After Careful Consideration, I Am Quarantining in Michelle Obama’s Podcast Studio

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Hi! Just a quick note to let you know that my address has changed! After careful consideration, I have decided to continue my quarantine at Michelle Obama’s podcast studio. Please forward all my mail to 1 Michelle Obama’s Podcast Studio Way, Basement, The Better Timeline, USA. I very much look forward to receiving your holiday cards, the 9,000 New Yorkers I swore I was going to read in quar, absentee ballots for the next 15 elections, and the second government stimulus check which will probably just be a Post-It note from the desk of Mitch McConnell that reads “You owe me reverse reparations!” But no matter what comes in the mail, my mood will be bright, my spirits lifted, and my yes we canned because I’ve taken up residence in Michelle Obama’s hygge hideaway and, like Elphaba in Wicked, nothing’s gonna bring meeee down! Ahaaaaaaa. (You can’t tell in print, but I did option up on the last note. Tony please!)

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Yesterday, the former first lady debuted her new Spotify podcast, brilliantly dubbed The Michelle Obama Podcast. I spent roughly seven hours trying to figure out a pun-y title like The Michelle O-Pod-ma Cast or Becoming Audible or The Sound Garden (because she planted the White House garden, remember? It’s underneath the place where Trump installed a Claire’s booth from a closed suburban mall). (This particular Claire’s is actually a money-laundering front, by the way.) But, reader, let me assure you that every single alternate title I thought of was so deeply not good that I offended myself. It became clear that The Michelle Obama Podcast was the best name possible. Another win for MO!

To herald the podcast’s arrival, the Obamas released a casual shot of them recording the inaugural (oof, that word got me in my feelings!) episode in what can best be described as a Rapturous Romper Room. The Den of Dreams. A Finished Basement of Federal Amazement. And reader, just as I did the first time I saw an Auntie Anne’s, I saw the photo and declared “I’m home!”

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What do I love about this photo? Literally everything. I want to delicately hug every single pixel. I think that we need to shut the whole country down because of Everything Going On™, but prior to that we do need to open up the economy for like 15 minutes so that I can run to Michael’s to get a frame for this photo. But then after that, shut it down. Wait, open it up again so I can get a snack to bring over. You don’t want to show up to someone’s First Family Room empty-handed. It’s rude! Michelle, I brought key lime pie and those little frozen eclairs!

I am obsessed with how chill Mom and Dad are in this photo and I am even more obsessed with the fact that Michelle Obama is actually chilling in what looks to be a very comfy romper or high-waisted shorts and a shirt. Meanwhile, Barack Obama is wearing the uniform of relaxed dads everywhere who are attired for walking around Disney World but could pop into a business meeting at a moment’s notice. The man is wearing shoes in his own house! With laces! I haven’t worn shoes since Winter. WINTER. Seasons have passed like the montage in Notting Hill and I have tied nary a lace! Remarkable. You know what else I find funny about Dad Fashion? So many dads are all about wearing long pants as if they’re Victorian dowagers who are scandalized by knee caps. Meanwhile, every Father’s Day their kids are posting Instagram photos of them from the 70s with huge mustaches and literal bikini bottoms on. At the grocery store! You’re not fooling anybody, Dads! We know you have knees!

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Anyway, we’ll deal with that later. Back to the tour of my new apartment in the lower level of the Obama Home that, according to my calculations, is nestled inside a rip in the time-space continuum. What else do I love about this photo? I love that they’ve decided that a great place to record is socially distanced from both each other and a microphone. And near a staircase! I’m no sound engineer but months of trying to be the most audible person on my family FaceTime have taught me that you get the best sound from covering yourself with blankets, yelling at everyone else in your house that you’re “DOING A THING!”, and literally never muting. This is fine, too, I guess. But I’m just worried about all those brilliant Michelle Obama words floating up that staircase into the rest of the house which, I assume, is not mic’d. We need every syllable! Please!

I love the reflection of President Obama in the mirror on the wall, like they have an instant portrait just hanging out. Like they’ve kept Kehinde Wiley on retainer to do quick caricatures whenever the mood strikes.

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I love the wicker side table from the Beach House by Beach House Collection. And on that wicker side table I love the little bottle of hand sanitizer! Michelle is not taking any chances, even in her own house. You love to see it. I also love that—again, in her own house—she has brought her purse with her like Aretha Franklin in concert.

And deep in the background, I love the board game cabinet! If Michelle Obama asked me to play a game of Monopoly, I would actually consider not cheating by hiding money under the board! Now, I know that this is not the American way but we’re all capable of becoming™ better versions of ourselves, with more just practices and new addresses in the residences of former presidents. It’s like my girl Elphaba said in Wicked, like a seed dropped by a sky bird (?) in a distant wood, who can sayyyyy if I’ve been changed for the better (I have). But because I knew (Michelle Obama), I have been changed for good!

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