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When Michelle Met Barack: Is There a Lesson For Single Women?

When Michelle Met Barack: Is There a Lesson For Single Women?
Posted By: Devon Marshall on June 16, 2009

When Michelle Met Barack: Is There a Lesson For Single Women?

I cannot get enough of seeing the First Family all together. They epitomize our often espoused "family values" of a loving married couple, raising two adorable kids and with a new puppy to boot. It doesn't get any better than that. And certainly our President is a handsome man, seemingly devoted and perpetually smitten with his lovely and accomplished wife.

I've heard a whole lot of women, mostly black women, express envy at Mrs. Obama's life and life mate. "I want a man, just like that!" they say. But the truth is, when Barack Obama met Michelle Robinson he was in law school and drove a car with a hole in the floor.

In an interview, Mrs. Obama put it this way: "Barack didn't pledge riches, only a life that would be interesting."

How many of you single ladies would have signed on for that?




Over at The Root, Jenée Desmond-Harris has her doubts. And she lays them out in a candid take on the dating aspirations of many professional black women:

The idea that things are hard for black women who want to date black men who match us in academic and career success is a well-worn cultural narrative.

But if black women are going to defy the statistics, they need to start being more realistic.



Holding out for the perfect man, someone who is intellectual but not nerdy-cool but not arrogant-impeccably dressed but not effeminate-not a player but with just the right amount of edge-is useless. Smart can go with a little nerdy. Artsy can be accompanied by off-beat. Ambitious and focused may mean less than a social butterfly. Yes, there was that one guy in law school who was easily 6'5'', a Rhodes Scholar and a rapper, with a baby face to top things off. I'm not saying it's impossible, but please!

And let's be fair. We expect men to resist what society tells them about ideals when it comes to us-God, help the brother who admits a preference for skin or hair displayed on every magazine cover; or the arrogant fool who holds out for his own Clair Huxtable, not acknowledging that The Cosby Show was fiction. We're justifiably upset when unrealistic standards are imposed on us, but many of us don't seem to give black men any breaks in return when it comes to the superficial.

Would most Type A, professional women have dated Barack when he was a broke, big-eared organizer with a funny name?

I don't know. I picked my husband because of an intellectual, spiritual and physical connection that was apparent to both of us very early on. It seems to me all three are necessary for a long and happy marriage. Michelle Obama talks about "falling" for her husband early on, too, so the connection was there.

What are YOUR thoughts?
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I agree that we must possess an innate smartness to identify who may be our 'perfect' man. I am also inclined to think that most of us would have eagerly jumped at an opportunity to date that 'young Obama', even one with NO car.The guy was described as being polite, and in addition, had obained an impressive education. He obviously had tremendous potential! I believe that some of us, "A-Types", have been erroneously labeled as individuals who expect that any potential mate has to be 'established.' The truth is, too many times, we have dealt with far too many undeserving males - and have correctly determined that we will no longer waste our time or energy in this direction. Maybe it is politically incorrect to say, but I'll say it anyway; way too many black men have not been socialized to believe that it is necessary for them to participate in mutually respectful and long-term monogamous relationships . Furthermore, it aso seems that many black males do not relate to the notion that maintaining an intact, nuclear family is one of the sure paths toward establishing future economic and financial success.
Monday, June 22nd 2009 at 11:05AM
Jen Fad
Nurse at Healthcare
I agree with your blog Devon and actually wrote something similar in a comment on another person's blog. It was to the effect that we who haven't met Prince charming should not continue to over look the hard working blue collar brother for the few white collar brothers chasing the Barack Obama fairy tale. Not that President Obama is a fairy tale, but what I mean holding out for the brothers who are doctors, lawyers, judges, etc. They are so few.
Wednesday, July 15th 2009 at 12:59PM
Intellectual, spiritually, and physical are key elements I do look at. I also, look at our connection of sparks. Dating is not the problem, but meeting a guy that is compatible or complimentary is very important. I once almost married a man that was a womanizer. I listen and watched the signs and got out before my life was ruined. Selecting a suitable mate is very important, I would not want to get involved like many people do because they are lonely. I rather wait until it is my turn for my "knight in shining armour" or "prince charming".
Monday, August 3rd 2009 at 1:53PM
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