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Assistant to the president

Agriculture.com Staff 09/06/2007 @ 10:24am

There are some jobs that are a lot of work and not much glory.

Garbage collection and sewer maintenance are usually the first ones that come to mind, but something a lot worse is being the wife of a political candidate. It seems like a bad deal to me. They have to wear nice clothes, talk to strangers and smile all the time. And that's just when they're not staring adoringly at their husbands as he's giving speeches.

I don't see how they do it. Maybe they have some sort of make up tricks -- toothpicks to hold their eyes open and tape that pulls their cheeks up into the requisite smile. I mean, I talk a lot, and what I've noticed over the years is that my wife's smile tends to waver just a tinge when I go on too long. We should look into how politicians' wives manage that particular "expression." Maybe I could persuade my wife to try a few things that would help her look properly adoring at all times.

Garbage collectors, sewer workers, candidates' wives leave no doubt that some tough jobs out there aren't getting the recognition they deserve. And that leads me to a couple nights ago when I was forced to add a new job to the list.

We're hosting some sort of women's conference at our church and because the church will be filled from end to end with strange women (let me rephrase that -- women who will be strangers in our church), it was decided that it needed a good cleaning.

I didn't understand that, myself. It seemed to me that we should have left everything the way it was. That way, if anyone makes a comment we can just suggest the possibility that they need to expend more effort on prayer and good works and less on noticing cobwebs. I even volunteered to do the chastising myself, but my services were declined and a work night was set up to get the church whipped into shape.

We had a good turn out of workers so it was actually kind of fun; working toward a common goal with people you usually only see on Sunday morning. I watched one guy in particular. He was kneeling on the hard floor scrubbing storm windows, climbing ladders to clean light fixtures, scurrying around carrying heavy objects -- all in all a whirlwind of activity, although by the second night he was starting to look a little worn down.

He just didn't get the recognition he deserved and you know why? His official title is "Husband of United Methodist Women Chairperson."

I don't think it was an office he actually thought much about or for that matter, campaigned for, but I'm sure once his wife was elected, it didn't take long for him to realize his life was changed. He was probably well-cued in about the first time he was asked to carry a 100 cup coffee percolator and three dozen muffins out to the car or when it was left to him to get the cardboard camel out of the church basement after the mission study on the Middle East.

I suggested we get him a bright red sash about three inches wide, embroidered with his formal designation, but he's a modest sort and declined the offer.

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