I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Wildest dreams, living nightmares

Her countless interviews with abusers, addicts, and adulterers earn Oprah a reputation as a stern, but caring talk show host. But, those shows don’t bring in ratings. So, once in a while, Oprah has dedicates an entire show to fulfilling the wishes of a few people. She calls it her Wildest Dreams.

In tear-inducing letters, these people ask for a helping hand to assist them with their downtrodden lives. Simple things. A wheelchair for a recently disabled loved one. A pair of eyeglasses to see the tiny print on prescription bottles. A conditioner that helps with tangles, yet is light enough for everyday use.

But, Oprah doesn't do simple. No. She does mini-miracles. Remember this is a woman who manages to disappear in front of our eyes while drinking Slimfast, only to reappear four times the size, then disappear again, gain back another 60 pounds, lose it, run a marathon, turn 50 and look better than ever, with her curly hair, high heels, clingy tops and skirts.

She can do whatever she wants. She has the power.

This Wildest Dream constitutes a struggling mother trying to keep her household afloat without sinking into the depths of depression. She takes care of nine children (three are hers, six are her brother’s and sister-in-law’s) in a three bedroom apartment in the bad part of town. To make ends meet, she works extra shifts at Starbucks, and makes personal sacrifices so her nine children can have a semblance of a better life.

Miraculously, she always has a smile on her face.

So, Oprah surprises her at work and tells her she is taking the day off. She has a surprise for her and her children! She’s taking them shopping at Toys R Us! Oh my God!

Back in the studio, Nate Berkus comes out of nowhere and offers his services in decorating her tiny, roughshod apartment. Sweet Jesus! New furniture for her living room and bedrooms! New stainless-steel kitchen appliances! Lord Almighty!

But, of course, all of this new fabulousness comes with a big problem: There is simply no room to store it all. So, what does Oprah do? No, she doesn’t get her storage. She buys her a new house! A wildest dream come true!

Her reaction exemplifies that of a heart-attack. But, she’s not ecstatic, she’s worried. She’s thinking the same thing I am, and it ain’t good. Taxes? Insurance? Utilities? And, this is only the house. Imagine how much money she has to spend on her family.

Oprah, remember this woman works at Starbucks. Last time I checked, no barista makes enough money to sustain a house and nine kids. She needs a job. Find her a position with a company that doesn’t include a frothing machine and twenty different kinds of drink flavours. Find her a position that allows her to make enough money to keep her family off social assistance and the streets.

This poor woman (literally) will have to endure an additional strain on her already stressed life. She doesn’t need another sleepless night wondering how she’s going to pay off another bill.

You have the power. Only one entity has more than you. And, secretly, you know you can make the crippled walk, the blind see, and Ashlee Simpson sing.

Oprah, I am sure your heart is in the right place. Correction, your producer’s hearts are in the right place. But, I have no idea where the hell their brains are.


Anonymous whatsthebuzz said...

You're so right about this! The utilities alone could put her under. Owning a house is one thing, but you have to maintain it! The taxes will probably kill her. With 9 kids, she'll still have to choose between paying the electric bill and buying school supplies. Oprah wasn't always wealthy, she's just forgotten what it's like to have nothing to fall back on, and nowhere to turn. I'd like to see her make it on Starbucks income by herself for a few months, let alone supporting 9 people.

August 26, 2005 12:59 am  
Blogger Steven said...

I can see it already...

Oprah interviews this woman one year later to see how much worse she is after the intervention.

It will be a ratings hit!

August 27, 2005 12:24 am  

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