The End of Oprah [Fierce in Seattle]
I was not prepared. It really snuck up on me. And I’ve known about it for at least a year. I’m talking about the end. Of Oprah. She continues to tell us that she will focus on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, as well as O Magazine. But nothing can even touch the greatness of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Ernessa talked about it here and many things she said resonated with me. Oprah being something of an everywoman and a superwoman simultaneously.
A good 15 years or so ago, my best gay and I attended a taping of the Oprah show. Women with gambling addictions was the topic. Hardly relatable material for me considering I hadn’t even managed a trip to Las Vegas at that point in my life. Nevertheless, it was electric to be in that audience. You knew you were in the presence of greatness.
Not only were we attending the show as audience, but we had an assignment from my friend’s mom. His mother had been a guest a year prior, discussing getting out of the rat race and moving from the suburbs of Chicago to the quiet and warmth of the Arizona dessert. Apparently, O had mentioned something about Aunt Bee from The Andy Griffith Show. This prompted my pal’s mom to arm us with Aunt Bee’s Mayberry Cookbook and told us we needed to give it to Oprah. Sure, OK. Now this was back in the day when Oprah used to shake every audience member’s hand as they exited. So not only would we make pleasantries with a handshake, but manipulate her for a few extra seconds by gifting her with something she surely would treasure for a lifetime. Oprah said something cute like “Oh my, who knew Aunt Bee could even cook?” We just laughed. I never watched Andy Griffith, but holy shitballs! I’m talking to Oprah! Hahaha, heeheehee, hohoho! Smile, laugh, smile, thanks! Bye!
After that experience, I was a dedicated follower of the O. She really seemed genuine in her gratitude to each person whose hand she shook. She looked everyone in the eye and said “thanks” or “glad you could be here.” And in her final show, she spoke to the audience at home. To you, to me. Directly. It was as if she was giving us personal thanks once again and you could really see through all of the billions of dollars, celebrity friendships and see your girlfriend, your sister, your mentor. I could hardly chip the surface to describe everything I’ve learned from The Oprah Winfrey Show, and not just that Oprah doesn’t know the lyrics to any song. Inspiring in so many ways, I’ll miss her daily show but will continue to learn from one of the great teachers and women of our time. Nothing touches Oprah. But I got to once…