03/02/2009 10:07 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Michelle Obama: First Friend

The latest issue of People magazine (February 25th) featured a cover story on Michelle Obama's first days in the White House. While the President was in Canada, the first lady orchestrated a 'Girls' Night In' at the White House, which might be a first! She invited a diverse group of women: secretaries (with a small 's') and policymakers to watch a screening of the chick-flick He"s Just Not That Into You while they munched on popcorn. I wish I had been a fly on the wall to hear the girl-talk that followed.

Shortly after the November election, an article in the Chicago Sun-Times noted that Michelle Obama's friends in the windy city would sorely miss her. I thought that spoke volumes about the character of the wife of the President-elect.

Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell quoted one friend of nearly 20 years, Yvonne Davila, who said: "Michelle is grounded in the sense that she is a woman just like you and me. She is a working mom. A girlfriend. A wife. She is a regular person and I think that is what makes her special and what resonates with people. People can see themselves in her," Davila said.

Clearly, this is a First Lady who strives to balance family, friends and career. Just like one of us.

[A segment on Good Morning America interviewed some of Michelle Obama's friends.]

Irene S. Levine, PhD is a freelance journalist and author. She holds an appointment as a professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine and is working on a book about female friendships, Best Friends Forever: Surviving the Myth, that will be published by Overlook Press in September, 2009 and recently co-authored Schizophrenia for Dummies (Wiley, 2008). She also blogs about female friendships at The Friendship Blog.