Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Day My Oprah Dream Died

Oprah is largely responsible for my move to Denver to start my new life. I had watched her show religiously when I was in my abusive marriage and she gave me the tools I needed to get out of a bad relationship and make it on my own. My dream was to someday be in the audience for one of her shows.

yep...I used to be a blonde.

After moving, I made some wonderful friends at work. Misty ended up being one of my best friends because we had so much in common. We were young, single, beer drinking ladies! As I got to know her better, I realized that she was super high maintenance. She refused to sit in the backseat of a car...ever! She carried Kate Spade Handbags that cost more than my rent. She was addicted to buying department store make-up and had all of these storage containers on wheels to store it in. She would only drink Starbucks Coffee and she had fake nails, a fake tan and fake hair color. Then something happened that just floored me. She agreed to dog/house sit for a family but she had demands! First of all, $50...Cash. Then she had to have 3 bags of Cool Ranch Dorito's, 1 1/2 lbs of Smoked Deli Turkey and Baby Swiss (it had to be from the deli), 12 pk of Diet Coke, 12 pk of Coors Light and a loaf of Honey Wheat Bread.

The end of August 2001, the new season of Oprah was getting ready to tape and I was checking her website for the upcoming shows. They were going to do a show about High Maintenance Women and wanted viewers to write in about people they know. I told Misty that I was going to write a letter about her and she just laughed.

On Labor Day, we went to The Taste of Colorado in downtown Denver and I missed a call on my cell phone. I didn't recognize the number and there wasn't a message. A short time later....that number called again and it was a producer from The Oprah Winfrey Show! She loved my letter and they were considering us for the show. I couldn't believe it! I was beyond excited! We would both be on the as the long suffering friend of a High Maintenance Woman! They asked us to send a photo and to be expecting the call about our travel arrangements. The show was scheduled to be taped on September 13th!

I thought this had to be the most amazing birthday present of my entire life. I was going to meet Oprah. I was going to be ON my favorite show. How did I ever get so lucky!

And then on my birthday, September 11th, I drove to work listening to the horrific tragedy that was taking place in New York City. All day we listened to the radio at work and the phone that I answered 500 times a day was oddly silent. And then when it did ring, it was the producer from The Oprah Show. They were canceling our show and didn't plan to tape it at all because it was no longer appropriate. Sorry.

I was crushed. The 9-11 terrorists not only killed all of these people but they prevented my dream from coming true. And then I felt terrible for being so upset about my little dream when the dreams of thousands of people where ending. Their lives cut short and the lives of their loved ones ripped apart. I guess this is why I take 9-11 so personally.

A few weeks later, we finally went out to celebrate my birthday. I got on stage at Sing Sing in Denver and sang head, shoulders, knees and toes (not knowing that someday I would sing it to my children) and I met some Colorado Avalanche players at a bar and Misty would ask them to sign her ample bosom with a sharpie marker. What kind of high maintenance woman does that?

The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. ~ Benjamin E. Mays

And so I have a new dream....of seeing the Oprah Show, from the audience, with my husband. I dream of going to Chicago and enjoying the city with him. Anyone want to babysit?

Being friends with Misty taught me many things. How to feather my nest, how to pour the perfect beer, that I deserved the best, some friends are really enemies in disguise and that sometimes...people pretty up their outsides to try to cover up an ugly inside.


  1. Wow, that's amazing that you were so close to getting on! I'm sorry it didn't work out though. The events that day, for me, were very bitter sweet as that is the day I met my hubby. It's quite likely we never would have met (and obviously wouldn't have these lovely children) had the tragedy not occurred.

    Happy Birthday, my friend!!

  2. So I guess you two aren't friends anymore? You didn't really clarify that... But I don't begrudge you your disappointment. Of course you knew that there were worse problems than your lost chance of meeting Oprah. Of course you'd take your dissapointment over the horror that so many others had to face that day. But if you got that cancellation call two days before for other reasons, we would all feel bad for you - so what's the difference? I think that all of these years later - you're allowed to complain a bit with an accompanying disclaimer!

  3. It's hard when people you love and care for seem to rear their ugly heads! how does that happen?

    btw..I was contacted by oprah producers once after submitting to their show, but they wanted me to shoot a video to send them, but I didn't have a video camera at the time (I was young and in college!)

  4. Happy Birthday. And here's hoping your Oprah dream comes true.

  5. Happy Birthday!

    Great post... I'm sorry you didn't make it on Oprah. And you know, I don't begrudge you for taking it personally.

    Your last line was a kicker!

  6. Wow. Connie, you are so great. I'm so glad that other people take today seriously still, as well. Thanks for the kind thoughts!

  7. First of all Happy Birthday! Im sorry about your crushed dream, I would have been so overwhelmed and upset.

  8. Happy Birthday! I hope your Oprah dreams come true, bigger and better than the almost moment!

  9. I truly enjoyed this post. You and Misty are adorable, your honesty is brave, and your words thought-provoking.

    Happy Belated Birthday Connie. I have a couple of spacious guest rooms where two children would be quite comfortable while Mother and Dad traveled...

  10. Great post!

    Oprah's still on... maybe you'll get another chance... Have you written to them with this story? It's great. I bet they'd be interested.

  11. Wow, what a story! Hope your birthday was good this year, and that you some day get to the Oprah show! (Email this post to the show's producers - maybe they'll think its a great story and invite you to be on the show! ;-)

  12. Oh. I am sorry for you. Let us know if she sees this and decides to do the show with you all after all!

  13. What a fun story! That is crazy that you were accepted to be on the show. (almost as crazy as the pet sitting list...OMG)

    Thanks for linking today!


I love you. You are my best friend! Your hair looks fantastic today!