This afternoon, President Obama made a speech about preschool education. At one jokey point, he warned parents of younger children that those little kids would soon grow up to be teenagers, ones who are too busy to hang out with their parents. "They have sleepovers and — dates," he said to laughter. So, wait. Did Obama just tell us that Malia is going on dates?
Washington Post White House correspondent Zachary Goldfarb thought so, tweeting the following: "POTUS just suggested that his older daughter is going out on dates. He then added, "…or at least it's on his mind." Let's forget about that second part and take the first half at face value. Guys!! Malia Obama is going on dates! Eeee! It's like Chasing Liberty or First Daughter or maybe First Kid? It's like some combination of all those movies. But who might she be dating? And what to do on the date? Let's speculate.
Daniel Santorum: Sure, Daniel's dad may really, really, really dislike Malia's dad, but haven't you seen Romeo & Juliet? That's how the best love stories start! (I still haven't watched the end. They do fine, right?) Plus, you know that with a kid from a family as values-y as the Santorums, there's not going to be any funny business. They'll go to the movies and he'll leave a seat between them. They'll get ice cream (plain vanilla, in a bowl) and he'll refuse to try hers when offered. They'll stop by a party at one of Malia's friend's houses, and when kids start playing spin the bottle, Daniel will promptly, and purely, pick up the bottle and throw it away. (Not recycle it, who does he look like, Ed Begley?) This is going to be the most upstanding date anyone's ever been on. At the end of the night, Daniel will wave goodbye from a safe distance and then go home and lie on his bedroom floor taking deep breaths for a while.
Jack Edwards: The youngest son of disgraced former senator John Edwards, Jack, or Jackie as we'd imagine he likes to be called, is a bit of a wild child. But just like his daddy, you wouldn't know it by lookin' at him. So after all the polite introductions, "Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Obama," etc. etc., they'll get rid of their Secret Service tail by, I dunno, running fast, and Jack will show Malia a crazy good time. Getting the five-finger discount at the Apple store (new headphones!), dining and dashing at Johnny Rockets, splitting a cigarette that Malia found hidden in a potted plant in her dad's office. You know, all kinds of crazy shenanigans. Of course, the Secret Service will eventually catch up to them and the date will be promptly over, but that's OK. The scolding will have been worth it. That Edwards boy. Gotta watch out for him.
Harry Styles: Malia Obama is pretty famous and her dad can have people sent to secret island prisons, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility that she could score a date with the most beloved member of One Direction. Sure, she's only 14 and he's a mature 19, but this is an innocent date we're talking about. After a nice meal at the Fuddruckers in Rockville, the two (and their security detail) get in Marine One and fly on down to Nashville, where they throw eggs at Taylor Swift's house and giggle like crazy. On the ride home, Harry gets out his guitar and plays a little tune for Malia, and even the Secret Service agents swoon a little. At the end of the date, Harry gives Malia a gentlemanly kiss on the cheek and then opens his umbrella and flies away, as is the preferred method of travel for British people.
Finn from Homeland: SPOILER ALERT, guys. Read no further if you're not caught up on Homeland. (What's wrong with you? That ended like months ago.) So, there is obviously one minor complication with this scenario, namely that Finn recently came down with a terrible case of explodeditis. But we're just imaging things here, this is all pretend, so let's just assume that somehow Finn made it out of the CIA bombing and is now courting the First Teen. The kids will start their date with a delicious meal of huevos rancheros, cooked up special for the occasion by Mike. Then they'll go for a drive and run over a few people, Malia chewing on her hair and mumbling things. Once they've tracked down and run over Chris Brody, it's off to Blues Alley for some frantic jazz. The evening ends when, yeah, Finn explodes.
Some nice boy from school: Sure, she could go out with all these famous jerks or sons of famous jerks, but she might also, y'know, meet a nice kid at Sidwell Friends. Maybe he works on The Horizon. Maybe he's in the upcoming production of The Secret Garden. Maybe he's on the JV basketball team. (They have an away game tomorrow.) Maybe they'll hang out with a group of friends instead of alone, as the kids do these days, and the Secret Service guys will hang back as much as they can, trying to make everyone feel comfortable, and it's just a nice time. Then Malia goes home and her dad asks how it was and she breezily says, "Fine," before shutting her bedroom door and turning the music up loud.
Update: A reader makes the best suggestion yet.
@rilaws I think she's dating Leonard from Jeopardy.— Michelle (@lilydale) February 14, 2013