Dear Ann Romney,
First, I apologize for not filing this report sooner. I’ve been quite self-absorbed with selling my house, packing, and getting rid of far too many possessions in preparation for our big move. Since we don’t have “people” to accomplish these tasks, I’m afraid letters like these get left undone.
Ann, on July 22, 2012, I extended to you a formal invitation to this year’s *TLC Rendezvous, which had you accepted, would have been dubbed the Rich Bitch Intervention of 2012. Prompted by your blue-blood blunder “you people”, I thought it in your best interest to spend some time with real women in a place fairly scant of your husband’s ilk. Or as Norman Maclean put it, “The world is full of bastards, the number increasing rapidly the further one gets from Missoula, Montana.” Unfortunately, you did not RSVP and traveled instead to London and Israel for a foreign fundraiser. And what bastards you surrounded yourself at that fundraiser! (Sheldon Adelson, whose ass cheeks are still tattooed with Newt Gingrich’s lip prints…gag me with a superfund check. But we’ll get to that in a bit.) I thought I’d report on what you missed. Moreover, this follow-up should clarify the types of activities you would encounter should you reconsider next year once the campaign is over and your defeated husband is off sunning his assets in the Caymans. I trust this description will pique your interest in future rendezvous.
Had you traveled with me to the Big Sky, you’d have hauled your prissy pooter out of bed early to catch a 5:20 ferry and hit the long stretch from Seattle to Missoula. It’s a drive I’ve done probably a hundred times in my life, so you’d have ridden with an expert. I was crabby as hell that morning, some might even characterize my mood as uber-bitchy. In my defense, it seems the night before traveling anywhere I’m always rushing. And, Ann, having no bowed-headed minions tailing me to attend my every whim, like many “you people” women, I tend to punctuate the packing excitement of any trip with a few “shits” and “fucks.” I’m no longer a low-maintenance traveler.
(“Okay, scarves and leather purses I’m taking to Taryn and Lucille are packed. Shorts, shirts, underwear…medications, shit. I don’t have one of my emergency migraine medications. Fuck. I forgot to go back to the pharmacy today to see if it got renewed! What if I get a migraine when I’m there?”)
And even though my husband and daughter had puzzle-pieced nicely into the truck my daughter’s college provisions and my mom’s bedroom set to be kept at Taryn’s house, I didn’t get to bed early enough to rise with a human personality. So had you been with me that morning, Ann, you’d have spent about fifteen frantic minutes racing for the ferry with a coffeeless Honey Badger/Ann Coulter spawn. Once I made the ferry and felt the Zen come-hither draw of Missoula, that nasty bitch left my body. A good play list, a cup of Starbucks, and Mary fucking Poppins was back and heading for her beloved Zoo Town.
Now, Ann, I realize you don’t have those moments. That serene political-wife smile you’ve got permanently pasted on your face has to be the result of Botox injections juiced up with some Wellbutrin, a few horse painkillers, and Metamucil chasers. I’m thinking your supplier is no doubt a Beverly LaHaye acolyte in Concerned Women for America. Whooo howdie! Those girls sure know how to throw a party. And don’t they just give out the best goodies in their convention swag bags? Who wouldn’t look like a Fox news anchor on nitrous?
Of course, at the TLC Rendezvous, we partied a bit as well. Oh, sure. Not like we once did. But I can still make a blender purr with just the right eye-balled blend of tequila, limeade, triple sec, ice, and lime. And to try to describe the guacamole that Lucille made this year with mere words would be like trying to describe the best sex you’ve ever had without using verbs, adjectives, or your hands. (Well, perhaps in your case it’s possible…sorry, I just don’t envision Mittens as a wild man.)
Ann, you’re probably thinking “But what do you talk about at the TLC? What do you do?” Well, here are some conversation snippets. While lacking context these samples should apprise you of the level of discourse expected of TLC participants.
“The kids have been great about bringing me bags of peas for my breasts.”
“They (the breasts) look great.”
“Yeah, they’re so high up.”
“Gravity…isn’t there some anti-gravity pill out there yet?”
“But I’m not out of the woods. Speaking of the woods…a friend of mine introduced me to a woman who wrote a book about shitting in the woods.”
“There’s a niche market.”
“She needs a model for a blog article she’s writing. So tomorrow we’re going to go meet her and take pictures. No bare ass or anything…”
“Finally, a modeling career! I always knew you’d eventually get discovered!”
“Oh this I wouldn’t miss.”
“So she’s going to photograph you in crap mode?”
“No, no, it will all be very discrete and tasteful.”
“Well, obviously.” (More howls.)
“It’s my legs mostly.”
“What a waste. You just got new boobs.”
“So have either of you read 50 Shades of Grey?”
“I heard it was shitty writing, so I proudly refused to read it.”
“It is shitting writing. Really shitting writing. (pause) I’m on the second book.” (laughter)
“I’m in the middle of the first book. Phew. I’m getting hot just thinking about it.”
“And I thought I was being so good not reading it because it was bad writing.”
“Yeah, and you’re the slut puppy of the crowd.”
“So I need to download it?”
“Yeah, that way nobody knows what you’re reading. Kindles are like brown paper bags.”
“Oh, you should. I mean, I can’t believe you hadn’t already. You read everything.”
“I do sort of have some issues with the idea that a young woman is going to try to change some guy—try to save him from himself. By submitting to him. Like that always works. Oops! Spoiler alert. I don’t know. Anyway…the books are fairly tedious with some good sex scenes throughout. The second book at least starts to develop the characters a bit.”
“Can you believe how much money she’s making from these?”
“Why didn’t we think of that?”
“Well…I’ve never been in a red room. You gotta write what you know.”
“Okay…you’re selling me.”
“Just read them for the sex. Don’t expect literature.”
“It’s all about cultural literacy.”
Of course we do talk about serious things. About breast cancer and again having hair and raising money for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. About holding politicians to their word on funding cancer research and preventive screens under Title X funding. We talk about daughters, Oh God, our immeasurably funny and inestimable daughters. We talk about the silly logistics of moving and selling houses and the clutter of “stuff”. We talk warily about the worry we feel when we see one of us reenter a relationship that’s caused pain. We ponder the conundrum of gay Republicans. We take in the summer aroma of the Bitterroot Valley and talk about all of the memories that combination of smells brings back. I say I never want to see my parents’ property again on Bear Creek because it wouldn’t have them on it. We talk about memorabilia as I go through the last boxes of my parents’ things I’d saved, Dad’s dog tags from WWII, a story about a cowboy my mom wrote in 1954, a bookmark I’d made for my mom that was a horse I’d drawn. We tell each other how putting your hands in your mother’s baby shoes fills your heart just knowing her little feet were in those tiny shoes. We share that we are worried when one of us doesn’t feel well. We talk about how much we miss one another when we’re apart.
So Ann, while you smiled and chatted with Piers Morgan, while you and Mitt kowtowed to American Christian Zionists and the small fraction of American Jews who’d vote Republican just because you schmoozed that right-wing Likud kingpin Binyamin Netanyahu, we were watching thunderstorms over the Bitterroots. While Mitt crassly tossed out the word “culture” with as much thought to consequence as tossing change to doormen at the King David Hotel, we at TLC were learning from an expert the best way to pee outdoors without splattering our shoes. While you and your hubby hid from the press and let that sleeze ball Sheldon Adelson run his proverbial hand up and down your political thigh, likely dirty from bribing Chinese officials in Macau, we were sitting along the Clark Fork listening to the Young Dubliners play in Caras Park on a perfect Missoula summer evening. (See Juan Cole Ten Most Distasteful Things about Romney Trip to Israel)
Would this short experience have caused you to peel off that thousand dollar Reed Krakoff Audubon Silk Shirt and don a University of Montana Grizzly t-shirt instead? Likely not. But hopefully it would have given you some more insight into the “you people” who seem to be about as far from you as your husband’s business practices are from true Christian ethics.
Ahhh….but now you’ve got Paul Ryan on the ticket. Is your campaign bus nothing but mirrors inside? One can only imagine. But that’s for another letter.
Keep us “you people” in your thoughts and prayers as I’m sure you always really do. And, there’s always next summer. You’ll have plenty of time on your hands.
C in the TLC
P.S. If you, too, would like to learn how to better ‘do the deed in the woods’ with all the confidence of a Papal bear, you really do need to pick up Kathleen Meyer’s book How to Shit in the Woods. Kathleen is funny not only in person, but on paper, and this book helps save our back country while making the reader laugh at every page turn. Oh how I love funny women, and I’m so glad I got to meet this one! If you’ve got somebody heading out on a backpacking trip…this is a great gift!