Mike Pence doesn’t dine with or spend time with women one on one unless his wife is present, or probably really talk to them even, or probably talk to any women at all. Although this at first sounds challenging — what happens if he and Ivanka were both waiting for an elevator? Does he stiffly announce he’ll take the next one? —to be honest, this is probably for the best. There’s nothing Mike Pence could really have to say to women, and nothing he should be heard saying. This is a good first step, Mike Pence not talking to women, but let’s not limit ourselves. Mike Pence shouldn’t talk to anyone, ever.
At family dinners — like that one at Chili’s — the reliable, stolid silence of a patriarch. At church, a solemn, pious silence, although he can still sway to the hymns if he wants to. At state affairs, an expansive silence and thoughtful expression, maybe, if it’s not too expressive an expression. If that makes him or others uncomfortable, that’s okay; he can sit this one out, and also every other one out. There are other things for him to work on. Silently filing tax returns and executive order memos and those reminders the vet sends about getting rabies vaccines. Silently following up with the contractor about winterizing the house and repaving the driveway in spring. Silently cleaning out Marlon Bundo’s rabbit hutch — Marlon Bundo who, even with his soft little bunny chirrups and teeth-grinding noises, still talks more than Mike Pence, who doesn’t talk to anyone, ever. Mike Pence can silently wonder, alone in his house, if anything has somehow gotten kicked under the oven over the years he’s lived there, and then pull the oven out from the wall to check.
Eventually, we can all agree that while it’s been okay to have Mike Pence be seen and not heard, maybe he shouldn’t be seen, either, and he can live apart from us in a soundproof cave. Just in case, in a moment of impropriety, or a moment of temptation like he’s always feared, Mike Pence fucks up and says something out loud. There’s no reason to risk an indiscretion! Mike Pence lives the rest of his days not speaking to anyone, ever, not even himself. Could he even do that if he wanted to, at this point? He’s not sure. After a while Mike Pence is no longer sure his name is Mike Pence at all, or what it might be instead, and spends a lot of time worrying that he might remember it wrong in the event that he ever does speak to another human being, which he never will. He is grateful to have been removed from the looming temptation of interacting with women in an indecorous way, even though he is no longer sure what that would really constitute, as it’s been so long since he communicated with another person regardless of the degree of decorousness. It’s immaterial to the rest of us, because Mike Pence’s personal views on interacting with people of various and sundry genders is no longer a matter of public interest, as he is no longer really a functional federal government official and also, more to the point, has shut up forever. Shhhhh, Mike. Shhh.