L in the Southeast

L in the Southeast
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
November 04
Retired PR Director
I am a retired Public Relations professional who now writes purely for fun and catharsis. I covered most of my memoir-type pieces in the first three years here. Lately I have dabbled in politics, current affairs, pop culture and movie reviews. Life is my muse.


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JANUARY 22, 2013 1:55PM

FLOTUS On Display

Rate: 14 Flag


POTUS and FLOTUS on parade


Like millions of other smitten Americans, I was pretty much tethered to the TV on Inauguration Day.  The day was magical, almost as surreal to this sexagenarian dreamer as the first swearing in of Barack H. Obama as President of the United States had been four years ago.

The President’s speech was everything I had hoped for and much more.  His delivery was ministerial at times, soaring with cadence and historical imagery.  He looked fit and rested and happy as he opened each new topic with a measured and dramatic “We…the people.”  It sounded so inclusive and I felt so included.

When it became obvious that he was making a sharp left turn in his political message, mentioning so many issues that matter so much to me, the grin on my face widened and stuck there.  Gay marriage rights.  Immigration.  The environment.  Women’s rights to equal treatment.  Gun control.  Booyah, Mr. President!

The singers sang their hearts out, the prayers prayed their eloquent prayers and the poet spoke his free verse about the oneness of our existence. One teeny, tiny flub in the oath-taking; this time it was POTUS who stumbled.  No matter.  He’s so human.  He’s so real.  He is so one of us.

As down to earth as the Obamas are, it is easy for my attention to shift from all the pomp and circumstance, all the historical meaning of the moment to their personhood.  It wasn’t long before I started to be concerned for them. 

What happens when they need a pit stop?  What if one of them is battling the same stomach bug that knocked me on my ass two weeks ago?  Their smiles both seem so geniuine – I wonder if their cheeks are starting to twitch.

Mrs. Obama looks so elegant and fit, so comfortable in her role.  If I were she, I’d be worrying about the humidity in the air, if any, because my new hairdo might start “swelling.”  Look at those boots!  She’s walking on concrete for blocks in those stilleto boots.  Ouch.  My bunions throb in sympathy.

Every station has some talking head commenting – not on the content of the speech or the profound symbolism of this day which coincided serendipitously with the national holiday commemorating the life and contributions of Martin Luther King – but on Michelle’s bangs.  Her J. Crew accessories on her sleek and elegant Thom Brown design. 

Poor Michelle.  It’s not enough she must often hide her own light under a bushel of First Ladylike causes and activities.  Now she must spend inordinate amounts of time and thought on the one thing I doubt she cared all that much about before taking up residence in a fish bowl.  Our admiration of her has transformed her from a woman of substance with beaucoup brains to a vacuous fashion icon. 

If I were in that position that would annoy me no end.  I’m already obsessive about making a good impression, always minding my Ps and Qs.  I can just imagine waking up on the morning of Inauguration Day knowing I wouldn’t have a minute to myself outside of a restroom stall for the next 18 hours.  My first instinct would be to crawl back into bed. 

Schedules.  Hairdresser.  Makeup artist. False eyelashes. Is it windy?  Am I bloated?  Will I freeze in that thin coat?   Will I shiver in front of the world?  Please don’t let me stumble on those capitol stairs, ‘cuz I have to be cool and not grab his hand.  Will the kids be okay?  I hope they don’t get too silly; there will be cameras up their nostrils all day.

When the time came for FLOTUS to make her appearance at the ball, the TV personalities had whipped the viewers into a frenzy, speculating on which new American little-known designer would have her magic wand waved above his or her head. POTUS and FLOTUS at Inauguration

BREAKING NEWS!  Michelle Shocks the fashion world by choosing a stunning gown by the same designer she anointed four years ago.  Jason Wu, again?!?

Oh, no.  This will cause a flap.  She should have given somebody else a chance.  Jason Wu is already filthy rich just because she wore his white gown in 2009. 

Now she’s dancing.  Who’s that guy… Oh, yeah, The President of the United States is also on the stage.  Can’t see her shoes, but reports are they were made by Jimmy Choo and they are ivory silk.  And she’s wearing a diamond ring designed especially for the occasion by some other woman I’ve never heard of.  Bangles!  She’s wearing bangles.

She was stunning.  The President was so handsome, doing his hipster dipster slow dance with a military officer.  The officer who cut in on the President was talking up a storm to Michelle, proud as he could be.

By this time I was exhausted.  I was tired of looking at her.  I was tired of hearing about everything but her underwear.  I was blown away by her choice of gown, as usual, but…

Enough, already.

Gotta go.  I have to call my beauty salon to schedule my new haircut!

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I LOVE her, so BAD!! There has not been such White House glamor since Jackie O. Not that glamor should matter that much, but damn she rocked that red dress, and a little pageantry is a good thing for America. I also loved that the song they danced to was the same Al Green song the President got so much media coverage for singing last year. Maybe that is a little private couple thing between them.
It was a great inauguration...and the speech hit the mark many times. The cynics will still piss and moan, but at this point, that only adds to the enjoyment.

I hope the next four years go well for Barack and for the country.

Nice essay, L.
A fine summary, for one who wasn't there thank you.
It feels like it's getting exciting. I wish you all the very best this term.
Fingers crossed.
And yes : who was Jackie O again ?
Kim! Kim Gamble! From Days of Yore!

You young whippersnapper. Jackie O was our first lady who was dressed by Hubert Givenchy, who had a taste for hats more flattering than the Queen's, later lounged around Mr. Onassis's yacht, and in her mature years became my role model for romantic involvements with her "long time gentleman companion", as the press used to call him, Maurice Tempelsman.
she was beautiful, and i think it is ridiculous to harass her about wu. how many valentino gowns did nancy reagan wore? it showed her loyalty, but somehow, man, people gotta have SOMETHING to complain about. god knows i complain enough, but my complaints are valid! lol.

thanks for this, l. glad you enjoyed it.
greenie: That little private couple thing was about the time the President burst into "Let's Stay Together" at the podium of a televised event. I thought it would have been better if they'd gotten Al Green to sing it. Maybe he wasn't available.

Frank: I'm done listening to the cynics pissing and moaning about every little thing. He won. It's time he works his own agenda, with or without the Republicans.

Kim: You're kidding, right? If not, see greenie's second comment.

DaisyJane: Don't worry, if Gordon Osmand is still on OS, he will get around to remarking about Michelle's "big butt." Really a low blow, huh?
She has such excellent taste, such style, such grace and such a wonderful sense of humor about her own place in history.

What she has been doing, particularly for military families goes without notice so often because the media focuses on her like she is POTUS' best accessory, rather than the brilliant & fascinating, accomplished woman that she is. Michelle Obama is the whole package in a world where being such is so rare and apparently, blinding.

By the way, we could all wish we had such a well-toned butt without regard to natural shape or size.
I adore them. Glad to see this on the cover. ~r
Congrats on the EP. She really is beautiful in a very elegant way.
I was kidding.
The heron knows how old I am, and I even remember where I was that day ...
What I meant was how completely this First Lady has eclipsed all those who came before, with the possible exception of Lady Eleanor.

I'm glad to have the chance to comment again though, because after reading your piece this morning I googled the speech ( I'd only read snippets in our paper ) and the dance ( beautiful. )
In the intro to the dance ( I love that song, btw ) and during the dance, there was a distinct military theme, at odds with the song and the occasion, I thought.
Why was that ? I mean, he'd already won.
Any thoughts ?
Damn, now you got me wondering about her underwear...
She's my girl. Just wait. She will come blasting out in four years, ready to kick... gardening and cooking and being a mom in the uno what!
Great assessment L. Congrats on the EP. Seems like there really is an EdiTor in the house.
Thanks, Seer.
A lot of the nuances ~ co-incidences ~ might be lost on those abroad, but we arepaying attention, and hoping with all our might.
Well, I've been drinking, but, hoping ain't enough.
Among the old gaurd, 'words are women, and actions are men'.
There; I've said it. Now. WAKE THE FUCK UP.
ah..sorry. carry on.. forget my last post.....yeesh!
---Too moved by the President's Second Inaugural...
Susanne: “best accessory” really gets to the gist of what I’m feeling. There is no question that she completes him, but she is so much more than a mannequin.

Joanie: Thanks.

Desnee: I can’t think of anyone more perfect for that “job.”

Kim: The reason for the military theme was it was the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ball (all branches of the military as honorees). The song was chosen because it is the one the President sang a cappella at some shindig or another. It is among the couple’s favorites.

Seer: People have no idea what that family is doing for families of color throughout the nation. We have needed a high-profile family that is real and not the Cosbys on TV.

Myriad: I’m sure it is Spanx and Vanity Fair or some other mainstream brand. :D

Zuma: After they leave the White House, Katy bar the door.

trilogy: Yeah, I was shocked when I went to the Cover and saw it there.

Steve Kenny: When you sober up, maybe you can come back and tell us what the heck you are talking about.
Thanks, Lezlie.
Makes more sense now :-)
Okay. Thank you for reserving your ire.
See? We are evolving!
Sorry...I've got to shut up now.
Isn't she just dreamy? I missed everything but the speech, but when I get time I'll watch it online. Thank god for YouTube!
I love their smile.
I'm not one to pay much attention to First Ladies but I've been surprised and a bit pleased that Michelle is going so well. That's true for the whole family. Can you imagine the freak-out on the right if, say, one of Obama's daughters found herself in the family way a la Palin? Fox would set up a special bureau desk to explore why Obama was such a lousy parent and why that made him such a lousy Pres.
They are a stunning couple and I love her bangs.

If I were First Lady I'd milk it for all it was worth, and I'm not talking about pushing my pet causes. There are so many worse things in life than being a vacuous fashion icon.
Hi. Sorry about last night's stupid comments. I never claimed to be perfect, nor sober all the time. If you will have it, I will try to explain myself and, hopefully, extend an apology.
"Hoping with all our might' struck me, especially hearing it said by a woman. The saying among the old school thinkers-one which I don't agree with, by the way- is that 'words are women and deeds are men'. I understand where it comes from, which is, the old man-centric ways of thinking of the past.
A few years back, I ran across an idea in a community college classroom, in an English Composition class, after reading about generative and descriptive sentences.
Aware of the 'masculine and feminine' in poetic wordsmithing, I took the generative and descriptive ideas a step further, and juxtaposed 'words are women and deeds are men' so as to catagorize my sentences. The result, in my mind, is that descriptive sentences [hoping with all our might] are feminine, and generative sentences [any declaration, for instance], are masculine.

I have stuck my foot in my mouth here [not the first time!], and I deeply regret it. I promise not to barge in on you here in the future. This is the best I can do to explain myself. I hope you will accept my apology.
Please understand that all of these references to gender are strictly grammatical.
To my mind, 'hoping with all our might' doesn't sound hopeful at all, it sounds helpless.
Steve, w. all respect, those "strictly grammatical" thingies reinforce (and speak of) stereotypes that limit both men and women. You could use terms like "active" and "passive", which might have some faint echoes but are at least arguably gender-neutral. I personally take offence (however mildly) when wimpy things are termed feminine and strong take-charge things are said to be masculine.
Myriad. Thank you and well said. From now on, I will use the terms 'active' and 'passive', and drop the use of 'gender'.
Once again, I'm sorry for the stupidity on my part.
I'm kind of flattered Steve assumed I'm a woman.

'Helpless' works though. I wish Australians could vote in American elections.
Hey, I assume a lot of things! I'm the first to admit that I'm an idiot! Thank you Kim.
I loved reading this piece L. ! A memorable day for sure. But..I now have POTUS and FLOTUS bathroom visuals and it's not quite as pretty. Congrats on the EP!

Steve Kenny: I respect a person who leads off with “I’ve been drinking…” I know I should “reserve my ire, at least long enough to let the sober commenter chime in. Evolving is good.

Babe: Thank goodness for ALL this technology. I marvel every single day about how we ever got by without it.

edwardv: :D

Abra: LOL! You are so right!

Marilyn: :D

Margaret: Oh, I know! I’ve been called that myself…often.

Steve Kenny: Thank you for your gracious apologies and explanation. I kind of thought I was getting your drift, but the WTFU threw me off. I guess by now you have noticed that our Kim is, in fact, a man – a man who is creative, talented and masculine. Weak would never come to my mind in regard to him.
@Myriad, thanks for stepping in with your wise advice. I think if he does changes those words, it will serve him far better.

TME: Hahaha. They are just people, right? That's what makes them so accessible and lovely.
Thank you L. To say you've made me smile would be an understatement.
Kim, I wish Australians could vote here, too. This is a good time to be an American!
Hey, for what it's worth, I failed that English Comp class.
So we heard very little about it except the following:
Michele's bangs
Beyonce's alleged lyp-synching
Jason Wu who is Canadian ( that got more press than the actual inauguration)

BUT what a good loking smart team
That is all I have for you and I live through you..:)
Have to admit I enjoy seeing pictures of her in her new clothes.
Admittedly she has a role to play and she does it well. Jackie O was different. Beautiful but very different. She was a tragic heroine. She was an accessory for JFK. Michelle is a partner. Different.