And by date I really just mean 20-30 seconds. Last week I, along with two other friends, managed to score admission into the First Lady’s signing for her first book about gardens. We were escorted to the top floor of the bookstore where the press lay in wait like a herd of mildly hungry jackals. Unfortunately all phones, cameras, purses, lip balm etc were confiscated by Secret Service the second we walked into the bookstore (Read: I have no personal images of the event) leaving us to meet her with chapped lips. (The indignity of it all.)
I was a bit disappointed to discover 85 percent of the crowd dressed as if they were at Six Flags not a meet and greet with the President’s wife. Where were the bold prints? The Statement jewelry? The tailored pants? The Americana flag sundresses? This is the most stylish FLOTUS we’ve had since Jackie O. Why were people in dirty Keds and rumpled polyester shirts? It was a Monday morning for crying out loud. Come on America, we’ve got to do better. This whole dressing for comfort thing is becoming a bit out-of-hand. Next thing you know all 50 states will be trapped in one giant pair of Hanes stretch-waist sweatpants and no one will be able to get out. And Russia, China and India will laugh at us and high-five the downfall of America.
Finally she floated in through an aisle of books in a little a J. Crew pencil skirt and the crowd came alive. She made a speech, took her place at a painfully over-styled table with a Gilligan’s Island gingham meets Little House on the Prairie theme and began signing books and charismatically receiving visitors. People happily marched up to her table with perfectly rehearsed, passionate speeches that ranged from topics such as honor, respect, Johnny’s midterm report and so forth. The lady ahead of us (who had been quite jovial in line) walked up to the table. An air of somberness fell over her and she whispered: “Michelle…. I have cancer.” We all silently gasped and watched FLOTUS without blinking. What would she do? How would she address this woman’s raw pain? Would she reference Obamacare? How did this relate to a gardening book? FLOTUS never missed a beat. She comforted the lady, told her about a friend that was going through the same challenge and sent her away levitating on empowering words of encouragement for beating the disease.
After that we were up. FLOTUS whirlwinded my friend into a state of nirvana when she informed her they had the same orange peplum shirt and asked her if it was from H&M. I was up next. I cracked a joke—FLOTUS chuckled. Then she asked a few questions about where I work and about what I do for a living. It was a spectacular moment and it took all I had not to begin softly singing the “I feel so close to you right now” lyrics to her. I received my signed copy of her book and we all headed to Crumbs to celebrate because eating processed sugar and screaming in high heels is what women do when they are excited. Images, UPI , the AP and my iphone.