After Barack and Michelle Obama's constant love fest, maybe the next president and his or her spouse were always going to have a seemingly stunted relationship. But still, Donald and Melania Trump bring intra-marriage awkwardness to a new level. There have already been numerous
painfully awkward Donald and Melania Trump moments, starting from before he even took the oath of office and continuing up until the most recent handshake incident at Joint Base Andrews over the weekend.
It's hard to take in, it really is. You never want to be privy to the unpleasantness in a relationship that's not your own, even if you just have to witness all of the awkwardness on TV. And maybe in this case, none of this should come as a surprise — after all, Melania chose to live separately from Donald for the first five months of his presidency, and the campaign forced her to witness a moment in which
he ogled another woman's body and used some very unsavory "locker room talk." Even if we could have guessed that there was trouble in paradise, usually public couples have a way of keeping up appearances — but Donald and Melania, not so much. Here are their most awkward relationship moments so far, ranked by exactly how cringeworthy they were.
When Melania Had To Give Donald A Little Reminder
Really, this could have happened between any loving couple. One partner notices that the other is forgetting something important, so she reminds him of it. In this case, it was really most awkward for the president, because of what he was forgetting — namely, that as president it is appropriate to put one's hand over one's heart during a rendition of the national anthem. Of all of the awkward public moments between the Trumps,
Melania nudging Donald during the national anthem at the White House Easter Egg Roll is really the one most likely to come from a position of love.
When They Had A Super Awkward Inaugural Dance
When they opened up the
Inaugural festivities with a dance, it really looked like neither of them was exactly feeling the romance. Maybe it was the odd choice of song — Frank Sinatra's "My Way," strangely enough. Maybe it was their body language — Donald pulling her in at the pelvis, Melania leaning back with her upper torso — which body language experts have used to make the guess that there isn't much love or mutual respect between the couple. Maybe it was Donald's waving, shoulder pats for Mike Pence, and general sense of distraction. Pick your poison, though, really — it was a super awkward dance, and that's all there is to it.
When Melania Let Her Real Feelings Shine Through
This is a much-talked over instance that really might have been nothing — after all, Melania did not grow up in the U.S., and
Americans are known to be much more smiley than Europeans in general, and especially than Slavs like Melania. But it's just striking the way her face puts on a smile when he turns around and then so quickly loses it when he turns away, right? Can all of that really be chalked up to the so-called "resting bitch face"?
When Donald Forgot His Wife
Donald was evidently very excited to actually get into the White House, because
he couldn't even wait for Melania to walk around the car and go up the stairs with him. Not that he's ever really been the picture of chivalry, of course, but at a moment when literally everyone in the country is watching, don't you want to make an effort? Especially when it's so easy to compare with what the Obamas did — and of course, Barack waited for Michelle and let her go up first.
When Melania's Hair Was More Important
Melania wasn't so keen on holding her husband's hand during their first major overseas trip, as evidenced by this little evasive move from when they landed in Rome. Maybe she didn't see Donald's hand, or maybe her hair really was in her face — those are definitely possibilities, but they're less convincing when you put this clip together with number two on this list.
When Melania Swatted Donald's Hand Away
Maybe the hair incident in Rome would have been nothing, if this hadn't happened only days before
when Donald and Melania arrived in Israel. In this case, you can see Donald reaching his hand out, and Melania actually, literally swatting it away with what looks like a very practiced flick of her wrist. Is there any other explanation for that movement that makes sense, other than the obvious one stating that she simply didn't want her hand to come into contact with her husband's?
When Donald Treated Melania Like A Business Partner
This latest and most cringeworthy moment just really takes the cake. Not only does Donald thank his wife — his spouse, his partner in life, a woman who he once stood across an altar from — with a handshake, but then after the handshake, he pushes her across the stage like she's a young child who doesn't know where to go. The handshake would make sense if someone from his White House team or a business partner had introduced him; the push would make sense if he was trying to show a shy ring bearer where he needed to go. Social media has crowned this as
the most awkward moment between the Trumps, and can you really imagine anything more awkward?
Just — please don't take that as a challenge, Mr. President.