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Writing Pieces


By November 16, 2020December 5th, 20202 Comments

I woke up this morning and found myself thinking about Jill.

I relate to Jill.

She seems normal.

I bet she spills things down her dress at state dinners.  Has to carry a Tide stick.

Has moles on her back.   Like her grandmother.

Has to sit down when she’s putting on her panty hose so she doesn’t pass out.



I think we could be friends.  She has regular friends…right?

She must. She’s a teacher.  Was seen grading papers on the campaign bus.  Is talking about continuing to work while in the White House.

I hope she does that.   She might be the first.

But really… I was thinking about if I awoke this morning and discovered I was first lady.


First…I’d have to be dressed up all the time.  Even now.  During COVID.

I couldn’t wear sweats and a tee shirt.  Too many people around.  I’d have to appear “put together”.  Make an impression.  Wear a rhinestone pin.


I couldn’t stumble out of bed in the morning, walk into the kitchen, bleary-eyed, pour my coffee, hang my leg over the side of the corner chair and flip through my phone.  I’d probably have to have a fancy, high tech phone anyway.  Without Instagram.  One my friends couldn’t call.

People would be watching me all the time.

And….with all that staff and all those restrictions… what would I do?  I’d be so self-aware all the time.   An anxious mess.

Let’s take my morning today. Pretty normal.  I checked my computer, had a piece of rye toast, grabbed my dog and went on a hike.  After that I jumped in my car and went to the grocery store.

Jill won’t be able to do any of those things.  Way too public.

Then I came home.  Made myself some tuna salad, a glass of grapefruit juice and sat and watched CNN for twenty minutes.

She can’t do that!!!  Too many people around to serve things.   She’d have to eat at a table.

Hard enough when your kids are around commenting on what you eat, what you watch and what you do.

But being judged by the all-knowing secret service…snooty social secretary…and the chief floral designer?


Plus you’d have to have a lot of energy to be FLOTUS.


You see how Joe Biden runs to the podium before he speaks?  Now I’m sure he does that to make the voting public feel he’s young and virile.  But is he going to keep that up for the next four years?  He’ll be exhausted.  And dead.

She doesn’t do that.  But her climbing up to the stage, in spike heels, making an entrance and hanging out until the extended family shows up?  Like she isn’t dying for a chair?  Sneakers?  She’ll be seventy next year.  She’ll need a chair.

And you’re supposed to have a cause.  Think about it.  What would yours be?

Melania chose cyber bullying.  Close to home given who she’s married to.

And Michelle Obama chose childhood obesity.  Planted a garden.

Nancy Regan…”just say no”.   Somehow it doesn’t seem like she would be the poster child for drug facts.

Suppose you don’t really have a cause.  And you still have to spend four years working on one that you made up on Tuesday?  Under pressure.


Then the clothes!

Whatever the FLOTUS wears is news.

Remember when Michelle Obama paired a J.Crew sweater with a designer dress?  I think to visit the queen? Sold out immediately. Her dress with the puffballs on it that Jason Wu designed for the inaugural ball?   Made his day. His career.

Mamie Eisenhower was named one of the best dressed ladies every year she served  by the NY Dress Institute.  Mamie Eisenhower.  Full skirt, charm bracelet, pearls, little hats and that bobbed, banged hair.  Go figure.

Jackie Kennedy.  The pillbox hat?

And then the true craziness, we will never forget, of Melania wearing that “I really don’t care, do u?” green jacket to visit migrant children on the US/Mexico border.   Whoa.  What was she smoking?

Oh my.

And these poor FLOTUS women have to pay for everything they wear!!!  Wow.  Imagine your Amex bill.   I think Laura Bush said it was the most expensive, unpaid job in the country!   She wasn’t kidding.  Really doesn’t seem fair.

Getting back to Jill…

I know she’s done this kind of thing before.  As second lady.  She’s probably used to it.  But I wish I had the chance to ask her what she really thinks.

Sit with her on the bus while she’s grading papers.

Ponder her dread.

Share a donut.

Commiserate a little.

I bet she’d tell me the truth.

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Mary Mary Mary, I so love your lens. I am with you, girlfriend, all the way. Sitting in pj bottoms, but hold on— cashmere sweater and important necklace on top, due to “fun” zoom with friends from across the valley. What am I complaining about? I have food (did food distribution with Black Women’s Forum at noon), I have health (did a run on mountain and hike with an even older friend this afternoon), and dinner with loving, semi-shaved, smarty pants husband tonight. Maybe Joe CAN run across the stage for four years. Maybe Jill CAN teach at least one class while in the White House…Gee whiz, I am riveted by this, and the possibility that AMERICA, or part of it, WILL come to terms with the crushing caste issues so wisely dissected in her new book, Caste. If only, Mary, we could all take a little nap for a week or two, and get going in January with a fabulous cabinet, a friendly President, and a durable VP. I trust Jill to keep her man as ship shape as possible. She’ll tell us the truth, like you said. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

  • Chris T says:

    This is so right on! You nailed it! So true…fun to watch a FLOTUS, but never wanna be one.
    Long live PJs!
    Love your words, Mary!

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