The Obamas have been having fierce spades tournaments since quarantine began, according to Michelle Obama

During a wide-ranging discussion with former NPR host Michele Norris, Michelle said the family spends most of the day apart within their Washington D.C. home. But at around 5 p.m., all four congregate around a puzzle, followed by an intense game of spades. 

"They've got a spades tournament. Barack has taught the girls spades, so now there's this vicious competition. They wouldn't have sat down, but for this quarantine, to learn how to play a card game with their dad," Michelle said. 

The entire discussion was a good listen, but the internet honed in on Sasha and Malia falling in love with spades. 

People have been playing spades for decades, and generations of Black folks have grown up playing and mastering it. 

For most Black people, spades is a national pastime and a time-honored way to compete with family members and friends.

Last year, the game was trending on Twitter when thousands joked that Black people would rather roast you for not knowing how to play the game than teach you, as Blavity previously reported. In an explainer on the Black version of the game, Jackie Williams
laid out the worst sin someone can commit at a cookout: sitting down to play spades and not knowing the rules. 

"I’m being incredibly selfish with this post, because I LOVE spades, and nothing irritates me more than someone sitting down at the Spades table not knowing the rules of the game or worse, the rules when you play with Black folk," Williams wrote. 

Let's hope Barack taught his daughters the right rules because real players take the game quite seriously.

The anecdote was one of several shared by the former first lady about how the Obamas are making it through the coronavirus pandemic. Like the rest of us, they've been locked down together, figuring out ways to work and spend time together as a family.  

Michelle spoke further about how the quarantine has affected their lives, noting that the shutdown forced the family to be more self-sufficient and slow down their schedules.

"These are not, they are not fulfilling times, spiritually. So I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression. Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife — and just seeing [the Trump] administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting," Michelle said.

"It's an unburdening for them. You know, I don't know if they've articulated it. But there is a calm in them. It's almost like — they needed the world to stop a little bit. They didn't realize that they were, that the world they were on and the way they were living it, was so treadmill-like, so fast and furious. Because it was all they ever knew," she added.