For obvious reasons, last decade saw a deluge of Texans descending onto Capitol Hill in the form of congressional interns, staffers, lobbyists and journalists. Today many of these "expats" are back Lone Star State-side and, impossible to rehabilitate, have since gone to law school, gotten MBAs or continued writing fervently about city and state government to get their intellectual fix.
Like dating a Lit Nerd, romancing a high-strung politico presents unique challenges and rewards. Characterized by huge egos, wild charisma and nearly insurmountable impulse drives, politi-nerds maintain a constant sense of urgency, all the while making us normal people feel as though we are the only person in a room. As a result, one might feel simultaneously swept off one's feet and also gently emotionally swindled. Enjoy the ride as that wild attraction will likely be out of your hands, anyhow.
Politicos love history, rote memorization and debating, and they tend to spend what very little free time they have delineating grandiose futures while blasting through the newest historical biography by David McCullough. Grabbing one's attention may prove a challenge, and there will undoubtedly be a small adjustment period for you to acclimate to the Blackberry on the pillow between you and your partner. Keep in mind that "working late" is not categorically code for "cheating on you," though for every Jackie there are 50 Marilyns.
Likewise, a word of caution for more traditional guys: Should you find yourself dating a powerful female politico, don't be alarmed if a hot lady who can throw down in the courtroom also throws down in other rooms. If you can keep pace, there are several ways to use this tightly-wound nerd's natural inclinations to your advantage. It's time to romance the politico.
1. Blur the Line Between Work and Play Like most any nerd, the politico is driven by an instinctual curiosity and lust for knowledge. While bookstores and libraries are obvious nerdly playgrounds, a wizened romantic knows that a seemingly innocuous trip may, in fact, result in a lost weekend of topic-jumping (and utter boredom, if you're not into it), particularly if copious amounts of coffee are involved. To seal the deal with the nerd you love, understand their sickness. Try catching up your own work life with a work-date during which you tap away at your respective laptops, side-by-side, rarely speaking or making eye contact. Trust us: It's a form of tantra. However, when you do finally get the chance to blow of some steam, do not get caught getting frisky in the stacks at a public library.
2. Rally for Your Love As Slick Rick tip-toes the ledge of a formal announcement of his bid for the 2012 GOP nom, Texas is once again in the national political spotlight. With eyes on national glory, Perry and cohorts will likely spend the majority of their time gallivanting about swing-states, resulting in a relative dearth of rallies back home. Keep a finger on the pulse at local university campuses for the occasional superstar speaker (SMU's 2011-2012 Tate Lecture Series, for example, features James A. Baker and Bill Moyers), and as we near this November and next, expect a visit from the POTUS, himself, down here to revive the youth vote that proved so precious in 2008.
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3. Nerdery Begins at Home For nerds interested in less current historical artifacts, the Hall of State at Fair Park is home to the Dallas Historical Society which houses more than three-million historical documents and offers free monthly brown-bag lunch talks on city and state history. Likewise, the Dallas Central Library boasts one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence. Another obvious local history landmark is the Sixth Floor Museum, and while Dealey Plaza might seem a less-than-romantic date local, as someone who was once taken on a picnic there (and who has the photos to prove it), nerds really do find love in the strangest places.
4. Hail to the Geek While we prefer to shill for Dallas, until the coloring books are finally installed in the George W. Bush Library at SMU, consider a short day trip to one of the nearby presidential libraries for a heaping helping of palatable, if occasionally revisionist, history. The LBJ Library and Museum, George Bush Presidential Library and Museum and William J. Clinton Presidential Library (all part of the National Archives) are each within a day's drive, and for those with even more obscure taste, try the Sam Rayburn Library and Museum in Bonham, Texas. Little known fact: Rayburn, a North Texas native, was the longest-serving Speaker of the House and his funeral in 1961 marked the convergence of serious political power with four US presidents (past, present and future) in attendance. Be aware, though, that everyone up there in Fannin County carries at least one concealed handgun. Cityslickers be out by sundown.
5. Watch it, Nerd Throw a viewing-party in your nerd's honor, screening anything from an actual debate or election night coverage to a marathon of The O'Reilly Factor or The Daily Show. (Bonus points: Purchase all seven seasons of The West Wing on DVD or Blu-ray as a gift for your politico.) There are few things a former politico relishes more than reliving the glory days on the campaign trail, so drink (responsibly) whenever a state officially goes red or blue, or at any point that Glenn Beck cries. Going all the way with some patriotic-colored Jell-O shots is your call, but if you do, be sure to invite us.
Next up, find out how to schmooze a sexy scientist.