So I’ll admit that I was super torn when trying to figure out who I viewed as “the most influential woman”, there are SO MANY! I went through the list of my personal favorite influential women: Ellen Degeneres, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, and so on and so forth. I could not pick. So, instead, I went the other route and went with one of the most influential women who stands on the opposite side of my moral fence: Sarah Palin.
Before you get all shocked and gaspy, hear me out. While having lunch with Ellen Degeneres would be superb, I think we would agree on quite a lot of things. I think the same might be said for bell hooks. With Palin, I could find myself disagreeing on quite a few levels with this woman. I think our conversation would be full of heated arguments and debate (heated but civil, well, hopefully).
Also, if I had lunch at her house in Alaska, I would be killing two birds with one stone: meeting and arguing with Sarah Palin, and seeing Alaska for the first time (not to mention seeing Russia from her backyard).
For lunch, we would probably have some kind of meat and potatoes dish, she sort of seems like a person who would think that a meal isn’t a meal unless there’s meat in it. I can relate to that, my family is the same way. I guess I’d eat the potatoes. Then we would go check out her massive gun collection. I would ooh and aah at all the glossy weaponry, and probably get a little nervous seeing so much ammo in one place. Then I would suggest some tea, mainly to calm my own nerves after seeing so many guns, and also to be polite – who doesn’t like tea?! Well, maybe Sarah Palin doesn’t, I could imagine her saying something to the extent of “It tastes like warm water”. “That’s fair” I would say, “my fiance’s mother feels the same way”. Then she would ask me about my fiance, and I would say “Oh she’s wonderful, and her name is Sarah too!” and then she’d probably feel all awkward about having a gay person in her house, but who knows, maybe she’s only politically homophobic. I would tell her how I met my fiance and go on about what my dream wedding looks like, and find some amusement in the awkward polite smile and nod from her. Then I’d ask her how she met her husband, what her wedding was like, if she’d do anything differently. At some point during this discussion, we’d probably get into an argument about the meaning of marriage, and separation of church and state, and my snarky little heart would beat wildly at the fact that I was arguing with one of the nation’s most well known (former) Republican VP candidates.
Eventually we would agree to disagree, and in my head I would be thinking “Doesn’t matter, I’m gonna get married anyways, like it or not” but I wouldn’t say it out loud, because trying to “win” that argument with her would be a waste of time.
I’d ask her where she grew up, what her parents were like, what she was like as a kid and as a teenager. I would probably end our visit by sharing some of our favorite childhood memories, maybe asking some trivial questions like “are you a dog person or a cat person?” and saying something like “Yeah, I still despise your politics and deeply disagree with your beliefs, but thanks for the potatoes and having tea with me!” I would shake her hand and head back to my apartment in MN where I would tell my fiance all about the guns and the meat and potatoes and the crazy arguments and memories shared.
I would hope that despite the vastly different beliefs and politics, I would be able to cherish the fact that two people can always connect on some common ground, be it childhood memories, or stories of dream weddings. Is this fantasy lunch date a tad idealistic? No, it’s completely idealistic, and would probably not go nearly so peacefully or enjoyably, but hey, dare to dream.