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Michelle Obama Finally Explains Her Awkward Reaction To Melania's Gift—And We Get It

Michelle Obama Finally Explains Her Awkward Reaction To Melania's Gift—And We Get It
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Updated 5 months ago

Donald Trump's inauguration was certainly an event that made history. It was full of flubs, ego, strange performances, and "the gift heard 'round the world." In case your memory is failing you, we're talking about that moment when Melania offered Michelle a gift. We're sure Melania had the sweetest intentions, but the gift clearly caught Michelle off guard. 

Since Michelle is usually so poised, the whole world collectively thought, "What was that all about?"

We've wondered for a year now whether Michelle Obama was being shady or if Melania just threw everyone off. Was there a random skunk that ran past and that's what her face was all about? We have no idea. Or, rather, we had no idea. Michelle finally broke her silence — to none other than Ellen — and the story behind the incident just makes the whole thing funnier and more relatable.

The Obamas had been briefed, cleared, and prepared for a very specific set of events. As with any state visit, everything had been planned down to the tiniest detail.

Nowhere in those plans was a gift from Melania. Michelle explained to Ellen: 

Well, there’s all this protocol. I mean, this is like a state visit, so they tell you that you’re going to do this, they’re going to stand here. Never before do you get this gift, so I’m sort of like okay. What am I supposed to do with this gift? Everyone cleared out and no one would come and take the box. And I’m thinking do we take the picture with? But everybody cleared out. No staff, no one. I was like what do you do with the box?

We could almost see her trying to pray away the awkward panic rising up within her. There was even a moment where she looked around for help and locked eyes with the camera. 

It was almost as if she was asking all of her fellow brothers and sisters in awkwardness...

Had she been hanging out at home she could have put the box on a table for later after thanking Melania and then gone on to properly welcome the Trumps. But she was essentially passing over a whole country and didn't exactly have a table handy. The cameras were ready and snapping for the photo op. Everyone had cleared out and here she is with this box that she knows isn't supposed to be in the official pictures. Soooo... yeah. 

What makes it even funnier is that Michelle did the same thing to Laura Bush in 2009. Awkward karma?

We get it. We'd have spazzed a bit as well. And it's honestly nice to know that a FLOTUS can get the awkwards, too. But Barack swooped in, taking the box and telling her he would handle protocol. 

Twitter, as expected, is still in love with the whole exchange: