This time, they were bringing their kids over for a dinner party. Everything was going wrong. I wanted to wear something nice, but my closet was bare except for a yellow velvet butterfly shirt my daughter wore in fourth grade. And no pants.
So I'm bottomless walking around in a Size 6x yellow butterfly top.
The apartment was messy— not any home I recognize. We had to eat on a plastic table and cardboard boxes. I was apologizing every minute. Barak and Michelle were so polite and "understanding," it almost made it worse.
Jon and I had made this meal of steamed broccoli— that was it, steamed broccoli.
I worried that their kids might be the "no vegetables" type. Should we make them hot dogs separately?— or do the Obamas believe in the philosophy of "Eat what's on your plate?" I was too embarrassed to ask. My presidential dinner party was going badly. It occurred to me I had nothing to offer for dessert.
I'm proud of my extensive music collection, so I thought I could save the day by playing some good tunes and dancing.
But we couldn't find our iPods in this dumpy apartment. My partner Jon was blasé, like it didn't matter.
"Where are you CD's, your cassette tapes?" I started yelling.
He didn't know. The only CDs I could find on his desk were some of his crime fiction story tapes that he listens to in the car— or at bedtime.
Jon thought his Stuart Kaminsky Chicago crime novel was better than nothing. "Put it on!" He had Chapter Four cued up.
"I can't play STORY TAPES for the President and the First Lady!" I was fit to be tied.
In fact, I was tied.
I woke up with our cat lying like a dead weight on top of me and the covers twisted tight around my limbs. I have my leg in a "pseudo-cast" because of my recent "Runner's Knee" injury. Being pinned between flannel sheets and a fat cat is immobilizing.
I called out for Jon, and he came running to help me. He wakes up at the slightest noise. I retold him my dream in every detail. It was 3:45 AM.
To my amazement— I've never seen Jon do impressions— he started impersonating Obama giving a press conference, in that slow, deep cadence the President uses when he's being ultra-diplomatic:
"I just don't want to listen to a story tape... now."