Becoming Book Tour Stop in Dallas, TX
I was so excited when my husband surprised me with VIP Meet and Greet tickets to see former First Lady Michelle Obama in Dallas, TX on her book tour for her memoir Becoming. For details on how the surprise took place, you can read about it in my post here.
We live in Atlanta, so he also arranged for a flight and overnight hotel accommodations in Dallas, TX.
I love visiting Dallas where “big things happen.” It has been a few years since I’ve been in the Dallas airport and was surprised to see a large stage in the middle of the airport. How awesome is that? As listed in Guide Live, Musician Michael Clay approached Dallas Love Field officials with the idea to showcase local talent. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time waiting for a flight than listening to live music. With all of the musical talent we have in Atlanta, maybe we will get a stage sometime in our Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport.
Michelle Obama Surprises Students
When we checked into our hotel room (my friend Charis was with me as her husband also surprised her with tickets), we turned on the television to the local Dallas news and saw that Michelle Obama had surprised students at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House during their annual Young Women’s Leadership Conference. Dozens of young women were discussing their thoughts on her book Becoming during one of the conference sessions when the former First Lady walked in and surprised the students. She was met with cheers, a few tears, and overwhelming admiration.
VIP Meet and Greet Check-In
We arrived at check-in around thirty minutes before we were expected to arrive to make sure we were able to get into the VIP reception. The information we had about the event specified that late arrivals would not be allowed into the reception, only the presentation following the reception. We were not taking any chances with arriving late as we were not giving away our shot at meeting Michelle Obama!
As we were waiting in the VIP reception line, we see Chris Bosh, former NBA player and Dallas local, in the reception line with his wife and young daughter. He was kind enough to take a photo with me after I asked his wife’s permission.
When I found out that I was going to meet Former First Lady Michelle Obama, I immediately wondered if I could receive one of her famous hugs. I have said numerous times that I want a hug from Michelle Obama before I leave this earth.
As we anxiously stood in line to meet her, we looked at the people around us. There appeared to be around 150 in attendance and everyone was dressed to the nines. I can imagine we were all thinking the same thing, that if you are going to get a picture with Former First Lady Michelle Obama, you want to look your absolute best!
We were in line behind Chris Bosh and his family and about twenty people back we saw Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and his family. It was pretty amusing to us that the guy that owns the Dallas Mavericks and pays the lease of the facility we are in (American Airlines Center) has to wait in line like everyone else.
When it was our time to approach her, she greeted us by saying our names. I know she was given our names ahead of time, but it still freaked me out just a little to hear Michelle Obama say my name! And then she opened her arms and hugged me! I got my wish! As I was hugging her, I told her that I couldn’t believe I was hugging Michelle Obama and I might have jostled her a little in my excitement. She just laughed and then hugged my friend.
As they were telling us where and how to stand for the photo, I thanked her for continuing to go high as they continue to go lower. She looked at me and said, “There certainly is a lot of low in the world right now.” And I agreed. We took our picture and as we were leaving she held my hand and said: “Thank you.” At that point, I could barely walk out of the room. The security must have sensed my instability and told me that we could take the stairs instead of the stairsteps as we had entered.
I am just so proud of myself that I didn’t break down and cry and that I was able to talk to her without sticking my foot in my mouth.
It was a simply amazing experience.
“Hugging is how I connect to people – how I show warmth and make folks feel at home.” Michelle Obama (source: The Medium)
A Conversation with Michelle Obama
We had seats in the center of the 7th row. As we were waiting and everyone was getting to their seats, videos were being played on the flat screens. Videos from her on Ellen, the Jimmy Fallon show, James Corbin and so many others. Also, pictures from her childhood and throughout her life were being shown set to some of Michelle’s favorite musical artists (Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Diana Ross, and a host of others). Some people were dancing and a lot of us were singing along with the music.
When it was time for the program to start, Mark Cuban and a few other Dallas locals got on stage to say a few inspirational words before Michelle Obama was introduced. Mark Cuban had his two young daughters with him and expressed his views on the importance of diversity and female leadership and inclusion.
Valerie Jarrett, a former senior advisor for Barrack Obama, then introduced Former First Lady Michelle Obama and the crowd immediately stood up and gave her a standing ovation. And then for over 90 minutes, she held a microphone and answered Valerie’s questions in front of a transfixed audience that was hanging on every word she said.
During the “Conversation” as in the book, Michelle described her growth from the South Side of Chicago to First Lady of the United States, through stories of empowerment and overcoming adversity.
The entire event from meeting her to watching her presentation was extremely empowering. Everyone in the room was happy and there was such a positive vibe that it seemed infectious. Michelle Obama to me is an inspiration and a treasure. I love her compassion for others and her ability to remain classy no matter what is said about her. She knows who she is and she knows the sky is the limit to what she can achieve. I thank her for writing her book and for wanting to help others “become” who they were always destined to be.
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