Monday, April 23, 2012

An Obama Proposal

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 being me.

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.

If 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.


  1. I love this piece, Barbara. I agree with every single word of it. I've been there, done that. Thank you for giving me permission to just be honest. The ones who already love you will keep on loving, and the ones who don't...well they won't anyway. I share your desire to always "like" what my friends like, but unfortunately it doesn't always work that way. Hmmm. Barbara Obama...has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? :)

  2. I forgot to sign my name Barbara. b.nelson