How to Pretend You Watched the State of the Union

In order to really fool your political snob friends -- you know, the ones who look amazed that you can't rattle off the definition of a filibuster in two seconds -- you're gonna need a cheat sheet. And that's where I come in.
Publish date:
January 25, 2012
electoral politics, SOTU

OK, so you missed the State of the Union address. Maybe you were busy, I don't know, having a life? Perhaps you went out to a late Tuesday night dinner with friends, or spent Obama's timeslot putting your kid to bed. Maybe you had a nice glass of red wine and watched the Christmas episode of "The Office" (UK) and lost your shit crying, again, at Martin Freeman's facial expression when Lucy Davis comes back to the office party and lays a fat smooch on him. Fear not! Your XOJane political correspondent is here to fill you in on what you missed.

Listen, gals (and dudes), I want you to participate in the democratic process. But watching the State of the Union address is hardly an act of civic duty. It's sorta like the Super Bowl for nerdy adults who used to be on Student Council.

I'm sure you know the basics: President shows up, people applaud, President gives a speech, opposition party alternately half-heartedly applauds or gives silent pissy face while the President's party claps it up for every goddamn thing the Commander-in-Chief says. And you can get through a post-SOTU chat by nodding and grunting your assent and all that usual "Sure I did the homework" bullshit.

But in order to really fool your political snob friends -- you know, the ones who look amazed that you can't rattle off the definition of a filibuster in two seconds -- you're gonna need a cheat sheet. And that's where I come in.

Here, then, is the official list of shit you can say to convince your friends and wannabe wonk coworkers that you did, in fact, watch the President's speech.

"Michelle looked so hot! I love when she does royal blue. Do you think she was trying to send a message?" [Saying Michelle looked good = always acceptable and believable.]

"Gaby Giffords looked prettier than I did on my fucking prom day. Did you tear up when he hugged her? I totally did!" [Gaby Giffords looks better a year after getting shot in the face than I do on my best hair day. This is a fact. And yeah, everyone teared up.]

"When did Nancy Pelosi give up her long, sleek girlish locks for school guidance counselor hair?"[Trust me; it's hip-granny cute, but it's not up to usual lush Pelocksi standards.]

"Hillary's headband put me all the way back in 1992. That was some baking-cookies-for-the-press-corps shit." [Major throwback last night. I felt like I'd just gotten my period and my first copy of "Sassy."]

"That spilled milk joke was so lame. Michelle's face shoulda had a hashtag on it that read SMH." [Barack made a cheesy joke about spilled milk and some rule involving spilled oil and everyone thought it was awful, including Michelle, who was trying heroically not to give major #SMH, and if his foxy young speechwriter Jon Favreau is to blame, I'm ashamed for my generation. Note: different Jon Favreau, y'all.]

"Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was, like, frozen whenever they showed him. If he didn't blink a few times, I would've thought he had died with his eyes open!"' [This makes you sound smart for knowing who the Senate Minority Leader is.]

"When Obama said that the middle class doesn't envy the rich, I was like, 'I don't know which middle class you're talking to, buddy, but this middle class gal sure as hell envies rich folk!'" [Note: this only works if you are middle class.]

"Warren Buffett's secretary looked exactly like I thought she would." [Trust me, she did.]

"It's really nice that Jackie from North Carolina got to go to college." [It is. She was one of the shout-outs, those real Amurrricans they bring in to show that the preznit is in touch with us pond scum. Anyhoo, she had fun highlights and funky glasses and looked super nervous and bashful to be on TV. She went to college. This is all you need to know.]

"I bet there weren't that many black people in the audience when George W. Bush gave his SOTU." [Because there probably weren't! Do not make this comment around your hyper politically-correct white political nerd friends, because they are boring assholes and will think you are being racist just for making an observation.]

"I liked what he said about community colleges." [Obama likes them. I like them too! So should you. My little brother is going to one to get his nursing degree. He got a bachelor's in business from a big fancy college, but an affordable community college is helping him pursue his real dream and giving him real job training, too, just like Obama wants. Here is a photo of my brother in what he calls his "liberal douche costume." He is single.]

"Eric Cantor is kind of hot, for a Republican." [He is. He's, like, Romney-offspring hot. He looks like the nebbishy-yet-cute businessman in the Billy Idol "Rock the Cradle of Love" video who gets all hot and bothered by the fine chick wriggling around all sexy-like.]

"Wow. Obama said women deserve equal pay for equal work. How…revolutionary." [Then roll your eyes in irritation that we're still fighting to get our fair share after all the work of our moms and grandmas and great-grandmas and great-great grandmas and badass chicks all the way back to Lilith, Adam's first wife who wouldn't submit to him!]

That's about it! You're now a newly-minted faux expert on the State of the Union 2012. Go forth and impress your high-minded pals at the water cooler, or the bar, or wherever you consort with political nerds. So much mazel!