I am not an Oprah fan, but I did watch her final episode on May 25. As you can imagine, it was filled with warm and fuzzy moments and warm and fuzzy proclamations from the apparently warm and fuzzy heart of Ms. Winfrey.
One thing she said really got me thinking to the one time I and three of my girlfriends came to a taping of her show. It was in 1991 or 1992 -- the day the Chicago Bulls won the first of three NBA championships (talk about a wild night on Rush Street -- but I digress!)
What Oprah said was: "If I could reach through this television and sit on your sofa or sit on a stool in your kitchen right now, I would tell you that every single person you will ever meet shares that common desire. They want to know: 'Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?"
I had to laugh when I heard that one. Oprah is, or at least was, a VERY different person when the cameras were not rolling. During the show we saw -- as soon as there was a commercial break -- Oprah was complaining about something. Her shoes were too tight, because she took them off early in the taping. She had some poor woman following her, trying to placate her by saying things like, "No, it's all right. It will be OK." We never did find out exactly what displeased Oprah, but it was constant.
Then when the taping was done, they announced that anyone who wanted to meet Oprah could form a line and she would greet them. This was offered to us -- no one asked Oprah to do this.
It was obvious that Oprah would rather be anywhere BUT on that stage greeting people. Her body faced the people and she shook hands, but her head was twisted around and she was making comments to the stage people. She wanted the audience gone as soon as possible.
One of my girlfriends decided to take the "Do you see me? Do you hear me?" business to heart. We noticed how Oprah was not paying attention to the people standing in front of her. Sue took the proffered hand of Oprah and did not release it until Oprah turned around to see who was keeping her hand hostage. Sue wanted Oprah to walk her talk and see us and hear us. Oprah was forced to make conversation, albeit briefly. She may never know it, but Oprah lost fans that day.
IN OTHER NEWS: "The King and I" rehearsals are underway. I hope everyone will want to spend some time with Mrs. Anna in Siam this summer. Show opens July 15!