Trump's VP pick, Mike Pence, has a wife named Karen. Mrs. Pence developed a product called "THAT'S MY TOWEL!" I was first alerted to this by a piece published in Jezebel--a number of my readers sent me the link--about how Mrs. Pence decided the world problem she needed to fix was the fact that people might mix up towels.
Here's a line from her product's website: "I have had so many times where I was swimming at a friend's beach house, pool, or lake house, using their matching beautiful beach towels. Lo and behold, I would go in the water for a dip or up to the house for a beverage, and when I came back to my towel, it was gone! Someone else had grabbed my towel."
Karen Pence even had an amendment passed to use the space in the governor's residence to produce what are basically wine-glass tags (guess the wine-glass identifiers didn't have a "THIS IS MY IDEA!" charm tag attached) --except they are made to be inserted into the hems of towels--and then attempted, via the Internet and local TV, to sell these.
When her husband was nominated for VP by Trump, the website for THAT'S MY TOWEL! was removed, which makes me wonder whether the Republicans are as pro-business as they claim. (Of course, as my friend Amy said, "Trump doesn't have this problem. Everything he owns has his name on it.")
It can't be easy to be married to a politician. But other women in the political spotlight have chosen their missions: Laura Bush worked on literacy; Lady Bird Johnson worked on making the American landscape beautiful; Michelle Obama works on getting American children to live more healthily.
Karen Pence has spent her time as a governor's spouse putting metal charms (I find the sailboat charms particularly terrifying) on coiled rings towels. That sharp-ish metal objects might put your eye out, scar your cheeks, or tear your nostril off your face as you dry off your face doesn't seem to matter; at least it's your own blood on the towel. (Also, left in the hot sun all day at pools and on beaches, wouldn't these metal object turn into miniature branding irons?)
More to the point, the Pences consider themselves deeply devote Christians. They are highly conservative, evangelical Christians and, in a 2013 interview, Mrs. Pence said "We've always been a team," said Karen Pence. "We've always approached it as a team."
So are we to imagine that this how exemplary Christians behave? Do right-wing Christians mark all their belongings so that nobody else will be able to share?
When Jesus washed the feet of the poor, for example, to prove their significance, worthiness and humanity, did he then mark the towel with a special leprosy-charm?
"I can see it now: Jesus is done washing the feet of the poor," says my friend Julie Nash, who, like me, was raised Catholic "And Jesus reaches behind Him to grab a towel. But Saint Peter quickly admonishes Him, 'Not so fast, Light of the World, oh Holy One, Son of God. Your towel is over there! We're going to have to wait over 2000 years before this problem is solved.'"
Look, it's not about the charms: Any woman who believes, with her husband, that Planned Parenthood must be defunded, that funding against domestic violence should be lowered, that everybody in the LBGT is going straight to hell, that all fetal tissue needs to be ceremonially buried and that wages should be lowered is not a woman who deserves our praise.
The charms are simply an unsubtle reminder that what values are paramount to the GOP: Private ownership, territoriality and guarding the border, even if it's merely a plush terry-cloth border. Also, it is important to remember that other people are probably unclean and can contaminate you.
Her borrowed ideas are simply foolish and ridiculous--and anybody with money can try to sell anything they make (although the world won't pay for what it doesn't want and didn't ask for) so that's fine, but under Pence's Indiana law, a woman or girl cannot abort even a gravely and severely deformed fetus. Karen Pence is apparently in full agreement, given her "we-do-everything-as-a-team" mentality.
And this is where you need to remind me how many orphaned, abandoned adopted disabled orphans the Pence Family has raised alongside their three perfect offspring all these years, in their own home, at their own expense.
Given recent stories about Pence paying his mortgage and car bills out of election funds a few years back, the definition of "their own expense" might be wobbly, but you know what I mean.
I understand Indiana is giving adoptive families a small monetary incentive and that there are "adoptive fairs" in Indiana, but I can't find any information about whether Mike and Karen have adopted disabled children.
Because surely the Pences have themselves raised children with severe spina bifida or severe microcephaly? Surely they've adopted the hopelessly deformed and disabled infants who were the product of violent rape by drug-abusing men on their barely adolescent step-daughters?
Or is it that the GOP is simply not interested in helping human beings once they are past the age where they can pose for sonograms? After they're born, charmless and in poverty, with few resources and little long-term care available, is it just NOT THEIR TOWEL?