At the 2021 Biden inauguration, Michelle Obama quickly had all eyes on her thanks to that fabulous Sergio Hudson pantsuit, coat, and belt. But only inaugural poet Amanda Gorman was seated closely enough to the former first lady to also hear what Michelle was saying during the event, and the conversation she overheard has us sighing in recognition. According to Gorman, Michelle had some stern words for husband Barack Obama throughout the ceremony about keeping his distance from others, something we constantly have to remind ourselves to do in the COVID-19 era. It sounds like Barack got a little carried away with the excitement of the moment and Michelle had to rein him back in — and who among us attempting outdoor socializing with a partner hasn’t had to do the same at one point or another?
Gorman chatted with Ellen DeGeneres about the surreal experience of captivating the nation with her poem — and her interactions with the Obamas.
“[Michelle] kind of kept yelling at Barack like, ‘Stop hugging people! Stop getting close to people!'” she recounts. “And then when I was done, she kind of pushed him out of the way and gave me the biggest, warmest Michelle Obama hug.”
This actually wasn’t Gorman’s first time meeting Michelle: she tells Ellen that they’ve met a few times before, though she always hopes Michelle will forget.
“Whenever I meet Michelle I hope that she forgets meeting me because I just want a do-over, I just want a clean slate,” Gorman explains, laughing. “And when I hug her I’m so short, my forehead is like in her bellybutton.”
We totally understand Michelle being nervous at a big gathering with Barack — and also getting swept up in the moment and needing reminding herself. None of us are used to this, and all of us are fussing over our loved ones a little more than usual, the former first family included.
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