I had a dream the other night that President Obama asked me to marry him. He actually got down on one knee in the middle of a big event and proposed. I disregarded the fact that we were both already married and said yes, believing in my dream state that even the things I don't like about Barack Obama would instantly be transformed by my acceptance into love.
Would that real life were so easy. When it comes
to political issues, I wish I could be in perfect accord with all my
friends, but that congenial state eludes me. Life would be pretty dull
if we all agreed about everything, I suppose, yet I still yearn for
harmony. Inevitably, though, no matter how hard I try, I just can't stop
For example, if a friend invites me to see a
film with her, I love the idea of sharing the experience and discussing
it afterward. In my fantasy, we always feel the same way about the
movie. In reality, of course, sometimes I don't like it even though she
does. I want to like it. I want to share her taste in every detail. But
sometimes I simply don't.
Worse still, trying so hard
to achieve harmony can induce its opposite. The pressure of being
agreeable builds up and suddenly an unbidden explosion occurs—I hate
Woody Allen, I might declare, when really I'm just not a big fan of his
recent films. For the record, I didn't love Midnight in Paris, but I didn't hate it, either. There, I've said it. Those of you who loved it, don't hate me, please.
I, like Obama, were a President running for re-election, I'd be tempted
to say what I thought people wanted to hear. But ultimately the truth
would out. I would proclaim my true beliefs and then worry that I'd
alienated the voters. Fortunately, I'm not running. And I'm definitely
not a First Lady, except in my dreams.