Last night, all of the Black women in America and I went to see Michelle Obama at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn. (Don’t try to fact check me on that. We were all there. I took a headcount.)
As we all know, Obama has been living her best life since chucking deuces to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. On top of securing the bag with her man by way of multi-million dollar book and production deals, she’s also been selling out arenas across the country like she’s an early 2000’s rapper. Life is good.
Obama decided to bless us mere mortals in New York with her shining presence on the last stop of her sold out Becoming book tour. (By the way, when I say “shining presence,” I mean that quite literally. Look. At. Her.)
Our Forever First Lady sat down with Sarah Jessica Parker for an “intimate” chat with a few thousand folks. Parker is best known for playing Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City. It could be argued that she single-handedly inspired legions of women to move to New York City in hopes of writing their way into a closet full of Manolos. Unfortunately for those impressionable young women, Sex and the City was built on a bed of designer lies. Kids, I promise you that writing a weekly column in one little ol’ newspaper will not cover NYC rent in any habitable location. (Plus, Cosmos are too sweet and overrated.) There is no real life version of Carrie Bradshaw. She represents an impossible aspiration.
But the seemingly improbable story of how Michelle Obama started out in life as a little Black girl from a working class Southside Chicago neighborhood and became an internationally beloved powerhouse? That is an inspirational tale that has the benefit of being true. Small children and grown folks alike have become enraptured in Obama’s charm, wit, intelligence, and warmth.
The candor that Obama displays in her memoir and on her book tour is refreshing. She is still the regal, polite, woman we have come to know and love over the past 10 years, but she now has the space to take off that mask of perfection and be more Michelle than THEE Michelle Obama.
Below are a few choice gems from our dear Michelle Obama:
Former First Lady Freedom
“Now that we’re out of that arena and we’re normal people, now I can share. These are all the things I was thinking. I don’t have to worry about how things are turned into something political. It’s all real and honest in a way that I’ve never done as First Lady. I felt a responsibility to the President of the United States. While I was married to Barack, I felt that my job was to support the Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America. My job was to lift him up. It was his administration. It was about his decisions. It wasn’t my call. But now? Protocol has gone out the window, sometimes a little too much. A curse word might come out.”
Operating in Complete Perfection
“Barack and I spent eight years trying to operate in complete perfection because we didn’t feel like we had a margin of error. Our entire staff had to perform at that level. We were used to it. Often times when you’re the first or the only, the bar shifts a lot. It’s always shifting and moving. You exceed it and they move the bar. And we’re watching that right now. The bar is just swinging. It’s a totally new bar — never seen this bar before, ever. But when were in office, our bar was very different — not getting indicted, and telling the truth.”
The Reality of Her #RelationshipGoals Marriage
“Marriage is a difficult thing, even the best of marriages requires work. Because my mother shared that with me, I felt it was important to share that truth with other young couples who look to me and Barack with those #relationshipgoals hashtags. We’re good. I love my husband and we have a wonderful marriage and it’s stronger now than ever before. It gets stronger with every mountain we climb together and with every success. That’s what makes a marriage. That love at first sight stuff feels nice, but it’s the struggle. If you’re young and going through it and you have those little bumps, too many young people quit or think that it’s broken because nobody ever told them that this is what marriage is. This is how it works.”
Needless to say, when Obama ramps her book tour back up in 2019, be sure to grab your tickets and soak up a bit of this woman’s wisdom.