Many years ago, a friend of mine sat me down and delivered a long, serious dissertation on the talent (or lack thereof, to be correct) of Mr. wOw’s sentimental favorite iconic movie star, Marilyn Monroe. After pulling Miss M. apart in the most astute manner, my friend put his hand on my shoulder and said, “You are so smart. I just don’t get it. What do you see in her?!”
My reply? “All your points are valid, but she moved me.” My friend pushed me away, threw up his hands and said: “Well, you are just hopeless.”
I was reminded of that conversation as I watched Oprah Winfrey’s final show this week. One hour of the Big O testifying. I thought I was going insane! Blah, blah, blah. (And but of course her final “guest” would be herself. It makes perfect sense no matter how you feel about her.)
I have never indulged in the Oprah Kool Aid. I absolutely do not “get it” when people talk about her amazing powers of sincerity and connection. She has never seemed like a “best friend” to me. Her grandiose sense of entitlement has always amused me, however.
That said, I can’t deny what this woman has accomplished and what she does mean to millions of people. Whether she thinks of herself as God or not (I suspect she does,) she has done good deeds, inspired people to better themselves and forged an unbreakable bond with those who literally worship her. If I live to be 100 I will never be as certain of myself, or as inspiring to others, as Miss Winfrey has been.
I complain a great deal (mostly to myself or to poor B.) about my lot in life. But even I know I bought and paid for that lot, and if I wanted to, I could sell it for a better property. I’m afraid to now, but fear has always ruled my life. Oprah was fearless. Or she appeared that way. Or she used her fear wisely. Oprah moved people; you cannot explain that kind of power and attraction.
And so she is gone. Kind of. We will never (perhaps) hear those fabled five words again: “Did you see Oprah today?”
I’ll never “get” her. I won’t. But I don’t disparage those who do.
After all, I have Marilyn in “The River of No Return” to make me blush, and force me to explain that she got much better later on.