Before Michelle, Barack Obama Thought Marriage Was A Meaningless Institution Blah Blah

Illustration for article titled Before Michelle, Barack Obama Thought Marriage Was A Meaningless Institution Blah Blah

You know they worked at the same law firm and saw Do The Right Thing and ate Baskin-Robbins on their first date, but there are still a lot of unknown unknowns about the courtship of Michelle and Barack Obama that feebleminded swooning McDreamers like us have been gorging ourselves on Kucinich romance news to make up for. Well, thank the Oprah gods for the New Yorker! This week's issue profiles Michelle Obama, who allowed Barack to touch her knee during Do The Right Thing but did not, presumably, bone him until the second. And it worked! Because Barack was one of those dudes who, you know, was actually pro the whole "breakdown of the family" thing."We would have this running debate throughout our relationship about whether marriage was necessary," Michelle tells the magazine. "It was sort of a bone of contention, because I was, like, 'Look, buddy, I'm not one of those who'll just hang out forever.'"

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You know, that's just not who I am. He was, like" — she broke into a wishy-washy voice — "Marriage, it doesn't mean anything, it's really how you feel.' And I was, like, 'Yeah, right'"

He finally proposed one night at a nice restaurant called Gordon, where they went ostensibly to celebrate finishing the bar exam:

"And he got me into one of these discussions again, where, you know, he sort of just led me down there and got fired up and it's like you've got blah blah blah blah, and then dessert comes out, the tray comes out, and there's a ring!"

Later in the Audacity of Hope he recalls what he saw in his wife in those days.

In "The Audacity of Hope," Barack Obama perceives a vulnerability in his wife, one so closely guarded that even her brother professed to me never to have noticed it. There was "a glimmer that danced across her round, dark eyes whenever I looked at her," he writes, "the slightest hint of uncertainty, as if, deep inside, she knew how fragile things really were, and that if she ever let go, even for a moment, all her plans might quickly unravel."

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The Other Obama [New Yorker]

DISCUSSION

Don't we all have those moments when we wonder how we are keeping it all together so well? It is nice to know that Obama can see that a find it beautiful.