I’m not sure why I’m so cynical about everything. I’m sure if I dug far enough into my own background I’d find out it had something to do with losing a teddy bear or my mama not hugging me enough. Either way, I can be extremely cynical. Often times I just claim to be a realist…but maybe I just hate love.
Which is why I was so surprised to find myself cheesing like a rat at Chuck E. Cheese watching Barack and Michelle (since you know we’re on first name status and what not, as if!) do their first dance at the Commander-In-Chief Ball this past evening. Oh, and Michelle was killing them bangs and that dress. I don’t find her to be the hottest woman on the planet. And half the time I wonder if I’ve just got the wrong Michelle Obama with how frequently folks try to say she’s fine. But she’s a beautiful woman who has the adoration and love of her husband. And that’s beautiful.
That brings me to my point. I’ve long argued people when folks fawned all over Barack and Michelle. Because I’m not racist, I’ve also felt that way when folks did the same over Jay-Z and Beyonce. I think its the natural cynic in me who gets irritated by this savior complex we have in the Black community. Anytime somebody does something even a little bit right – and are famous – we make them the patron saints of That Thing They Did. Folks get married, OH MY GOD THEY ARE THE PERFECT COUPLE AND ROLE MODELS. Rarely do I see people writing odes to their parents, but the Famouses, they get the love.
However, I’ve started to soften my tone towards them. I don’t know if it’s because I do tea time at least once a week now and put on a tiara the other day because my daughter wanted me to pretend to be a princess, but I feel like I’ve begun looking at Barack and Michelle with a comforting vibe. Actually, it’s probably because I know that in 4 years, Barack and Michelle will still matter, but won’t be as prevalent or present. And to some degree that saddens me. These last four years, while not perfect politically have represented a significant amount of excitement for Black people. Sure we could always tell a person who claimed folks were holding them down that if Barack could become president then they needed to fall back, however, America felt a little bit different. Not necessarily better, just different. And that had as much to do with Michelle as Barack.
See, she’s a Black woman. And she’s comfortable in her skin. She does everything with a certain grace that’s inspiring. I appreciate her just as much as I appreciate Barack for being so in love with one another. I appreciate Barack for staring at her derriere to remind us all the he’s a real ninja. And I love that when they did their first dance that they hit a few moments of groove and swing and showed that they had that rhythm. I appreciate that. I like seeing them smile at each other and look like they actually like each other. I’m sure they have issues like everybody else and though he’s the leader of the free world I don’t doubt for a second that he knows when to defer to his wife just like she lets him be the man.
He never forgets to give her the props she deserves. I’m sure he’s a man and does man things that are so common place that they don’t need rehashing here. And I’m sure she has her moments. But so do we all.
Earlier today I was thinking about the idea of Black love. It’s just like every other noun with Black in front of it. It symbolizes some strong bond and commonality amongst us that all that even if it can’t be defined with simple words and phrases, you just know it exists when you see it. It’s palpable. But more importantly, it’s necessary. Seeing Black love is not only necessary for us as a community, it’s important for the world to witness even if they don’t fully get it. Don’t have to bump it, but please respect it.
I’ll skip the statistics about love and how dire it is because I’m not sure the stats tell the story of what I see. Sure I’ll always cringe when folks get too hype about anybody’s love that’s famous, but if Barack and Michelle are the symbole of Black love that I have to fall back on, well, I’m good with that. Because it looks real and it looks beautiful.
And it looks like something towards which to aspire in a world where so many images in the world of “reality” skew towards odd visions of love for anybody. Hey Mariah.
Cheers to Barack and Michelle for showing us how to do this son. Or more accurately, just showing us their love and letting us do with it what we might. And cheers to the freakin’ weekend…I’ll drink to that.
Love 40, baby.
-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST WITH A HEART aka MR. DULY NOTE THAT aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3