I’ve always said that serving as the 44th president of the United States was the second most important job I’ve ever had, right behind being a parent. Raising my two daughters, Sasha and Malia, was the most challenging task I’ve ever taken on, and ultimately the most rewarding. That’s why it is so upsetting to announce that, as of today, I will never speak to either Sasha or Malia ever again because they refuse to smoke cigarettes with me.
I love my daughters, and I love cigarettes. Everyone knows this. But Sasha and Malia have denied me the chance to combine these things too many times to count, so I’m done with them. If they wanted me in their life, they should’ve smoked cigarettes with me. Simple as that.
The fact that my daughters won’t smoke cigarettes with me has forced me to accept that I have failed as a father. Clearly, every ounce of time, patience, and love that I invested in Sasha and Malia was for naught if they reject the idea of taking five minutes out of their day to join their dad for a smoke. I’ve always done what I thought was best for my family, and if that means not attending my daughter’s graduations so they know just how disappointed I am in them for not smoking cigarettes with me, then that’s how it will be. I don’t know how many times they expected me to ask, “How about I go ahead and pencil you two in for a cigarette tomorrow morning—or maybe even right now?” only to be told that I should never enter their rooms at 2 a.m. again if that’s what I’m going to ask them, but I’ve had enough.
I gave Sasha and Malia chance after chance to smoke cigarettes with me, and they blew it. Now, I’ll just have to gift the jar on my nightstand filled with cigarette butts I’ve smoked so far this year to someone who appreciates it instead, like my wife, because I’m icing my daughters out for as long as I live, and I regret not doing so a long, long time ago.
Smoking cigarettes with me is far from a huge ask. In fact, it’s actually quite easy, and fun, and literally the only thing I have ever asked in return for providing Sasha and Malia with as wholesome an upbringing as Michelle and I could give them. It’s not even like I’m asking them to buy the cigarettes—my daughters know better than anyone that the bogies are always on Barry. However, my children have made it crystal clear that lighting up some cigarettes with their dad is not worth their trouble, so my only course of action is to carry on as if they were both dead.
If I found time to smoke cigarettes as the president of the United States, then surely Sasha and Malia could have found time to smoke cigarettes as my daughters.
When my girls were growing up, I always believed that the question of all of us smoking cigarettes together as a family unit wasn’t a matter of “if,” but “when.” Apparently, I was wrong. If I was naïve to envision a future for the Obama family where we all smoke cigarettes inside our house on Father’s Day morning because we all love it and don’t care if the smell sticks to the furniture, then what joy was there to expect from fatherhood at all?
For years, Sasha and Malia scoffed in my face every time I had the Secret Service pull them out of school and brought to the Oval Office, where I’d take three pristine cigarettes out of my pocket and playfully wave them around as I said, “You know what time it is.” I am finally putting my foot down, because I am pissed, and I have every right to be.
It is now obvious that Sasha and Malia would rather I smoke cigarettes in the yard by myself, scrolling through pictures I’ve taken on my phone or just looking around at trees and houses like some quiet, lonely weirdo, and not the former commander in chief. They’d rather let all of the cartons of cigarettes I’ve given them over the years for countless birthdays and Christmases go stale and un-smoked. They’d rather tell me that any lingering hopes I have of lighting their unlit cigarettes with my already-lit cigarette is a pipe dream that will never happen. So, consider your wishes granted, Sasha and Malia. I’ve heard you loud and clear. You will never have the opportunity to take me up on a smoke break ever again, because I have deleted your contact information from my phone and burned the pictures of you that I carry in my wallet.
Sasha. Malia. When you refused to smoke a single cigarette with me, you threw away every nice memory we shared as a family. Why did you do this?
It’s not like I wanted Sasha and Malia to smoke cigarettes with me all the time. I simply wanted my daughters to smoke a cigarette with me every now and then—hell, even just once a year on Christmas would have meant the world to me, and they were fully aware that that was all it would take to make their father the happiest man alive. But each time I have spontaneously offered to fly them back home to share a fresh pack of Marlboro with their dad, they sighed and left me to smoke my Reds alone, yet again. Well, they made their choice, and now so have I. It is a choice as painful as it is necessary.
Goodbye forever, Sasha and Malia. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have any daughters.