In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, the magazine features an excerpt of a new book about President Obama that aims to shed more light on his past, particularly his love life. The book, Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss shares intimate details from two of the President’s former girlfriends.
Despite many hoping to find the sordid details of a wild young man complete with drug use and rampant sexual promiscuity, what we see is a man in search of himself and his identity who spends a lot of time thinking about his place in the world and rereading an old copy of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Sort of a young, less-assured version of the President we see today.
In one particularly interesting journal entry from his ex-girlfriend Genevieve Cook, an Australian woman three years his senior, we learn how a 20-something Obama described his perfect woman. Despite being in love with each other, it was clear to Cook that she wasn’t his ideal woman.
From Vanity Fair:
Early in Barack’s relationship with Genevieve, he had told her about “his adolescent image of the perfect ideal woman” and how he had searched for her “at the expense of hooking up with available girls.” Who was this ideal woman? Genevieve conjured her in her mind, and it was someone other than herself. She wrote, “I can’t help thinking that what he would really want, be powerfully drawn to, was a woman, very strong, very upright, a fighter, a laugher, well-experienced—a black woman I keep seeing her as.”
When the pair eventually broke up in 1985 after an unsuccessful (and temporary) bout of living together Cook wrote:
Barack leaving my life—at least as far as being lovers goes. In the same way that the relationship was founded on calculated boundaries and carefully, rationally considered developments, it seems to be ending along coolly considered lines. I read back over the past year in my journals, and see and feel several themes in it all … how from the beginning what I have been most concerned with has been my sense of Barack’s withholding the kind of emotional involvement I was seeking. I guess I hoped time would change things and he’d let go and “fall in love” with me. Now, at this point, I’m left wondering if Barack’s reserve, etc. is not just the time in his life, but, after all, emotional scarring that will make it difficult for him to get involved even after he’s sorted his life through with age and experience.
Hard to say, as obviously I was not the person that brought infatuation. (That lithe, bubbly, strong black lady is waiting somewhere!)
It looks like she was. He met Michelle four years later and the two have been inseparable ever since.
While I was slightly disappointed that there were no bombshell skeletons in President Obama’s relationship closet (but at the same time relieved), getting a glimpse into past romances made me wonder what my exes think of me. I wonder if they’d also kept journal entries or past emails and letters we exchanged, and if they would still speak of me in such positive terms as President Obama’s past loves.
If someone asked your exes what type of person you were when the two of you dated would you get glowing reviews or would they have a seriously, juicy (and dramatic) story to tell?
Lets talk about it!