The barrage of political ads began shortly after the July 4th holiday in my neck of the woods—or at least it seemed that way. In reality, the first commercial aired in early September during a news broadcast, a time when my husband normally would take full advantage of a droning voice to take a nap he later would deny taking.
As the candidate romped in a park with his family and dog, kissed babies, happily shook hands with his constituents, and bravely posed for a close-up that demonstrated obvious excellent dental hygiene, my husband’s eyes popped open. He watched attentively for approximately six seconds of the thirty-second advertisement before his face turned red and he spurted at the screen, “That’s a bunch of malarkey!”
“He can’t hear you,” I gently reminded my husband as I pushed the mute button on the remote and silenced the candidate’s voice—at least for the next 24 seconds. But there was no stopping my husband at this point. He, the one who earned a degree in Political Science in college, obviously needed to make several points to anyone who would listen. The dog quickly ran to her crate. The kids scattered to their rooms. I mumbled a flimsy excuse that I had to wash my hair.
Five minutes later, I returned to the living room where I found my husband in the same position on the couch, intently watching yet another political ad. As the candidate smiled broadly for the camera, my husband, right on cue, shouted, “Give it up, Paul Politician!”
Things went on like this for weeks until one night late in September when I did something absolutely unthinkable. I turned off the television, right in the middle of a lengthy political ad for a candidate claiming to have performed at least two acts of heroism in the last year. My husband, who looked shocked, quickly swallowed the drawn-out explanation of several policies on the candidate’s agenda he had been ready to spew at any minute. We stared at each other like two political candidates ready to debate on a stage in front of a national television audience. I was prepared to take a stand on one important issue: my sanity. “I like silence,” I said, “and I already know who has my vote.”
After a moment of silence, my husband took a stand on one important issue as well: keeping me happy. “Me too,” he said as he stood up from the couch. “Let’s take the dog for a walk and watch the sunset together.”
And that is the story of how political ads saved my marriage. I am Vicky DeCoster and I approved this message.
P.S. Holiday ads start tomorrow.