Michelle Obama Said She Once Took Her Engagement Ring Off and Threw It
On the latest episode of Michelle Obama’s eponymous podcast, The Michelle Obama Podcast, the former first lady and guest Conan O’Brien talked all about marriage.
Obama has, of course, been married to husband and former U.S. President Barack Obama since 1992 (28 years next month!), while O’Brien wed Liza Powel O’Brien in 2002.
As with any marriage, the Obamas have had their ups and downs. Michelle recalled a fight during their engagement in which she took her engagement ring off and threw it — though, notably, the throw was somewhat strategic. "I got mad at him about something and I took my engagement ring off and I said 'Forget this, who needs this,' and I threw the ring," she told O'Brien. "We were in my car. I wasn't really throwing it out," she admitted, "I threw it where I would know it would go. I didn't mean it. I wasn't like 'this is it' — it was effect."
"Whenever [Barack] gets the chance to relive that, as an example of how fast and quickly I can go there, he does," Michelle continued. "He remembers it and I don't. I had to learn that he feels things much more deeply over a longer period of time. He remembers the exact words used, the context that they were in. And I'm like 'Wow, I don't even remember being mad.' So I had to learn how not to go there," she shared. "You have to learn to communicate in a way that the other person is going to hear it."
So how do you build a lasting relationship able to withstand eight years in the White House and raising two daughters? According to Michelle, it all comes down to … basketball?
“I always thought, you know, if we approached a marriage and family like we approached — particularly, men — like you would, picking your basketball team, we’d have better marriages,” Obama told O’Brien.
“Because if you're looking at a team, the people you want to win with, then number one you want everybody on your team to be strong, right,” she continued. “You don't want any weak links, you don't want somebody that you can dominate, you don't want somebody who's kind of a loser, right. And also, if you're on a team, you've got to be able to do everything, especially in basketball, it's like, you would never pick somebody that says, ‘I only dribble. I don't shoot, I don't defend, I just dribble.’ If we looked at marriage as a real team, you want your teammate to be a winner, then you want LeBron [James], you know. You don't want the guy, third row on the bench, who didn't make the team, but we often don't think about that.”
“Now you've got me thinking about marrying LeBron,” O’Brien responded.
“What you're supposed to say is ‘I have married LeBron, My version of LeBron,’” she countered.
Well, between Barack and Michelle it’s going to be hard to determine an MVP …