23 Jan 10 Honest Questions: The Obama Family
After September 11, there was this weird time period where you didn’t speak to anyone in the tri-state area without asking them, are you okay? Is your family all accounted for? I remember getting back to work relatively quickly after the tragedy. But there was this unspoken rule that you had to address it before getting to the business of business.
That’s kind of how I feel right now about The Obamas. I’m a critic, by nature and by profession. It’s my job to chin-stroke and watch what’s going on in pop culture and report on it.
So when can I keep it real on The Obamas? When can I break fool and tell y’all the randomness that goes through my mind when I see the First Family in the media?
The inauguration was a few days ago. I watched with glassy eyes, clutching TheOtherGirl as she cheered, “Yay, ‘Bama!” everytime she saw the president on the screen.
I felt hopeful. I felt helpful. I felt invigorated. I felt changed.
And now. Well, now can I have the all-clear to keep it real?
Here are the Top 10 things that run through my mind when I see The Obama family:
10. Are Barack and Michelle doing It?
I never thought of George and Laura doing It in the White House. I can’t imagine them doing It at all. [shudder]. But the Bushes have twin daughters who are all grown up. It’s altogether possible that they are in the cuddle-only phase of their marriage. Something tells me they may even have separate bedrooms.
But Michelle and Barack? Well. Look at them. (Is his mouth open in that picture?!) They’re all young and virile. With young children. They’re doing It. Probably regularly. Maybe my mind is in the gutter. But every time I see them at an appearance together, I find myself thinking… Wonder if they’re having sex tonight? Did they do It the night of the inauguration? Don’t you kind of have to do it the first night you’re sleeping in the freaking White House? Or maybe they were so tired from the ten inauguration balls that they feel asleep in their formal wear… Or not. Hmmmm.
9. Is Michelle over it?
On inauguration day, I watched her as they stood behind the barricade, watching the marching bands at the parade. And frankly, she looked pissed about something. And when the cameras showed them walking into The White House to change clothes for the balls, she was clearly annoyed. I don’t know what was running through her mind. But rumor has it, there was an ultra-exclusive after-after-after party at The White House after all the inauguration parties. I hear Michelle greeted the small crowd and then left after five minutes while Barack stayed and had Champagne. Is she over it already?
8. Speaking of being over it, what is Michelle going to do exactly?. The woman is a double Ivy graduate. Is she going to flip it like Jackie O and host parties and breathlessly narrate videos about the different rooms in the White House and who designed them?
God, I hope not. Will she take on a safe cause? Like Nancy Reagan and her Just Say No to drugs campaign. That would make me sad. Is she gonna go hard, Hilary Clinton-style on her own project? That won’t work well either. I want Michelle to have a job. I want to see her leaving the White House every day, dropping the girls off at Sidwell Friends and then dipping down the street to 1875 Pennsylvania Avenue for her high-powered job as a litigator at a white-shoe agency like WilmerHale. Or maybe she could even head up a non-profit. I know it’s unrealistic. But I don’t want Michelle to be a hostess. Malia and Sasha can host the state dinners. That Sasha can charm the pants off any ambassador.
7. Grandma Robinson, Michelle’s mom, will be moving in as well. What is she going to do all day in the White House? She came along to be there for the kids. But they’ll be in school all day. I’ll bet there will be a White House staffer assigned specifically to her. Does she play bid whist? Spades? Does she have to watch The Price is Right or Days of Our Lives? How is that all gonna work exactly? Grandmothers need cozy spots with slipcovered sofas to sit their grandchildren down between their legs and grease and plait their hair on Sunday evenings. Where will this take place in the White House? Also, I’ve never known a grandmother who didn’t play the Pick-It. Who will be the designated Pick-It pickerupper for Grandma?
6. Speaking of plaits and grease. When Obama was on the campaign trail, I noticed that the girls sported an array of braided hairstyles.In one picture, Malia’s braids are decidedly fuzzy.
And there were other pictures that made me think…
I love love love knowing that TheGirl and TheOtherGirl will see two Black girls that look like them for the next four (eight?!) years. But at the inauguration…
Their hair was quite swingy. Call me shallow. But I wanna know. Do The Girls have perms now? Will there be touchups in the White House?! Are they gonna have an in-house stylist who will warn them to stop scratching their scalps a day or two before they get a touch-up? I can’t even imagine…
7. You know it. I know it. We’re not supposed to say it out loud. So I’ll whisper it.
Barack’s still smoking. Isn’t he? Don’t shoot the messenger! Come on now, you know what it is! He just said recently that he quit but often has relapses. I suspect he’ll be relapsing all over the place. Hopefully Laura Bush has shown him where the vintage spittoons are located.
6. We haven’t seen much of Maya Soetoro-Ng, Barack’s half sister. How much of a role will she play in the White House? She’s got a Lisa Bonet vibe going on. Complicated good hair and a touchy-feely, native-American demeanor. Oh, and she’s a practicing Buddhist.
The problem with Maya is the way she pronounces her brother’s name. She says it with a hard CK at the end. She sounds like a German fighter pilot. Bah-RAK. I think they need to keep her at arms length. She doesn’t seem very Obama white-house-y.
5. What are they going to eat? I know they have a whole team of chefs. And I’ve heard that Barack has a sophisticated palate. They do organics. Lots of salmon and brown rice. But is Michelle going to get in the kitchen and cook, ever? What about Grandma? Is she going to make black eyed peas and rice on New Year’s Eve? I need to see the daily menu. Will it be weird if they served fried chicken? I’ll be if they do it’ll be called pheasant. Three items I bet will never be served in the white house. You know what they are, I don’t have to tell you.
Now, number four is a tough one. Just a warning. I often wonder….
4. Is Barack gonna cheat?
Yeah. I said it. I know we’re thinking every word that comes out of his mouth right now is close to Scripture. But he’s still a human with flaws. But he wouldn’t dare. Or would he? At first, I felt pretty confidant that even if Barack felt the urge to creep with a beret wearing intern, he’s got enough sense to know better. But there’s just one problem:
This is Barack’s right hand man. Reggie Love is the cell-phone holder, the secret-keeper, the consigliere, the ace-boon, the point person. When Rahm Emmanuel needs to know where Obama is, he’ll be texting Reggie. When Michelle wants to know where Obama is, she’ll be texting Reggie.
Now, Reggie is 27. And he is as fine as May wine. And there’s a twinkle in his eye that worries me. I can see him now up in the club, talking about, yo my man wants to holla at you….Obama—don’t let this young boy get you in trouble. Cause if you get caught…
3. Will the Obamas fight in the White House? I can’t go two hours without cursing out TheHusband. How does that go down in the private quarters. Will the Secret Service hear them fighting? And how do they fight? I see Michele, in full neck tilt. While Barack sits back in his chair, squinting and dragging on a Newport, silent and relaxed.
“You don’t have anything to say?”
“I’m waiting for you to finish.”
“So what do you have to say?”
Can’t you just see it? Is Michelle the type to really test her man? I’ve been known to get RIGHTUP in a dude’s face, way more raw than I needed to be. And I’ve gotten mushed in the face as a result. Is Barack the face-smushing type? I hope not. But man would I love to see the first White House brawl between those two! Which leads me to the number one question I have about the Obamas…
1.If they do get it really poppin’. I mean, real deal yelling and screaming, how deep will it go? You know what I’m asking. Will either of them ever ever ever use the n-word. Now, I’m going to be brutally honest here. I’ve eradicated the word from my vocabulary. TheGirl doesn’t say it—ever. TheHusband says it rarely and usually when he’s on the phone with his boys. I just completed a novel and during the re-write, I took out the word nigga wherever a character used it. Even though the novel is firmly set in the urban world, taking out the word nigga didn’t affect the dialogue at all. Actually made me work harder to convey what I wanted to say about each character. But the fact remains, sometimes, when the dishes are piled up to the ceiling and every sweatshirt TheHusband owns is piled on the banister and every pair of jeans he owns is in a Jenga pile on the radiator, I find myself shaking my head, muttering under my breath and saying, in a very small voice: dis nigga.
Will that ever come out of Michelle’s mouth? Will it ever come out of her head as a thought bubble? Time will tell. It should all be very interesting.
Now don’t flame me to bits for saying how I feel about the First Family. I’m sure they’ll be great and wonderful and classy and all of that. But still, they’re folk. And we know how folk can do. I’ll be glued to the screen.
How do you think The Obamas will bring the Black experience to the world? In what large or small ways do you think a Black presidency will trickle down and affect us all? What will non-Blacks learn about Black folks in the next few years? I’d love to hear your thoughts on my Top 10. If you’re feeling frisky, leave your own 10 questions that cross your mind about the Obama family. The stuff you’d never say out loud or in mix company, though you think it either way. The best commenter on this post gets the ULTIMATE Obama gift.
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