I promised myself I wouldn't ramble on tonight, partly because what I have to say probably isn't original and partly because Thom Hartmann's latest book is beckoning to me from my night stand. Was that just a name drop? Because I totally meant it to be. Ever since I read “What Would Jefferson Do?” and had flashbacks to college poli sci classes, I am in love with Thom Hartmann. Men who think liberally are very appealing to the lesbian set.
Anyway … it all comes down to this. Bill Peduto broke up with me when he pulled out of the mayoral primary race. Our courtship was brief and intense and hopeful, but the mayoral-resident relationship just wasn't meant to be. So now we are just back the typical cool-not-in-my-district-councilman and resident. Essentially, he asked me if we could just be friends.
Like anyone who has been dumped, I did not take it well. I was angry. I was hurt and I was shocked at the unexpected turn of events. And no, I didn't see it coming. If there were signs, I never saw them. They were probably hidden by the giant billboards of Mayor Opie with his signature little swish (gay reference for you heterosexuals). That or the tall weeds growing on the city owned property here on the Northside. I didn't see them.
And, no I didn't want to just be friends with Bill Peduto. I thought he was the one! I moved all the way from West Mifflin to Manchester. I left behind the political circus clowns of Jay Jabbour, Richard Olasz and Ken Ruffing for the greener pastures of Pittsburgh's city hall. I gave up police who came when you called, neighbors who knew my name and lower taxes. OK, so I did all that for Ledcat, but still … when I got here and surveyed the landscape amidst the billboards and refuse, Bill Peduto caught my eye. Here was a guy a lesbian could learn to love. And my standards were low … I was happy with politicians who didn't get into fistfights or beat up their wives (or steal money). I would have, could have settled for a Doug Shields (except he's a smoker). But I got a Bill Peduto.
So no, I didn't want to accept that it was over. Not for me to suck it up and move on with my dignity intact, but my emotions swallowed into a WASP vortex of stomach acid. I vent. And vent some more. And then I think about it for awhile.
Then he does nice things that impact me and I realize being just friends is truly better than being nothing at all. You need a few friends in this world. Even those with the “what could have been” aura still lingering around like a plaintive ballad deep in your heart. It is good to have friend that don't steal from you, don't mock breaking laws that impact your ability to breathe and don't make their mark in giant rubber boots.
So, yes there are the “what could have been” friends. But there are also the “what might yet be” friends … sort of like that catchy little Vanessa Williams song “Just when I thought our chance had passed, you went and saved the best for last.”
The thing is that once you get dumped, its never the same. You might reunite, but there's always that little scar from the breakup. It can heal and make you stronger than ever. Or it can fester a little bit and sort of poke at the trust in a reestablished relationship.
Maybe Bill Peduto is the one. Or maybe someone else will come along to help us turn the city around.
But I'm not angry anymore. If anyone needs to note that fact.
I'm fine being just friends with Bill Peduto. Fine indeed.
Let's move forward (I couldn't resist).