I was just reading the paper (as I try to do daily) and noticed the upteenth article to say “goodbye” to Oprah. Of course, it’s a Chicago newspaper and I totally expect the tributes and the letters and the gaga-ing reaction to her “secret finale” this week (it is this week, right?) But…I’m over it.
Maybe because I was out of the country for a good ten years, and these happened to be my “raising babies” years, I missed the connection to Oprah that so many of my friends and family feel to her. I didn’t have that morning fix while I fed the kids their snack of Cheerios and apple juice in their highchairs. I watched videos of Teletubbies instead. Or Sesame Street, Bob the Builder (in English), Blues Clues, etc. Not really fulfilling mommy-TV, I admit, but it made for a more peaceful balance in my day, trust me.
I do remember Oprah first coming onto the scene and how her appearance created the disappearance of the talk show host I truly loved: Phil Donahue. I mean if he’s good enough for “That Girl” Marlo Thomas, he was definitely good enough for me! I loved his thoughtful way of asking questions while his white hair bobbed over the microphone, and how he would float an idea out to the audience to get a reaction, a thinking reaction, which was so new to the talk show scene at the time. But Phil couldn’t keep up with Oprah’s style and the way she talked to women and for women. It was liberating for many, myself included. I was sad to see Phil leave, thinking that I would miss him forever and never watch daytime TV with the same attention, but Oprah filled that void and gave me reasons to think beyond my own living room. Phil became a distant memory.
All too soon, our family moved out of the country and my daily fixes of Oprah came to a screeching halt. I was too busy trying to get our lives together to worry about what book Oprah was suggesting today or what marriage she was trying to save – or which celebrity she was going to be interviewing as if I could remember any of them at that point! – and the internet was in it’s infancy, lacking that Yahoo/Facebook connection to American culture.
So here I am, twelve years later, living in the Chicago area with school age children and the freedom and time to watch daytime TV if I so choose…but I usually don’t. Still too many other things vying for my attention aside from my growing boys – laundry, grocery shopping, Facebook, email, phone calls, school plays, volunteering assignments, etc. – who has time to watch daytime TV?? And for that matter get so wrapped up in saying “goodbye” to someone I really don’t know…sigh…
While I get the whole idea of the importance of Oprah, the woman and the show, I have to say…I’m over it.
Can we talk about something else now??