True confessions of a mixed marriage

    Love can be color blind. I know. My marriage is mixed, an issue that begins to heat up in pre-election months. I am a blue donkey; my husband, Craig, a reddish elephant.

    Love can be color blind. I know. My marriage is mixed, an issue that begins to heat up in pre-election months. I am a blue donkey; my husband, Craig, a reddish elephant — reddish rather than actually red because he is a fiscal conservative, not a true Republican and certainly not a tea party type. (That would spell divorce.)

    We’re in agreement when it comes to his pro-choice stance, his support for cities and his advocacy of public transportation and diversity. He even has his own plan for better health-care access for all. Yet, to my chagrin, he tends to vote — what was once a dirty word in the house I grew up in — Republican.

    Funny since we moved to the city, so he could have a voice in city politics, Craig changed his registration to Democrat. But mostly, his new party affiliation, though I like it, is false advertising. There’s a speck of truth in it, but you need a microscope to find it. He does love a Democrat and most of our friends lean far to the left of the blue donkey. Luckily, Craig’s so lovable they overlook it.

    For me, the problem’s that when you sleep with an elephant, or sort of an elephant, people often think you’re an elephant too. Back in 2000 when Gore ran against Bush, acquaintances assumed that I was going to vote for Bush too.

    “Bad enough Craig is voting for Bush. But how could you think I would?” I retorted.

    In those days we lived in the burbs and considered getting two signs for our front lawn — his for Bush and mine for Gore, side by side. But ultimately, we decided that two opposing signs on the same lawn would cancel each other out.

    I have to admit it’s confusing. You see I married a Democrat or at least I thought I did. Somehow over time, my Prince Charming remained charming in every other way, but to my dismay and the disappointment of his own mom, brother and sister — all Democrats — he morphed into a political pumpkin.

    He’s such a good guy I have to overlook his once hidden flaw. Even my dad a staunch Democrat, who cared enough about politics to cast his last vote when he was living in a hospice, once said about Craig, “I think he’s a Republican,” and then he winked signaling that he was still all right. (Believe me; my dad didn’t think too many Republicans were all right.)

    So what can I do but listen, at least for a minute, when Craig says, “It’s because of Obama we don’t have jobs …”

    Then when the minute’s past, like a little kid I’m ready to stick my fingers in my ears and sing, “La, la, la …” while he continues his Obama bashing.

    Obama hasn’t solved all our problems, but no one politician can reverse the ills of our economy.

    It’s not until Craig starts to talk about the good things Corbett has done that I see red, but it’s not Republican Red. Because now it’s personal: Last year, when Corbett’s higher education cuts coincided with my department disappearing, I got laid off from my long-time job in higher education. It was a big hit to the family wallet, and Craig felt it; yet he doesn’t fault Corbett.

    “It all started with the Democratic Congress spending too much money,” he says.

    “How can you give Corbett a carte blanche? It’s not just about jobs; it’s about education,” I answer. “At least Corbett didn’t cut education funding this year.”

    We could go on and on, but the bottom line is love trumps politics. And that’s how we’ll survive the next round between the blue and red in November without becoming too red or too blue. Together, we’re a nice shade of purple.

    Lisa Meritz is a freelance marketing communications manager/writer (at Meritz Marketing) who lives in Philadelphia. Her work has been published in Philadelphia Stories, Metropolis, the Christian Science Monitor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, San Francisco Chronicle, and more.

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