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Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Many moons ago when my brother was visiting, he walked into the family room where the television was on.

“You’re not watching that!” he guffawed, being the intellectual type that he is.
At the time, I was in hot pursuit of my daughter whilst simultaneously breast feeding my son and carrying his 'big' brother.

“Yes, I am!” I snapped. Probably due too many leaky hormones.

The truth of the matter was that I wanted to watch Oprah on the telly. I wanted to be like my new American pal. I wanted to fit in. I wanted ‘normal.’ I knew that the vast majority of the female, stay at home mom population, watched Oprah every afternoon, whilst their little kiddie winkies frolicked and played, or napped.

My new American pal was a kindly woman with a huge heart. Whenever we met, she would ask me if I had watched such and such an episode. My response was always the same, failure. She always made it sound so interesting. I always felt that I had missed something. I had.

These days, now that life has changed so much during the intervening years, I still have Oprah’s broadcast available to me via TIVO. 5 episodes every week, which I dutifully delete every Sunday night. Although I have watched a few programmes between then and now, I can’t watch the celebrity ones as I never know who they are, I can’t watch the ‘be a better looking person’ ones because I am old, I can’t watch the ‘this tragedy happened to this person’ ones, because they are too depressing.

I remember that my mother would listen to "Woman's Hour' on the radio every day. We children were sworn to silence or banned from the vicinity. 'Oprah' seemed to be the modern equivalent. I was unable to work out why such an ordinary every day pastime, was completely beyond me? Of all the things that I could or should have done to prove to myself that 'all was well' this would seem like a bizarre choice. I chose it precisely because it seemed so ordinary and easy. It proved to be anything but.

I decided that my failure was due to the fact that my children, none of them, enjoyed afternoon naps, whereas every other mother on the planet had a different experience. I chose to ignore the different time zones throughout the world, which I believe would be evidence of denial.

Now that I am even older but not particularly wiser, I still wonder who those women are? Who are the viewers? I suspect that even her recent programme on autism would not have reached me in the situation I experienced, nor other people, who might be similarly situated. If the programme airs at four in the afternoon, [I just checked] who will be watching?

Me? No, afraid not. I'll be wrapped up in the homework debacle after a slightly more successful school pick-up run. The children I chase are bigger now than those far away days. It's still just as noisy, if not noisier around here but there are more words than there once were. But I'll give you a dare - if Oprah takes up breast feeding then I'll watch her programme.

Is that a double dare?


Anonymous said...

I'm not a watcher either. I work full-time and when I am home at that time I'm usually sick or one of my babies is sick. If I do get to watch tv I'm looking for something humorous to give me an actual break.

Jade said...

Well, I don't yet have children of my own, but I also rarely to never get the chance to catch up on the "Word of O" I'm either buried in thesis writing or have a stemming client requiring my attention.

Maybe thats why I don't feel like other women, I don't get my daily O. Oprah that is.... ;-) lol

Linda said...

I don't watch except once every blue moon and then I always think to myself that I should write to Oprah and tell her about my best bud in California and how her life has totally sucked moose for quite some time what with her fibromyalgia and other health issues and her autistic son and if she can give away cars to everyone who is sitting in her audience, maybe she could send Cyndi a helping hand and then I think "Nah, I'm sure Oprah couldn't be bothered."

I'm sure she's a great lady and I know she's very generous but it seems to me that the people who really need help from people like her never get it. Then again, she can't help everyone, can she?

Anyhow ... enough Oprah ramblings, I must go make dinner!

Anonymous said...

I doubt I will be tuning in to see Oprah breast feed.
I'm not a fan of hers, in fact I call her God, she is God Oprah.
A queen, regal with her underlings doing her bid.
Oprah speaks and the women of America bow down and throw roses at her feet.

She does do good things and she does bring some important issues to light but there is something going on with her that I can't quite put my finger on.

Jeni said...

When my two younger kids were little, I was a faithful watcher of Phil Donahue. When Oprah came along, because the tv generally plays day in and day out, Oprah was my choice to have on in the background - occasionally, I could sit down and watch her show. When I was in college, my kids had instructions what shows to tape for me every day - Oprah, Mash (reruns), WKRP. These days I don't follow her faithfully because the granddaughter has a fixation to watch Bratz videos when she gets home from her preschool program and you know how it goes with routines and autistic kids -daresn't break those routines!

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