Oprah talks to all kinds of people. If you’ve performed a random act of kindness, shot your wife, lived secretly in filth, raised thousands of dollars for her Angel Network by selling lemonade on your street at the ripe age of seven, or dreamt about meeting Jessica Simpson, you could be on Oprah. Sometimes I wonder where she drums up some of her more derelict guests. After all, what kind of person replies to the “Are you a heterosexual man having secret relationships with men but you’re not gay?” inquiry? OOH! OOH! Pick me! Seriously.
Anyway, every once in a while I check on her website for “upcoming shows” and occasionally respond. I am pragmatic enough to realize that I am not likely to hear back other than to acknowledge that “due to the large volume of emails…blah blah blah…thanks for your interest…blah blah blah…can’t respond personally to everybody…blah blah blah.” So, you can imagine my surprise when I responded to a show topic and didn’t hear back with the “thanks for responding” courtesy letter right away. (And yes, I’m aware that it’s disturbing for me to know the “what happens when you write to Oprah” protocol.) I did, however, hear from her the next day.
But it wasn’t the usual “thanks for your email” kind of response.
She gushed about how inspiring my story was, SO inspiring that she was going to have a producer call me for more details on my availability to attend the taping on the subject. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I called Cory at work, who said he really wanted to hear about it but was in the middle of a meeting and would call me right back. I couldn’t wait a minute, and decided to call my friend Ganelle to see what she thought. She was skeptical until I read her the letter (which I deleted, DANG IT!) after which she shouted, “Holy crap, you’re going to Chicago!” In the middle of petitioning her right to go with me as my guest, the Voice of Reason beeped in. “Gotta go – it’s Cory. I’ll call you later.”
I proceeded to tell Cory the whole story…how I wrote the letter, I didn’t get the usual form letter back, “listen to this” as I read it to him verbatim, followed with a “whad’dya think?” I heard silence on the other end, the kind of Cory silence that I have grown accustomed to which, appropriately translated usually means, “How do I tell her what I really think without hurting her feelings?” So typical. He was such a skeptic. Still, I was armed and ready to tell him how I thought his skepticism was really misplaced this time. “So?? Really. Am I crazy for thinking I might actually be going on the Oprah show?” “Well,” he began slowly. “Do you really want to know what I think?” My heart began to slow down as I prepared myself for his logical opinion. “Yes, I really do.” “Um…” he began, “I wrote that.”
How is that possible? There weren’t even any spelling errors! So, I responded like any logical woman with a double XX chromosome and…I hung up on him. Unfair, really. I’m the first one to get in line on a practical joke and as I look back on it, I totally give him credit. But at the time I felt stupid. And I was kind of mad. I called Ganelle back…busy. Clearly she was forgetting rule #34 of our friendship which states that if one of us needs to talk about something, all else loses priority. Who the heck was she talking to and why didn’t she have call waiting like the rest of the free world??!! Come on, it’s FIVE LOUSY BUCKS A MONTH! Redial. Busy. Redial. Busy. Later I would learn that as soon as I hung up on Cory he called Ganelle to find out exactly how much trouble she thought he was in and what did he have to do to make it up to me. “Flowers,” she said. “You are sooooo buying flowers today.”
So, in honor of Oprah’s big “Wildest Dreams Come True” season I would like to pay homage to my good husband, who happens to be on occasion a very good practical joker, who also knows when to bring his wife flowers.