Last summer, back in the Jurassic Age of the 2008 election, before even the nomination of Barack Obama for President was by no means a sure thing, I did a little phone banking to Northern Virginia while visiting my folks in DC.
I spent hours on the phone, trying to convince the undecided and the uneasy, talking to anyone still on the line after the "Hi, my name is Marta, and I'm a volunteer for the Obama campaign......."
These were voter I.D. calls, which meant I talked to a lot of Republicans. So I heard a lot of "concerns" of the "He's a socialist/pro-abortion/tax-and-spend liberal/not a Christian" variety.
Sometimes for fun, I'd even print out a "Limbaugh talking points memo" a friend had compiled and starting checking items off the list. It was that predictable.
But one day, I got a "concern" that threw me.
The very proper woman on the other end of the phone tells me she'd consider voting for Obama, but had a "concern" about his wife, Michelle.
"Really?", I ask. "How so?"
"There's just something about her that bothers me. She's not very....... ladylike. And her children..........her children are just out of control. She's so aggressive, you know? And so arrogant. So.............."
And this is where words failed her. So helpful me filled in the blank.
"Uppity?", I ask
The woman brightens, "Yes! Uppity! She just doesn't know her place!"
Now it's my turn to be speechless, but it doesn't matter, because now this woman is on a roll.
"Now, Mrs. McCain, I think she'd be a much better First Lady. She's just so dignified, don't you agree? She understands. She'd be at those state dinners, greeting the First Wives of France and England, having tea and showing off the Rose Garden while the husbands are off smoking cigars. I just can't see Michelle Obama doing any of that. She'd be a disgrace."
It went on from there. And to be honest, I don't remember much else, because I still couldn't get past the word uppity. I wish I did though.
I wish I'd kept that woman's name and number, if for no other reason than to ask her what she thought now.