Team Romney is seriously courting the women these days, so last night at the RNC, Ann Romney was sent in to pander to us. (They’ve given up on me as a black person, but my ladyparts meant it was still worth a shot.) Ann was on a mission to help Mitt woo us ladies like he wooed her so many years ago. Here’s what she had to say to us on his behalf last night.
And here’s the imaginary conversation I had with her during this sort of first-date-with-Mitt-Romney-by-proxy.
Ann: “I want to talk to you tonight not about politics and not about party. And while there are many important issues we’ll hear discussed in this convention and throughout this campaign, tonight I want to talk to you from my heart about our hearts…Tonight I want to talk to you about love.”
Me: I’m so glad you knew that I didn’t want to talk politics with you, Ann. I totally wanted our conversation to be like a rom-com! Let’s talk about our feelings.
Ann: “I want to talk to you about that love so deep only a mother can fathom it — the love we have for our children and our children’s children.”
Me: Hey, wait, a minute, I thought you were pandering to me! But I don’t have kids and my kids don’t have kids! I’m going to tell myself that you don’t think that I’m not a woman if I don’t have kids, but if you’re pandering to me, you have to talk to me about a love I can fathom!
Ann: “…Or that couple who would like to have another child, but wonder how will they afford it.”
Me: Yes! Or that couple who doesn’t want to have another child, but wonders how they’ll afford birth control! Let’s talk about them too! Wait…why aren’t you talking about them too?
Ann: “And if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It’s how it is, isn’t it? It’s the moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right. It’s the moms of this nation — single, married, widowed — who really hold this country together. We’re the mothers, we’re the wives, we’re the grandmothers, we’re the big sisters, we’re the little sisters, we’re the daughters. You know it’s true, don’t you? You’re the ones who always have to do a little more…I’m not sure if men really understand this, but I don’t think there’s a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better! And that’s fine. We don’t want easy.”
Me: Wait, we don’t want easy? Oh. I mean, I’ll be honest, I kinda did want easy, or at least, you know, not a million times harder than a man’s, but…OK. I’ll join you in accepting women’s shitty lot in life. It appears to have to worked out for you quite nicely. You look lovely tonight. What’s your secret? Oh, a special cream made of wealth and a lot of shutting the fuck up and listening to men and their cherry-picked misogynistic Bible verses? Hmm…do they sell it at Sephora?
Ann: “And the big things — the good jobs, the chance at college, that home you want to buy — just get harder. Everything has become harder.”
Me: I know, right? Like, just a couple weeks ago, I was reading about how it’s so hard to get an abortion in Texas, women are going to Mexico! Outrageous, right?! I’m so glad Mitt wants to make taking control of my reproductive life — which affects getting a good job, a chance at college, etc. — even easier. Oh, well, yeah, he’s hoping to make taking control of my reproductive life even easier for a bunch of dudes I’ve never met and not for me, but…someone’s taking control so I guess that’s good?
Ann: “When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in the way of our life together. I was an Episcopalian. He was a Mormon.”
Me: ROM-COM TIME!!! I’m listening…
Ann: “All at once I’m 22 years old, with a baby and a husband who’s going to business school and law school at the same time, and I can tell you, probably like every other girl who finds herself in a new life far from family and friends, with a new baby and a new husband, that it dawned on me that I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. That was 42 years ago. Now we have five sons and 18 grandchildren and I’m still in love with that boy I met at a high school dance.”
Me: ANN! You gave us the “meet-cute,” you gave us the happy ending…where’s the rest of the movie? What happened in those 42 years?! As someone who finds herself in a new life, far from family and friends, without a new baby but almost with a new husband, please please please tell me how Mitt is going to make this situation easier for me! I need to know how you got from there to 18 grandkids and I need to know how you did it while working outside the home and without nannies and a shit-ton of money, because I have no idea how I’m supposed to pull that off. You owe us a montage here!
Ann: “But I can only stand here tonight, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment: This man will not fail.”
Me: He will not fail at what? It’s not that I think you’re lying, exactly…I just want to be sure we have the same goals. Can you just…clarify that one for me?
Ann: “I LOOOOOVE YOU WOMEN!!!!”
Me: Um…define “women.” And “love.” I just…I feel like there’s an asterisk here or something that I’m missing.
After she gently walked me home like Mitt taught her to, I concluded that she’s nice and all but just not my type; I wouldn’t go on a second date with her or her husband. And not just because she took me to the most expensive restaurant in town, wouldn’t let me order something inexpensive (something about how I’d regret it forever if I didn’t get the steak), and then stuck me with the bill and said “What? You made the choice to come on this date with me and you knew ordering steak was a potential outcome, so now you have to pay for it for the next 18 years”…but because so much of what she said to me made me feel really, really shitty and sad and angry. And I know that’s how she thinks women are supposed to feel, but I just don’t want to feel that way.
How’d you feel about her attempt to court the ladies?