Mc Sweeney, I wish I could quit you...

I submitted this to McSweeney's last night.  Once again, I got the same "we're not going to use this, but thanks".  This time he added "I hope she gets this letter some day".  Thanks?  Anyway, one man's trash is another woman's blog post (two changes - added the asterisk and the captioned photo).  So here you go.

Dear Ex-Mayor Barry Megan,

Can I call you Megan?  Now that you’re a civilian and all…

So, here’s the thing.  I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am that you felt compelled to resign as Mayor of Nashville.   You were our first female Mayor – it wasn’t supposed to go down like this.   Is it too soon for a “going down” joke?  Yeah, probably.   You were supposed to go on to be either a Senator or Governor, end up in some Administration’s cabinet, and from there, why not President?  And I would get to say, “I met her once at a volunteer playground build, and she was a lovely woman – totally normal.”

And that’s the thing: you are totally normal.  When people get into a position of power, they tend to abuse it in some way.    Most of our Presidents have done it, Senators, Congressmen, Clergy, CEOs of public companies do it all the time!  And while no two people abuse their power exactly alike, it happens.  I believe it to be one of the perks, because with power, comes a steady diet of shit sandwiches.  You lose your privacy, you lose sleep, you lose perspective, and then ultimately, you lose your mind.  QED.

Now, the adultery thing is none of my damn business.  Again - it happens all the time.  Songs have been written, movies made, poems penned because sometimes, you feel the need to do something really wrong, because it feels (in every sense of the word) so right.  Not right in the sense of justice, or propriety or ethics – but right in that it’s what you need in your life at that time.   I couldn’t/wouldn’t personally do it because a) I’m sure I’d get caught, b) It’s never come up as an option and c) I feel guilty even having this conversation*.  But again – power is intoxicating.  It’s like Drakkar Noir circa 1992 – there’s just something about it, and even if you know nothing good can come from it, you’re all in.

I’m not going to get all preachy on you – the rest of the city can do that.  And they probably will.  Me, I figure that’s between you and the affected parties.  Y’all sort that out, and I hope it works out well for you all.  If you need a good therapist, let me know.  I have one who is good with life transitions, and he’s non-pastoral (do you know how hard that was to find in this town?).  But don’t beat yourself up over the sex thing.  Or the nude pictures thing.  I know plenty of people check out Tinder, Grindr, et al. while on the clock, and there’s all kinds of skin on those sites.

The money thing…well, crap. Again, you’re not the first person to do it.  I actually don’t mind the $60K or so your lover/bodyguard received in overtime pay.  I think cops are underpaid.  It’s a shame you can’t hook up with a few deserving elementary school teachers, or transit drivers, or public works folks.  Because they sure could use a little cash to line their pockets.   The kind of money up for discussion here is a drop in the ocean.  And yeah, felony, probation, restitution blah, blah, blah.  You’ll get through all that. 

None of that makes me mad.  I’m not mad that you brought a soccer team to my part of town that will in all likelihood create a ton of traffic.  I don’t care that you gave tax cuts to companies wanting to do business here, creating a ton of traffic.  I don’t care that you weren’t able to get a transit system into place to alleviate some of the traffic.  Look, I’m from Atlanta, so the traffic is a huge thing for me.

No, what bothers me is that I think you were treated differently than if you were a man had done all the same things.   I mean, look at The White House.  You’ve got President Pussy Grabber who has done so many horrible, shady things, all without comeuppance. Closer to home, Scott Desjarlais gets re-elected on the regular.  You can’t go a day without hearing about another man in a position of status who hit on an underage kid, or had affairs, or made sketchy business deals, or sent one too many dick pics.  They’re roaming freely, and I’m pretty sure once you’ve gone that far, you have no real reason to come back.   I’m not saying what you did was OK.  It wasn’t great.  But why are you the one to fall on your sword?   Because you’re a woman, and as such, you aren’t entitled to enjoy your power.  Most people would prefer you apologize for it.

And I think a lot of folks, male folks to be specific, are relieved they can use you as a distraction from all trouble they’ve been in since… well, since forever (but we only recently got the hashtags).  “See, women can screw up, too!”.  And that’s true.   

So, you know Megan, hang in there.  You did something far more difficult and honorable than your male peers.   And your mug shot was fabulous.  

I mean, they make a cute couple, right?

And even if this is the end of your political career, it was fun while it lasted. 

If you ever want to go get pedicures, I have this place I love in Green Hills.  My treat.

Still a fan,
Allison Everett

*I do not condone adultery, and I have no plans to try it, but what's done is done with her and her honey.


Christopher said…
The whole thing makes me really sad, but somehow you managed to make me laugh a little about it. And then I got to the male privilege part and I was reminded that Mayor Barry did what many men in the same position would do if they had any integrity, but they don't. She's leading by example, but I'll be surprised if any men follow her. You know the saying: behind every great woman is a man, and behind every great woman is some guy staring at her ass.
Anyway I suspect this was too local for McSweeney's. I remember when the Nashville Scene would publish pieces like this.