I’ll be the first to admit the passion has been all but snuffed out. Gone are the days when simply saying ”Barack” brought goose bumps; when I not only wrote his name on my notebook, I put his picture on the rear bumper of my car; when someone else would declare his or her love for him and I’d interrupt, reminding everyone, “I loved him first! Back when you were drooling over John Edwards and Hillary Clinton!”
Yes, I know that our waning ardor was inevitable. After all, the honeymoon is long over and it’s hard to feel that rush of desire that once was so powerful that hardly a moment went by without me thinking about the Big O and smiling like a fully satisfied woman. But our loss is sad nonetheless and I refuse to sit back and do nothing. It’s time for me to do what it takes to put the spark back in my relationship with Barack.
I know he feels the same way. Just last week, he reached out to me, inviting me to a romantic dinner. Sure the national media would be there and he’d invited millions of others too. And yes, I’d have to win a random drawing first and he wanted my money, but I could feel that his heart was in the right place. He knew we had to do something and he was willing to take the first step. It takes a big man to put aside his ego and reach out to his soul mates.
Now it’s my turn. And while I realize that a picnic in the park or long walks on the beach are probably out (it’s hard to reconnect with Secret Service surrounding us and the sound of helicopter propeller blades chopping the air), there are some steps I can take to rekindle our love. I plan to:
1. Make more time for him. Often I go days without thinking about Barack at all. His wants, his needs, his plans for troop withdrawal in Afghanistan don’t even register on my list of things to do. I take full responsibility for my failure to be there for him. From now on I will devote myself to visiting his FaceBook page several times a day and liking him as often as I can.
2. Listen better. Whether he’s giving a weekly radio address or fielding questions from reporters about his thoughts on Paul Ryan or who he likes on So You Think You Can Dance, I will listen. And rather than barely tuning in while sorting laundry or doing the dishes, I will give him my complete attention. In fact, just moments ago I watched an old video in which my man said, “I have faith that we will emerge from this trying time even stronger and more prosperous than we were before.” I feel better about us already.
3. Praise him for the good things he’s brought to our relationship. Couples tend to focus too much on the little things that go wrong, such as job loss, failure to get angry enough, and lack of commitment to slowing down global warming. But so many things have gone right and I need to make sure to let Barack know how much I appreciate even the smallest effort. Whether it was appointing Elena Kagen to the Supreme Court (and no, I am NOT jealous), asking the Pentagon to eliminate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, restoring the Environmental Protection Agency to Cabinet status or installing energy efficient lights in the White House, there are so many things I have been taking for granted lately. And look, just last week, he finally took a stand on gay marriage. My man is slowly evolving and I need to make sure he knows I appreciate it.
4. Laugh together. In the beginning, we giggled all the time. He was on The Daily Show and I snorted soy milk through my nose. I hurt my tailbone falling off my chair laughing at his appearance on Saturday Night Live. What happened to the fun times we used to have? Sure, we’ve had to get serious and face our problems, but we need to remember to take time to laugh and let go. I think I’ll send him that funny YouTube video of the Tea Party flash mob video featuring cats in Glenn Beck masks. I know that will crack him up.
5. Make him his favorite meals. It’s been forever since I cooked for my man, so tonight I’m going to prepare all his favorites: nuts, seeds, raisins, broccoli, and spinach. How could I forget that the way to the leader of the free world’s heart is through his stomach?
6. Flirt. Flirting is what our relationship was built on at the start. He promised me change and I flashed him a coy smile. His eyes bored into mine through the fiber optic cables that bring me the news and I twirled my hair and batted my eyelashes. Just because he’s thousands of miles away and sometimes too busy to get away from his job, that’s no reason for us not to make sparks fly again. I know his @Twitter name and there’s nothing to stop me from sending him sexy messages. If he can get his sound bites down to fewer than 140 characters, I know I can do the same with mine.
You know what? I feel more connected already. In fact, if all goes well, I see us renewing our vows later this year. He looks so handsome in the fall.