March 05, 2006

Oprah and Me

I cleaned the living room today. Yes, I do that from time to time, not nearly often enough but today dawned as time to clean it. Not just the quick swipe through I often make at some point during the week, but the deep, see what detritus the children have left behind the couch(not too bad, the good part of moving the furniture in order to make room for a Christmas tree and then move it back when the tree comes down, is winter deep cleans are not terrible.)kind of clean.

The unique thing about today's cleaning was not unique for most of my housekeeping years. You see, Oprah for the first time, since I moved into this house provided the background sound for my cleaning. I received the Oprah 25 year dvd retrospective for Christmas. I did not open it right away, I kept stalling. Oprah has a strange place in my life even after years of not seeing her. I didn't know if she could really be the person I remembered. Could she be sensitive, funny, smart, entertaining? Could she make me care again about people she profiled? Or would it be oh yeah, I remember this? So, I waited.

Today, I started to clean and as I put a video away, I saw the box staring at me. Ok, ok, I will watch. I mean I will be cleaning and in the room so it isn't as if I am JUST SITTING there. This has often been my "Oprah Excuse." Oprah acted as background to cleaning, cooking, nursing, folding laundry and tending babies, toddlers, children. I rarely sat still for Oprah then, and I didn't today. She may have been background, but that background really became sort of a part of me. Some people know this about me. Denise does, thus Oprah for Christmas, even if she doesn't share my affection for Oprah. Just about any actor/actress/celebrity I have an opinion on, my comment starts with "I saw........"and ends with "on Oprah". That really isn't the big part of Oprah in my life. Celebrities were fun, sometimes truly educational,and while I cite Oprah for those insights, that isn't where she has...and yes, this is trite...made a difference in my life.

Some of those moments were on the part of the Oprah dvd set. I was reminded that yes, my intense focus on my kids whereabouts when we are out and about came from an Oprah show on stranger danger. The never let them take you to a second location definitely came from Oprah. All well and good, a few public safety things is all well and good. (If the kick out the tail light isn't on the dvd set, it should be.) I was reminded of those Oprah shows and "aha" moments that have taught me about gratitude, about giving, about just general pass it on niceness, about making a radical differences just by being yourself, or better than yourself. She has taught me about getting over things and getting on with my life. I think even my tendency towards grand gestures was fostered by Oprah. She has by repeating on the same themes over and over and over again, taught me to be a better person not only to others, to my family but to myself.

Could she live up to all of that on a dvd set with shows decades old? Yep, she did, and it was good to be reminded of her goodness, her guest's goodness, and the general goodness of the world at large.

And yeah, Oprah is a hero. Mine. She has had crummy things happen in her life, she still does, she has had crummy shows that I have hated, seasons where I would start to wonder why I even had her on while I folded laundry. She still goes on, gives it her all, and does it with a heart really trying to learn to be a better person and to share her blessings.

1 comment:

~ nellenelle said...

I've not watched very many Oprah shows, but I've a huge... huge amount of respect for her, and can fully understand why it is you have fond recollection of time spent with her, even as background.