!) we have to giggle: she’s in her business clothes, smart, black, and a bit clunky compared to her usual gear, and I am fully suited and tied, a rare event indeed.

Gathering a bit of lunch, we repair to her office in the upper reaches of the golden-domed building.  We pass under the stained glass of the dome itself, and pass a hundred plaques and memorials on our way to her legislative office.  I haven’t been in this building since I was nineteen.  The rooms are stultifying in the way of all buildings that have been divided down into cubicle sized offices, but I had envisioned something more soul-less, whereas the heavy blond oak paneling lends a gravity and polish to the otherwise pedestrian work of answering the mail from constituents and keeping the schedule straight.

Misty works as Executive Legislative Aide (read: PA and gofer) for a retiring representative of somewhere in South Boston.  Willie Mae is not in her office today, which is a good thing, as I would give her a piece of my mind about keeping my daughter there on the Friday after Thanksgiving, preventing her from coming to Maine to gather with our family in our ‘new tradition’ of meeting at our house, now that Teddy is gone.  This woman, old and black, who came up out of another era, evidently takes a bit of joy in ordering this white girl around, and Lord knows we all learned this lesson in our early jobs, so I bite my tongue.


3 Responses to “11/18 – II: Misty’s State House Office”

  1. mistralmyers Says:

    1) Clunky? Stiff, perhaps, but clunky??

    2) A “PA and gofer”. Hmm. That is a little bit like calling you a “back rubber”. Condescending, and more importantly, inaccurate.

    Was it really necessary to word your observations this way Pops? No matter how committed you are to speaking the “truth”, you have the vocabulary of a Merriam-Webster. Calling your daughter a clunky PA and gofer on a public forum is insensitive, hurtful, and wildly uncreative.

  2. Tomyers Says:

    Oh, my dear, I m so sorry – just writing unclearly in a hurry. So, yes, in this sense I would call me a back-rubber. I should have filled in more detail, but I have been struck by the difference between ‘Executive Legislative Aide’ and what this old chocolate eclair has you doing. Nothing intended about your skills and talents. I am quite sure you are capable of far more than what this job requires. So you are not a PA and gofer, but you are being used as a PA and gofer – is that more accurate? As I say, it happens to us all in our initial jobs. Sometime I will tell you about my humiliations in my early jobs – mostly self-created in my case.

    You look very professional at work, my dear, but I am used to seeing you in looser clothes that show your fluid movement. I don’t know how I look in a suit (and you are free to comment), but I am not accustomed to seeing you so buttoned up. ‘Square’ (in its literal sense) would have been better than clunky. Stiff won’t do – no matter how you dress, you do not look stiff.

    Anyway, apologies for my inexactitude and lack of creativity.

  3. mistralmyers Says:

    Thank you for the response Daddy. The clarification made all the difference.

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