Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oprah: The Ultimate Achievement

The Lost Girls, who write a blog about three friends traveling and a book about the same (here), posted a link to an article by Oprah today that I felt the need to pass along. It comes on the heels of me and a friend having a recent conversation about how recognition from Oprah has become a sign that you really made it for women of our generation. Whether you like her or not, there's some little part of you that wants to be unique enough, special enough, amazing enough, inspirational enough, innovative enough to be invited to be a guest on Oprah's couch. To have her proclaim to the world that you are just wonderful. Look what it did for all those authors?! And Dr.Phil. And Nate Berkus or whatever his last name is (the point is Target carries his line now and the only thing more universally great than Oprah may be Target).

Once, I actually tried to contact Oprah. This is such an embarrassing story because it's super dorky to think you have an Oprah worthy enough idea that you actually research how to contact her. Do you think all the super special people she had on contacted her or were they humbly sitting at home not even expecting her adoration? They would like you to believe the latter but we all know it takes some good PR to make yourself known to the most influential woman on television. (Let's not even delve into her leaving her show and starting her own network). So anyway, back to my budding friendship with Oprah.....I admit that I was one of the people who loved Oprah's book club. I may not have liked every book but it was a good guide and I read quite a few of them. Around the same time, shortly after college I got a job as a case manager at a homeless shelter that housed women and their children. I truly wanted to mix things up and bring some valuable groups and programming to the organization. Here is where I bring it full circle, guys: I decided to start a book group with the homeless women using Oprah's recommended books!! While a local bookseller was kind enough to donate some books and I was able to create a library, it was much harder to get a number of the same book so we could all read the same thing at the same time and then get together to talk about it. This is where Oprah comes in!! I reached out to "her people", I think via email or something which, at the time, was as good as it got. Here I am thinking, "Oprah is going to eat this up! Book club, homeless mothers!".........

I have to trail off because the reality is just too bleak. Not only did I never get invited to the couch but no one ever responded and even sent me any books for my book club. Sad, right? I know you feel a little heavier in your heart right now and I thank you for your sympathy.

My rejection aside, time has passed and I can accept that Oprah is a busy lady and "her people" probably didn't give her the memo or I would be writing a very different version of this story to be featured in this month's "O" magazine. Since I am confident in that knowledge and I still dream of Oprah starting her show again and somehow shining through in some area and being recognized with the greatest honor that can be bestowed upon someone, I can still enjoy the wisdom that Oprah emanates. And so I give to you The-Top-20-Things-Oprah-Knows-for-Sure. (#s4 and 8 are my favorites).

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