Three years ago, inspired by an article in the New York Times Magazine, we wrote a post about how we found the First Marriage both inspiring and a little chastening — let’s see you be President or First Lady and still rock hot monogamy like that. The marriage is also a little terrifying — how would we ever recover from an Obama divorce? We’d lose faith in the very institution of marriage! Three years on, despite being occasionally a little disappointed in Obama, we continue to be wowed by the First Marriage. Here’s a reminder of why. Please, Mr. and Mrs. Obama, hang in there, for us.
1. They don’t think it’s dorky to arrange date nights. (Since when did it become uncool to use the term “date night,” anyway? We’re standing by it proudly.) Speaking of date nights, he once upgraded dinner-and-a-movie to dinner-and-a-Broadway-show, which would be torture for most straight guys we know. And yes, we know that he had to skip their wedding anniversary for a Presidential Debate, but that’s not exactly deadbeat husband material (see #10 below) — and we’d bet on the fact that he rocked it the next night.
2. When they dance they still look as in love as if it were the first dance at their wedding — except that it’s newly-wed bliss mixed with the kind of wise, knowing, deep love that you get — if you’re truly lucky — after seventeen years of marriage and two kids.
3. Which is not to say that they’re above a little buddy-buddy fist-bumping.
4. They work out together and took up tennis together after moving into the White House. “He wins,” she said. “For now,” he added. Which we’re convinced improves their sex life. Whatever it is, you can tell they’re still hot for each other.
5. Also, they play Scrabble together.
6. During the the Group of 20 Summit in Pittsburgh, according to the Times article, “as they waited to greet a long, slow procession of foreign dignitaries and their spouses … the first lady whispered in her husband’s ear about things ‘that I probably shouldn’t repeat,’ he said.” Oh man, we so badly want to believe that was dirty talk! You know what? We’re just going to pretend it was.
7. They’re not afraid of a little PDA. Apparently friends visiting the White House will often turn a corner to find them mid-embrace. And they’re always kissing, touching, and flirting and public. Fortunately, theirs is not the kind of PDA that gives you the awkward heebie-jeebies (yes, we’re talking to you, the former Mr. & Mrs Gore).
8. They don’t try to act like their marriage is perfect — they openly admit to going through really tough times. The image of a flawless relationship is “the last thing that we want to project,” the first lady says. “It’s unfair to the institution of marriage, and it’s unfair for young people who are trying to build something, to project this perfection that doesn’t exist.” Someone give this woman an advice column!
9. They fell in love not just because they’re both smart and funny and ridiculously good-looking but because they get equally worked up about social injustice.
10. Finally, they understand that equality in a relationship doesn’t have to be calibrated on a second-by-second basis when you’re in it for the long haul together — equality might be measured over a period of years or even decades. Meaning, he may be President of the U.S.A. right now (there’s that Presidential Debate on their anniversary again!) but that title is neither permanent nor applicable at the breakfast table (or, we have a feeling, in the bedroom). Swoon.
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