One night, New York Times columnist Judith Warner had a dream about the president taking a shower in her house. Then a friend of hers confided that she'd had an Obama dream, too. So, Warner "launched an e-mail inquiry" to suss out whether the president was behind other women's fluttering eyelids, and she found that he is -- in a big way. Women across America are apparently dreaming about schtupping the president.
She writes: "In these dreams, the women replaced Michelle with greater or lesser guilt or, in the case of a 62-year-old woman in North Florida, whose dream was reported to me by her daughter, found a fully above-board solution: 'Michelle had divorced Barack because he had become ‘too much of a star.’ He then married my mother, who was oh so proud to be the first lady,' the daughter wrote me."
Not only are women mind-sexing Obama, reports Warner, they are also daydreaming about his actual sex life: "Barack and Michelle Obama look like they have sex. They look like they like having sex," a woman from Los Angeles writes to Warner. "Often. With each other." I get it. It's in the way they look at, touch and talk about each other. His words about his wife on election night -- "my best friend for the last 16 years, the rock of our family, the love of my life" -- made me, 22 years his junior, swoon. After watching them dance at the inaugural balls, my Mom, 15 years his senior, enthused that "they make marriage look hot" and made a prediction: "People are going to start realizing that marriage can be sexy."
It isn't just that the Obamas are still, by all appearances, having sex; it's that and that they're still good friends. It's an unfamiliar sight, as one of Warner's interviewees points out: "These days when the sexless marriage is such a big celebrity in America (and when first couples are icons of rigid propriety), [it's] one interesting mental drama.” It's apparently making some worry about how their marriage measures up. Warner quotes an anonymous friend:
"Each time I heard [Michelle Obama] speak about [Barack] I got tears in my eyes -- because I felt so far away from that kind of bliss in my own life and perhaps even more, because I was so moved by her expressions of devotion to him. And unlike previous presidential couples, they are our age, have children the same age and (just imagine the stress of daily life on the campaign) by all accounts should have been fighting even more than we were.”
It's tempting to see some of this as a healthy marital wake-up call. Some women are realizing that they do want sex and they do want to be best friends with their spouse -- and, yes, they can! But then Warner's article wades into darker emotional waters: "There’s a subcategory of people who feel that they really should have true intimacy with the Obamas," she writes. "Because they went to school with them. Because they used to dream like them. Because, with one or two 'different turns,' they maybe could have been them." A New York lawyer who went to school with the president said: "I keep thinking about how I squandered my education and youth," he wrote in an e-mail. "I went off to college from high school being completely community-minded, doing a lot of volunteer work for the homeless and for hunger and tutoring poor kids. Then I got to college and forgot my ideals."
It's all one big far-fetched fantasy -- from having actually stayed true to their dreams to having the Obamas' sex life. Maybe these dreamers should take a note from his campaign and actually make a change.