We interrupt this regular blogcast…
For those of you who have been following my Love Letters story, I apologize for this momentary lapse, but I have some important news to report. Huge news. Huge enough to preempt my regular blogcast.
You see, after many, many years of trying… my request has finally been accepted, and I AM GOING TO SEE OPRAH!!!
Yes, it’s absolutely true. This Wednesday, my best friend (and business partner) Betsy and I will be in the audience of the Oprah show. We have no idea what the topic is yet… nor do we care.
We. are. going. to. see. Oprah.
When I heard Season 25 would be Oprah’s last year, I decided to pull out all the stops in order to get tickets for her show. Over the years, I’ve tried phoning, emailing, snail-mailing… the works. However, Season 25 presented a new challenge. Anyone wishing to attend a taping of the Oprah show had to submit an online request and, in a nutshell, tell the Harpo staff why they were worthy of being in the audience for Oprah’s final season.
I tried them all.
I have told Oprah how much I love Shaun Cassidy, M.C. Hammer, and Diana Ross. I’ve written long dissertations about being a multiple (a twin that is, not personality), why the Sound of Music is my favorite movie of all time, and why I am absolutely one of her ultimate viewers.
Denied. Denied. Denied.
I have recorded every show. Read every Book Club book. Followed Jean Chatzky’s Debt Diet. Last week, I even bought her favorite Centerville Chicken Pie from Harry and David.
Anything for Oprah.
However, time was winding down. This was the last season, and alas, it seemed this would be one item on my bucket list I’d never be able to cross off.
When I saw an audience reservation topic titled, “Girlfriend Groups,” I thought AHA. This, I know. This will surely get me a spot on Oprah. Here’s what I wrote:
In 1991, when I was in my young 20s, I moved from Minneapolis to Spicer, a small town in west central Minnesota. At the time, there were more people in my high school graduating class than the entire town combined. I really had no intention of staying. I followed a college friend whose family had a lake cabin in Spicer. She’d recently started her own graphic design studio and invited me out to do some freelance copywriting and waterskiing. We had a great summer, business was steady, and I bought in as an equal partner in the company. Then winter came. I learned that Spicer is really a summer town, and not much of a winter one. The cabin people left, the lake froze over, and I was more homesick than ever. But then, the craziest thing happened. Betsy (my friend/business partner) convinced me to join a pool team. She said it would be a good way to pass the time over the winter. I reluctantly agreed, and the decision changed my life. We joined a team with Diane, a party girl and former skating car hop; LeeAnn, a lawyer, singer, and guitar player who drank Jack Daniels on the rocks; and Shelly, a daycare mom who could bank an 8 ball with 90% accuracy. Over the course of that pool league, we got married, divorced, had babies, changed careers, raised families, laughed and cried. Then, in the fall of 1998, LeeAnn’s two year old daughter, Emma, was diagnosed with brain cancer. Eight months later, Shelly’s 10 year old son, Cody, was killed when he was hit by a car. Five months after that, Emma died. We didn’t know how we could go on. But we did. We’ve helped each other through tragedy and triumph. We’ve learned to rely on each other as much as we rely on our own families. And to this day, we’re still as different from one another as any girlfriend group could possibly be. But love is the tie that binds. And love is what we do.
I had poured my heart out and hoped for the best. I waited for a reply which never came.
At that point, I realized that if I couldn’t even get Oprah tickets by laying it all on the line and ripping off my emotional Band-Aids, well, then, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.
Then, two weeks ago, I saw a notice on the audience reservations page that said “Last Minute Availability! February 22 and 23 shows!” I have absolutely no idea what I wrote. Nothing long, nothing moving, and certainly nothing that followed any journalistic standards (at least not that I can recall). But, I guess it did the trick. I got the following email last Thursday:
You are receiving this message because you sent an email to oprah.com about being available on Wednesday February 23, 2010. I read your email and would like to invite you to attend the taping of this show to be in our audience!
I leapt off the couch and started screaming something about Oprah while my husband and teenage sons looked on in (shock? bewilderment? horror?). When I stopped shaking and could finally speak coherently, I read the entire email to them. It wasn’t a joke. I was going to see Oprah.
Bucket list, be damned.
So, join me this week as Betsy and I head out on our big “Oprah Adventure.” We’re heading out at 6am tomorrow morning, braving two feet of new snow, and hell-bound for the Windy Cindy. We’ll be blogging and podcasting along the way, so stay tuned.
OMG. I’m going to see Oprah.