Give the Lady What She Wants
Michelle’s likes and dislikes, as drawn from interviews and published sources
by Carol Felsenthal
+ Bedtime at 8:30
+ Until recently, a regular Friday-afternoon appointment with Michael ‘Rahni’ Flowers of the Van Cleef Hair Studio on West Huron Street to have her hair and nails done. She has her hair processed to make it look straight.
+ To-do lists. She relies on them personally and professionally.
+ Routine. She’s a perfectionist and a stickler for schedules. Barack is neither.
+ Regular workouts. When she was still at the University of Chicago, at 4:30 a.m. Now with a personal trainer and later in the day
+ Eating out. Rick Bayless is a family friend, and the Obamas like his restaurants Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. They also like Roy’s, perhaps because the original is in Hawaii, and Spiaggia, the dining room, not the less expensive café.
+ Stevie Wonder is her favorite singer.
+ Television. She loves it; Barack hates it. Her favorite oldies are The Brady Bunch and The Dick Van Dyke Show. Her contemporary picks are Sex and the City, The Sopranos, and HGTV.
+ Writers. Toni Morrison is her favorite, but Michelle is not much of a reader. No time, she says.
+ Sudoku. During downtime on the campaign
+ Cooking. “If you want to sit down for a meal,” she once told the Chicago Sun-Times, “we’re coming over to your house.”
+ Cigarettes. She and Barack made a deal that if she went along with his plan to run for the White House, he would stop smoking. He still smokes, although not much.
+ Pantyhose. Her legs are too long, and they are uncomfortable.
+ The July 21, 2008, cover of The New Yorker, which depicts Michelle and Barack fist bumping in the Oval Office beside a portrait of Osama bin Laden with an American flag burning in the fireplace
Photography: (from top) visualfield/istockphoto.com, bluestocking/istockphoto.com, Chris Hatcher/PR Photos