I'm sure my democratic and progressive colleagues would be shocked to know that my mentor and advisor was Otis Wilson, the conservative-leaning former councilor I had defeated in the election.
I called him for insight and advise on troublesome issues and debates. We met for coffee or I'd stop by the sporting goods store for a chat, although I'm sure some of my more extreme pro-gun control enthusiasts would chastise me for even stepping foot into the business.
I realized that Otis wasn't one of those over-zealous gun nuts and that he was sympathetic and understanding to my opposing view so we didn't get into heated arguments over guns. He knew it was personal for me and he wasn't about to dismiss the hurt of loss I felt having lost someone close to gun violence.
The thing about Politics is that you can't let it get personal. Some of my political peers are so invested in their beliefs and stances that they refuse to even talk to people they don't agree with. Otis reminds me that we can agree to disagree and still be civil, personable, and rational in our interactions instead of yelling at people and insulting them just because they have a different viewpoint.
I was at Otis' cabin one night and we accidentally got into a disagreement about something stupid and when the conversation started getting heated with me become borderline irate, Otis turned to the dog lying on the floor and said "Frank?" as if he was asking the dog to intervene or mediate.
I burst out in laughter and 'Frank' became our code word to disengage from a political debate when the conversation was becoming unmanageable.
"Remember," Otis was quick to remind me. "You don't always have to be right in the debate. The dialogue is what's important."
"My parents weren't very political," I let Otis know one evening when we were discussing our abilities to tolerate political discourse. "We didn't talk much about it."
"The dinner table at my house was ripe with political discourse," Otis revealed. "I know I got my political bent from my conservative father but I enjoyed debating with my mom who was intelligent, articulate, and liked to play devil's advocate to help me figure out what I truly believed. My mother is a cat person and my father is a dog person and they're still together fifty years later."
"Why is that?"
"Love," Otis grinned.
"People want to help make society better," I reasoned. "They just happen to think their way is the best way."
"There's responsibility in service," Otis said. "You have to have principle and patience, do good not evil, do the right thing."
"I can't believe you retained your values after fifteen years on the council," I said with admiration.
Nearly three months had passed since I accidentally mooned Otis in the moonlight and I really liked him. Strangely, our relationship hadn't advanced beyond the friendship stage – we hadn't even kissed yet, but I was attracted to him mostly because I had gotten to know him so well.
I don't think we intentionally avoided public scrutiny but we hadn't been out in public together all that much. The Greenville Grille was the "in" political place to be and one day I suggested we meet there for dinner.
"Really?" Otis asked with surprise. "You sure you want to out yourself like that?"
"I'm not ashamed to be seen with you, Otis," I replied.
"People will talk," he warned.
"Let them," I said confidently.
I introduced Otis to my father and he asked how the store was doing, concerned that sporting goods was falling victim to the electronic gadget age.
"Kids still want their baseball gloves, football helmets, and basketball shoes," Otis said. "We're doing okay."
Otis brought me to his parents' house for a Sunday afternoon dinner and they were amused when they realized I was the woman who had defeated their son in the last election.
"If you can't beat them, join them," Otis' father joked.
Word got out in the small political community that Otis and I appeared to be an item (although technically we really weren't yet – though he finally kissed me goodnight) and I received some guff over that, mostly from the Democratic politicos who said it was bad for my image.
"Aren't I entitled to a personal life?" I wanted to know. "More importantly, isn't it good to broaden our horizons and get to understand the other side of a position?" I added when the conversation became political.
"Just make sure you're on top," one of my more uncouth male political allies remarked.
Some of us on the council wanted to come up with a bill to rezone the neighborhood that had a couple of old abandoned factories in it, hoping to get new business in there that wasn't necessary manufacturing based. I spent time at Otis' cabin, using his expertise in bill writing to make sure I was covering all the bases and crossing all the T's. By now, Frank was used to me being around and I had met Otis' daughter who, ironically, was more liberal than me.
"She goes to Mount Holyoke," Otis explained.
I hadn't been involved in such a slow moving developing relationship since my high school days and I was beginning to wonder if perhaps Otis was interested in me politically more than he was romantically. Maybe he just wasn't attracted to me. Maybe he just wasn't that much "into" me.
"Would you vote for me?" I asked as we sat at the wooden table in his cabin kitchen working on the bill draft.
"I would," Otis said easily.
"Not only on the ballot," I said nervously.
He looked up from his laptop with raised eyebrows.
I excused myself to use the bathroom and when I was in there I got a crazy idea. I took off my pants and panties and returned to the kitchen wearing only my tee shirt which barely covered my privates. Otis sat back in his chair and grinned and I went to one of the cupboards to get a coffee mug, raising my arms to one of the higher shelves so my shirt hiked up and my backside was revealed.
"Seems like old times," Otis remarked.
I turned to face him and suddenly I was overcome with want and desire and I actually charged at him, knocking him out of his chair and onto the floor scaring the hell out of Frank who darted from the room and I fell on top of Otis, giggling and kissing him.
I felt his arm go around my waist to hold me against him and suddenly his hands were cupping my backside and I laughed when I realized I was on top.
That's how we finally made love for the first time. It was worth the wait.
"Does this mean we're politically connected?" I asked afterwards as I lay on top of him all sweaty and breathless.
"We have to come up with a story of how we met," Otis told me.
"Huh?" I asked with confusion.
"Do you want our introduction to be that you came rolling down a hill half naked in the middle of the night?"
"How bout we just skip to the night you came to the council meeting?" I suggested with a smirk.
"I was minding my Ps and Qs and you got me thinking of love and romance," Otis agreed.
"I like that," I smiled, giving him a kiss.
My Name is Alexis Connor and I approve this story!