This man won my heart when we met downtown at the law firm. Tall and shiny as a skyscraper in a silver suit, a smile that lit up the sun. We walked on Michigan Avenue together, over the Chicago River, and there he's waving, shaking hands, knowing names like nobody's business. Yes, like a native son of the city when I've lived here all my life! He charmed all the older ladies on the South Side, too; they know my family, told my parents I can't do better than a man named Barack!
Before, it was always, who's good enough for Michelle? Last I looked, I have an Ivy degree, too—make that two.
But his confidence was a force. I started falling for his words and believing in what he promised me. He talked so fine about his dreams, our future, the white house we were going to live in together some day. Yes, all that came true—with a rose garden of my own—and even a vegetable one. Parties every night—practically. Nothing but the best. Dresses fit for a princess made me soar, and later found their way crumpled to the floor. Kind of like me, living in a beautiful glass house.
The worst part is, he doesn't understand when I get depressed. I've been off my game, my set point for months, even years, and my husband just doesn't want to hear about it. I can spend mornings languishing in bed and say, "Oh, just under the weather, honey," if he happens to notice. We agree to keep this little charade going, I guess. The national indicators were not rosy when we came to this town—and my personal barometer has hardly moved a millimeter. I need more to do and to make a contribution. I need to get out more, out of the house. A job would be good medicine for me. Feels like he doesn't love me when I'm down.
Activity, occupation, employment—that's what programs people are hungering for out there—and in here. If he spent more time with me than Treasury Tim, I could tell him what's happening in the real world, not on Wall Street. Tim and the guys who give my husband advice don't know what a real depression (or a Great Recession) crisis looks like. They are awfully late to the game.
It's time for someone to say, Mr. President, it's all around you—and close to home, too.