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October 25, 2006

Note to Elizabeth Edwards

Anaedwards I found out about our meeting with Elizabeth Edwards at 11PM the night before, so I barely had time to read up on the reviews of her new book, Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Neighbors, let alone buy it.  But like everyone else who attended, I did not want to pass up the opportunity to meet her.  And probably like everyone else, I was a little excited, a little nervous about what to say, and a little unsure about what to wear.

I had no idea what to dress for -- press conference?  roundtable discussion?  celebrity book signing?  To be safe, I planned on the conservative business casual look.  Unfortunately, I've been out of the workplace for over 3 years, so I no longer have the outfits to pull off this look.  I changed my outfit 3 times -- I would have changed a fourth time -- but time constraints forced me to settle on the "frumpy congressional staff member" look.  To my dismay, when we got to San Francisco, it seemed like all the ladies but me were doing the chic San Francisco mommy look.  Then Elizabeth Edwards walked into the room.  She was dressed casually, looking elegant yet comfortable in a lovely blue twinset.  I felt like Ugly Betty in a roomful of Vanessa Williamses.

With my confidence already shaken, my turn came to introduce myself, and I got a bad case of the nerves.  I was so afraid I would say something stupid after all the brilliant introductions that came before me.  So I blathered something about how blogging helps me cope with toilet training my kids.  I really enjoyed the interchanges that followed, but in retrospect I do wish that I had participated more.  After all, how often does one get the opportunity to air an opinion or ask a question to someone who actually might be able to do something about it?  Fortunately, Elizabeth Edwards actually does read blogs, so I hope it's not too late for me to correct that.

Elizabeth (can I call you that?), I'm sorry I didn't have the courage to speak up and talk to you more.  Here are some of the things I wish I could have said to you:

I'm so sorry I haven't gotten a chance to read your book yet, but after reading the reviews at Amazon, after listening to my fellow blog-hers rave about it, and especially after meeting you, I am dying to read it.  There is a 3-month waiting list for your book at our local library, so I am headed to Borders the next chance I get.

Even though I felt like a gawky teenager in front of you, you certainly didn't treat me like one.  The twinkle in your eye and the warmth of your smile were so genuine!  You felt like everyone's mentor and sister.  I would have loved to sit with you over a cup of tea and talked to you for hours. 

You changed your last name to your husband's in 1996.  I've kept my maiden name for the last 6 years but often feel pressured to change it, both for social and convenience factors.  Did you do it for your husband's campaign?  Did you ever resent having to make any choices you felt were necessary to support your husband's campaign?

Does your daughter Cate have a blog or an account on MySpace?  If she does, do you have any concerns about her privacy and safety?  She is an adult now, of course, but in earlier years how did you handle the issue of protecting her privacy online?  (Having two younger children, you must still have many concerns about this).  What sort of legislation do you think is appropriate to protect the rights of minors on the internet?

Which blogs do you read?  Which ones do you like the best? 

Speaking of blogs, please keep reading our blog and other moms' blogs.  We've got a lot to say, some of it funny, some of it trivial, but once in a while someone blogs about something that really matters to moms everywhere.  It is comforting to think that you are out there reading it and have the power to make our voice heard.

Thank you for talking to us.  Thank you for not rushing us out when we ran a little bit over our scheduled time limit.  Thank you for posing and signing for us (my husband treasures the little note you wrote for him!), without once making anyone feel like you were doing us a big favor.  Thank you for including us in your own "satellite sisterhood".  I hope that meeting us has also added a little bit to the solace and strength that you find everywhere you go.

I would be honored to have you as our next First Lady.


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