Mind you, I used to love her.
I used to imagine sitting in one of those over-sized chairs on her set and explaining where I get the ideas for my columns.
“Oh, they are everywhere!” I’d say happily. Then, in my wisdom, I’d add, “The personal is the universal.” She’d nod knowingly to the audience – so true!
“Maybe I’ll write about this visit with you, Oprah, but the column would focus on a chia seed stuck in my teeth during our interview, not the obvious coolness of meeting you!”
She’d have to laugh and relax and think I’m just as cool in my own way. Someone noteworthy. My column would get the Oprah bump and I’d be on my way.
Occasionally I envisioned sitting next to her on an airplane. This of course was back in my naïve days when I dreamed that I would fly First Class and that she would fly commercial.
In this fantasy, I wouldn’t be fawning or obsequious at all. No. I wouldn't even ask for her autograph. We would be equal in conversation and at some point, maybe over the Grand Canyon, she would turn to me and say something like, “I don’t know why I’m telling you all this about Stedman and me. Gayle doesn’t even know this part of our relationship!”
Then, when the flight attendants began to prepare for landing, I’d ask one of them to take our picture. Later, when I posted it on Facebook, you would see that she was leaning toward me.
But that’s all over. Now she just makes me mad.
My imaginary friendship started to disintegrate when a friend gave me a subscription to Oprah’smagazine, “O.” The first issue arrived this month and Oprah’s pretty much in my face with all her glossy billionaire-y exuberance.
All right – on the one hand, you still have to admire her accomplishments. Recognize her altruism.
On the other hand it seems pretty clear that in this publication at least, she has lost her perspective.
At the table of contents she is already annoying us common folks!
For example, in the Featured section we find – “Shoes: A Love Story. The unabashedly shoe-obsessed Sarah Jessica Parker gives…a walking tour of her new line of fabulous footwear.”
So I went there.
Wow. Look at all those shoes that NO ONE should wear. Ever. Even though they’re really cute and sexy and named after all the people who inspired Sarah but we don’t recognize because we’re not ‘in’ enough to know the greats by their first names and we live in the world where your heels have to make solid contact with the ground to create balance for your torso.
And look at all these pictures of Sarah putting stilettos on Gayle, or modeling stilettos with Gayle or debating with Gayle the merits of T-straps versus ankle straps.
Next issue? Bank on it – Oprah will run an article about how to improve your posture and soothe your aching back.
The familiar cast of helpers is there, but even they seem too shiny to trust: Dr. Phil is promoting his new interview show where “the revelations often become news!”
And Dr. Oz looks suspiciously smooth-skinned and flaw-free. Argh!
What’s this? An article called “Why It’s Worth It,” explaining how to rationalize the $950 expense of a charm bracelet?! You pro-rate it, of course!
OK. I have to admit this is a strategy I employ to justify my splurges. I guess I’m just mad because I can never really splurge like Oprah splurges.
Darn it! Oprah’s no longer a woman of the people. This stuff in not relatable!
But wait! Here’s an article that I can connect to: “Cloudy…with a Chance of Rage?” Yeah. That sounds like me! I could use a quick fix for my grumpy disposition.
And this is nice: My crankiness has its own name: Angry Woman Syndrome.
Maybe she knows me after all!
And the solutions to AWS? Why the old tried and true: walk it off, take 10 deep breaths, and “focus on the positive to prevent ‘ragey’ feelings from taking hold.”
I’ll have to pick my way through “O” to do that.
And I may not smack her after all.