Last month, I was honored at the White House Correspondents Dinner, which is really hard to type or say out loud without sounding like an ass, but hey – I’ve worked hard, OK? The win came with a lot of perks. A) A free three-course meal, which for a graduate student means a lot. B) A scholarship to help me eat things other than instant ramen from time to time. And C. The biggest C) that has, perhaps, ever existed: I got to hug Michelle Obama. Twice.
Oh, and I shook her husband’s hand, too.
D.C.’s "Nerd Prom" is flush with celebrities. Bradley Cooper. Kyle MacLachlan. Chrissy Teigen. It was a glamorous, over-the-top event in an otherwise pretty drab town. The de rigueur criticism of the WHCA dinner — fueled by the admittedly awesome recent documentary Nerd Prom — is that journalists shouldn’t be hobnobbing with the rich and famous and should be, instead, starving, drinking cheap beer, and becoming increasingly more bitter.
But it is the one night a year that honors the often-thankless job of covering the Washington Machine for your benefit, and dammit, it was hard to look around the room at my colleagues (read: superiors) and say we don’t deserve a bit of fun.
But you know what I didn’t deserve? What I could never, not in one million years with one million Pulitzers under my belt, ever deserve? Hugging Michelle Obama. Twice!
So it is my duty as the undeserving plebe that I am to chronicle what runs through your mind whilst hugging the absolute perfection that is the First Lady of the BLESSED UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Dreams really do come true, y’all.
1) Is this really happening? IS THIS HAPPENING? Did I say “IS THIS HAPPENING?!” out loud? DID I SCREAM IT?
2) Oh my God, can she smell the wine on my breath? IT WAS FREE AND I AM BROKE. Does wine fit into her healthy eating program? It was red! That’s heart healthy, right?
3) Wait, did I even say anything to her before collapsing into her arms? Jesus Christ, I think she just said “Congratulations” and I replied with “Unghhhhhhhhuuuuhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!”
4) She’s so tall. Is my head in her bosom? AM I RESTING MY HEAD IN FLOTUS’ BOSOM?
5) If I squeeze her perfect arms will they give me power by proxy?
6) Will the Secret Service tackle me if I squeeze her flawless, well-toned arms to gain power by proxy?
7) This will be the only chance I ever get to ask her if she will adopt me. I’m confident I would be a great big sister to Sasha and Malia.
8) Can she sense that at least once a week I eat cinnamon rolls for both breakfast and lunch? Should I explain that? It’s the cheapest breakfast item at Au Bon Pain, FLOTUS.
9) There’s a delicate butterfly effect that led me to this situation, right now, of being in Michelle Obama’s toned arms that I could have easily disrupted. What if I had gone on that spring break trip to Mexico during undergrad and met my soul mate – the son of a wealthy Mexican attaché - and settled on some Mexican beach village? THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER.
10) OH. MY. GOD. WE’RE. STILL. HUGGING.
And that, my friends, is what happened to me. Twice.
Images: Giphy (10), C-SPAN