There is a rumor going around that First Lady Michelle Obama may not be living in the White House after January 20th.
I don't want to contribute to the proliferation of fake news so I must caution that this is only a rumor. But there is some evidence that supports it.
First, First Lady Michelle Obama's husband, President Barack Obama will, apparently, not be president after January 20th. This would lead one to believe that she will also not be first lady. I cannot confirm this, but it seems legit.
Second, First Lady Michelle Obama has purchased a new home in DC and keeps talking about leaving with the pent up glee of someone who is about to retire and move to a Sandals resort but doesn't want to make her work friends feel weird about it. Still, she keeps giggling to herself at random moments. And every time the work crew goes out to happy hour she buys a daiquiri and asks if they can put an umbrella in it. Like, we get it.
There is, however, evidence to the contrary. For instance, future First Lady Melania Trump has said that she won't be moving into the White House right away. So, there's probably space for Mrs. Obama to just hang out for a while. Do first lady things. Casually slay.
What if they share the job? That'll work, right?
If we've learned anything from the movie 9 to 5, it's that everyone benefits when people can share jobs.
And also that sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigots never triumph in the end.
So, the jury is still out on this whole "Michelle Obama isn't actually going to be first lady forever" rumor. Don't worry.
But just in case there turns out to be some truth to these rumors, here's a step-by-step guide to processing all the feelings.
Step One: Denial
LOL this isn't happening. Michelle has always been our first lady and she always will be. She never goes away. She's like the Queen of England or packing peanuts. She will always be around. LOL. Everything is fine. I don't even know why I clicked on this article. Alright, back to the bunker.
Step Two: Throw Shade
At who? Everyone. Externalize your angst with some seismic eye-rolls and well timed zingers at Thanksgiving dinner. It probably won't make you feel better and might get you disinherited (and it's technically not "going high" as Michelle might say) but it does make for a pretty satisfying GIF. Baby steps.
Step Three: Complete Breakdown
Burst into tears when the barista asks you if you want a treat receipt. Sit alone on the subway and sing sad Beyoncé songs. Hug strangers randomly and make them promise to never leave you. Whatever it takes to express yourself. Why do you think Kanye cancelled the rest of his Saint Pablo Tour? Michelle-related grief. None of us are immune.
Step Four: Eat your feelings. In vegetables.
This is your turning point. Or turnip point, actually. Who can say why Michelle Obama loves vegetables as much as she does, but what better way to honor her legacy than to dig into a head of cauliflower, seasoned with your tears? And some Lawry's.
Step Five: Hydrate
The first lady doesn't want you to be ashy.
Step Six: Dance it out
Crank up your favorite Stevie Wonder album, push the couch back to the wall, call up your best pal Shonda Rhimes and have an old school, Grey's Anatomy dance party. It will make you feel good. (And Mrs. Obama would like you to know it's also good cardio.)
Step Seven: Appreciate
We are living in an extraordinary moment in the country's history and we are so privileged to have shared the same planet as Michelle Obama. Technically, we've all breathed the same air that she has. One way to appreciate that is to fill mason jars will air, label them "Michelle Obama's breath" and save them all around your house. That's definitely not weird at all.
Step Eight: Acceptance
The rumors are true. We've got to let her go live her life. We should probably only call her once a week for a while. And definitely not after 7 p.m. But it'll be fine. And if we're ever feeling lost, we can just open one of those mason jars and breath the same air one more time.
Follow R. Eric Thomas on Twitter.
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