The thing is, I’m not sure I like you. The yo-yo diets and some of the things you focus on during your show—remember when you had Brad Pitt as a guest right as Troy was being released? You didn’t ask about the movie, his career, his hobbies, his troubled marriage, his sudden interest in being a Good Samaritan. All you talked about was his butt. You talked about how it looked in the clip you showed, you made him stand up and chanted until he bowed, you said butt so many times he looked embarrassed there was a crowd (you see that? I rhymed, that’s how much this annoys me and it was four years ago).
You’re on the cover of your own magazine every month, looking younger and slimmer and wearing more eye-makeup every single time—but I have to admire your bold use of color and jewelry, and hey, I understand that you are why thousands of middle-aged women all across the country buy it every time they are about to board a plane (as evidenced by my mother).
And I do love a good make-over, and you had perhaps the best transformation and rise to the top since Norma Jean Baker changed her name.
Also in the pro column, you’re a smart, savvy businesswoman and possibly the most influential Black woman in the public eye. You get millions of people to read—thank you and congratulations. But I hated She’s Come Undone, I felt like I was unraveling with the main character, and I haven’t read an Oprah’s Book Club Book since, and I could not stop laughing when Michael Cunningham refused to have your seal on The Hours. You give away cars to your audience fairly regularly as determined by the number of times I’ve heard about it, which I don’t know if I think is a point for Column A or Column B. Though I do have the feeling I would feel more positively about it were I to be in the audience. Then again, if I was there on a day when you gave out CDs or a scented candle, I would be pissed. How much does it suck to be those people?
And, unlike Martha Stewart, who I’m pretty convinced would sway me in person in under a minute, I don’t think that hanging out with you would necessarily help me make up my mind. I think it might be kind of scary, in a I-can’t-tell-what-you’re-thinking sort of sense. Whereas with Martha, I would talk cupcakes and how I keep overcooking fried chicken and admire the creepy way inanimate objects seem to put themselves in place whenever her fingers come towards them. Perhaps I’m not talking to my flowers sternly enough? Should I make an example of a miscarved pumpkin? I’ve got the scooping down, but the curves always get me and the entire concept of bridge work for the small pieces lives someplace I will never visit.
Oprah, congratulations on your success. Please send more information so I can determine how I feel about you. I want you to be as amazing as your magazine says I can be. But I’m just not on the Oprah train yet. This is your opportunity to sell me a ticket.
I look forward to seeing you on 30 Rock. Maybe it’ll tip my canoe.
With mixed feelings,