I have a question for Michelle Obama. When she said “when they go low, we go high,” it was in the context of teaching Sasha and Malia right from wrong, right? It was about protecting her children from the bullies of the world, such as the ones that succeeded her and her husband in the White House. It was NOT, and I repeat, NOT, meant to be advice to us mere mortals trying to figure out how to protect those who wrong us from our righteous rage. This piece of wisdom of going high when other people are scraping the barrel has really messed up my equilibrium.
Oh, Michelle, I have tried. I adore you. I would gladly follow you and your suggestions wherever they make take me. But I am beginning to have a problem with this business of going high. How high exactly? I am having a spot of vertigo over here. And how long for? When you coined that phrase, you really should have specified a timeline. I also don’t think that when you created that life lesson, you had met my ex. Do you even have an ex? You have been with the most amazing man for a very long time. What do you know of the trials and tribulations of dealing with people who once upon a time went down on you, and then just ended up going down. Low. Very low. Lower still. And all the while I am trying to go high, but Michelle! It is hard!
With the blessings of old age (there literally are none, unless you think of getting up to pee 15 times a night as a good way of getting your steps in) comes a desire for nuance. I humbly suggest that we modify the motto to something like “when they go low, it’s OK for you to change your Netflix password but revenge porn is NEVER acceptable.” Or, “when they go low, by all means, forget to forward their credit card bills but no, you cannot hack into their Amex account and spend $500 on new sex toys.” (Ugh, that is such a good idea though! I cannot believe I just decided that was not allowed).
So, good people, take it from me: the middle of the road is a fine place to be. When they go low, hang out in that beautiful space in the middle where you do not give in to all your revenge fantasies but you can still mess it up for them a little bit. After all, it was Cardi B who said it was OK to be an emotional gangster. And there’s no arguing with that.