My Mom Went to DC and All I Got Was PURE JOY
It was late December 2005, and I was returning home after my first semester at college. I came back to my family home in Illinois and on the fridge my dad had put up two photos of the Obama family. There was only one picture of me, his only child. I wasn't the least bit surprised. My family has been Obama crazy since his senate race in 2004 (he came "out of nowhere" for everyone except those of us from Illinois. We knew. We had the fridge doors to prove it.), and we're no different in 2016. My mom recently took a trip to Washington, DC and she was shocked at the lack of Obama merch available in our nation's capital. She was expecting his face to be plastered on everything from hats to shot glasses in every gift shop she went into, but ALAS. It wasn't until she was in the serpentine line for the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture that she managed to get some POTUS swag. You're meant to purchase a timed pass in advance to visit the museum, and a limited number can get same-day tickets, but the line to get these tickets is, according to my mom, insanely long. While people wait, there are veterans selling bootleg Obama merchandise along the line. She said they'd start at one end of the line with one deal, work their way down the line, and when they came back past her they'd have slashed their prices, or come up with another deal completely. The item that finally won her over? This oversized reusable shopping bag with photos of the Obama family plastered on every side.
You've got the whole Obama family on one side, but my personal favorite is the reverse side, featuring America's First Love Interests going in for a smooch.
The sides of the bag proves virtually impossible to photograph, but one side is Barack looking handsomely presidential, and the other side is Michelle in all her glory. You can sort of fold the bag together too so that the two of them are walking towards each other, which you know I've done.
When my mom showed me the bag I marveled at all the sides and then said, "What's on the bottom? An American flag?" Oh you KNOW there's an American flag on the bottom.
Our country might be going through, to put it way too politely, a phase we'll look back on with embarrassment and shame. On the bright side, we got eight years (and if you're from Illinois, 12!) of the greatest family as our beacon of hope. (Plus, it's not like they're disappearing forever.) You'll always have a place on our refrigerators, Obamas! And our stack of reusable shopping bags.