Debbie Democrat and Ronnie Republican sat together on the couch in the counsellor’s office. They were both a bit nervous but were smiling.
“So, what brings you here today?” the gray-haired chubby man asked. His bushy eyebrows danced above and between his profuse ear hair.
Debbie offered, “We want to adopt a baby and the agency suggested we have your counsel, given our um, unique situation.”
The eyebrows danced again. “Unique?”
Ron rolled his eyes, but Debbie smiled. “They ask on the application forms for party affiliation now, you know, since our times can be so bitter. And it turns out we are, um, different.”
Here the eyebrows dived. “And just how are you two different, party wise?”
Ron smiled but his voice was biting. “Can’t you see, doc? I’m a Republican, and she’s a Democrat! It’s obvious to our friends.”
His eyebrows furrowed deeper, and he let out a long sigh. “And you want to bring a child into this tortured environment? Most the couples I meet with your problem are wanting a divorce.”
Ron snorted. “See Deb, I told you what he’d say.” Debbie smiled and laughed. Ron now sneered, “You snobs are all the same.”
Here the eyebrows shot up and his chubby cheeks flushed.
Debbie giggled and said softly to the counsellor “Don’t let him get to you. He tries to get everybody mad. That’s just his way.” She shot a hand over and squeezed Ronnie’s forearm. “We don’t know if he’s a snob, Ron.”
“Hell, I can see he’s a snob by those diplomas he’s got hangin’ there.”
The counsellor sat up straight. “I’ll let you know I attended-“
Debbie cut him off. “Ron is a journeyman plumber, and he would be a wonderful father. He can poke you buttons though if you let him.”
The eyebrows softened and he settled down again into his well cushioned chair. He took a breath and asked Deb, “And what do you do?”
“I work at the Public Radio station.”
The counsellor nodded and jotted a note. The eyebrows shot up and he looked at them both squarely. “Don’t you have arguments?”
Here Debbie flushed and Ron rolled the eyes again. “Of course we do. He doesn’t rinse the dishes before he puts them in the dishwasher and it dries me crazy. But what couple doesn’t?”
“I mean about politics. How can you share the same home?”
Ron took a deep breath. Debbie looked down at her hands. Ron started. “It’s like this doc. I know I’m right. And she thinks she’s right. And we talk about things, but we know, in the end we want to make a good home.”
Debbie added. “We understand that our differences aren’t as important as our love for our home and our marriage.”
The counsellor leaned forward. “Don’t you argue over the last election? Stolen? Insurrection? Voter fraud? Authoritarianism?”
Ron whirled over to Deb. “See, I told you, this jerk was just going to try to get us fighting!”
Debbie laughed. “Yeah, you did say that. Maybe he is.” And she turned to the counsellor with a twinkle. “You wouldn’t want to do that now would you?” The counsellor thought she might have winked at him.
Eyebrows cleared his throat. “It is critical that you both understand the enormous obstacles your child, should you proceed with this adoption, will face. We live in times where trust is broken, where the political parties are almost at war with each other. How can a child thrive in such an environment?”
Ron threw his head back and exhaled, like he did when the other guy made a tough shot on the eight ball. Debbie winced and her smile dropped to a straight line.
“Of course we know that doc. We don’t need you tellin’ us that.” Then he reached his hand out and touched Deb’s arm. “But this woman will be the best momma in the world.”