Like 66% of the country, I am a fan of Michelle Obama. My enthusiasm is extreme, however, and there’s a reason for this. In October, 2008 I had my first knee replacement surgery. For weeks afterward, I lay on the couch, heavily drugged. Twice a day I did excruciating exercises, but other than that I spent the time reading, sleeping, crocheting, sleeping, and surfing the Web on Joe’s laptop.
Already a fan of Barack and Michelle, I began reading everything I could about the campaign. And then I found a website devoted entirely to Michelle’s wardrobe. click Only the Oxycodone can account for my fascination. I pored over the pictures, read the descriptions, clicked on links to the designers.
You’d have to see the way I dress to know how peculiar this all was. I have several pairs of baggy pants, a drawerful of beloved t-shirts and half a dozen printed rayon shirts from Goodwill in my closet. These, with strangely-painted shoes, make up the bulk of my wardrobe. click I also have four long cotton dresses from Deva, identical but for color, which I wear for dress-up, sometimes embellishing them with a scarf. click But Michelle inspired me. For a brief period I added a wide belt and a costume jewelry brooch, two of her signature accessories, to my dresses.
I had my second knee replaced in March, 2009, and my fascination with Michelle was revived. One afternoon, drugged and with nothing better to do, I made an intricate collage on a blank greeting card. It was a woman attired like me and Michelle (dress, belt, brooch), leaning on a candy-striped cane like mine. I wrote an enthusiastic note, expressing my admiration, and saying among other things that the collage was inspired by her, and Malia and Sasha might enjoy guessing the images I had cut up to make it.
I’m quite certain the card was promptly sent to the Secret Service for their Dangerous Loonies" file. But at the time I was sure her staff would select it to show to Michelle, and she would reply with an invitation for me and Amanda to visit her - she and I could have tea while Amanda and Sasha played in the new White House playground. Strangely, it didn’t happen.
Several years have passed. Like many lefties, I have been dismayed by some of Obama’s actions (drone warfare is unforgiveable), but I remain a fan. And Michelle has never disappointed me. I no longer check on the fashion website every week to see what she’s wearing, but I read anything I run across.
A few weeks ago Michelle Obama came to Gainesville for a political rally at the O’Connell Center, a sports arena.
That night I picked Amanda up after cheerleading at Girls Place and she said, "Grandma, Michelle Obama came to Girls Place and I wasn’t there!" I hardly believed her, but I went on line, and sure enough, the Gainesville Sun had 37 photos of Michelle Obama at Girls Place, mostly dancing with the younger girls to that inimitable song, Toody Tot.
Image: Rod C. Witzel The Gainesville Sun click
I was devastated. Girls Place is the most wonderful place you can imagine, full of love and empowerment, focused on "at risk" girls, mostly lower-income minorities. click Amanda goes there every day after school - she’s been going since kindergarten. But she had come straight home from school that one day, because she had two scheduled activities, and wouldn’t have time to finish her homework at Girls Place.
I was surprised by how upset I was. I’m usually good at letting go of what can’t be helped. But it really bothered me that MICHELLE OBAMA CAME TO GIRLS PLACE AND AMANDA WASN’T THERE! Then my friend Patti suggested I write a note telling her what had happened and asking if she would send a picture to Amanda.
So I did. This one was less manic than the collage card. I enclosed two absolutely irresistible photos of Amanda in Maine. I hope this note will not join the other in the Secret Service file, but will yield a photo and a note to Amanda signed by my very favorite First Lady.
I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. CLICK "COMMENTS," BELOW
NEXT POST OCTOBER 26: SLOB: OR WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK?