I know it’s a little late in January to be doing this, but I have decided to share with you, my three faithful readers, my most shameful and disgusting secret of 2009.  Are you ready?  Better buckle up for this one:

I bought an O–as in Oprah–magazine.

In my defense:  see my Standard Line of Defense (i.e., It Really Wasn’t My Fault.)

It was two weeks before Christmas. I was making fresh salsa to give as gifts to my friends and neighbors (if you didn’t get any from me, it’s because I knocked and knocked and nobody ever came to the door.) Mid-salsa-making, I ran out of peppers and had to run to the corner grocery store to replenish.  Due to its sinful markups, I generally avoid this particular place unless I am in dire need of just a few essentials, as was the case this cold winter’s day.  I entered the warm little market and my tired, overshopped back and feeble, overspent mind instantly succumbed to the cozy market’s dim lighting and rotisseried chicken aroma.  (Do they make candles in this odor?  They should.  Let’s shoot Scentsy an email.)

Compared to my standard back-breaking, bulk-buying expeditions to Wal-Mart (please don’t judge, especially if you live in Portland or voted for Obama), setting foot in that store was like walking into a spa.  It was clean, it was pretty, and everyone was superduper nice.  The least I could do was buy something from these good and gracious people.

Caught in this dreamy holiday bubble of warmth and good cheer, the latest cover of O caught my eye, all silvery and smooth, with a glimmering Oprah sitting at her table, sipping what I could only presume was a fifty-dollar cup of organic green something-or-other that adds a decade to your life and eliminates the need for mammograms.  Add to all this that she promised me with her eyes–Oprah promised me, I’m telling you–that if I only opened that magazine, this year I would finally get what I really wanted:

1.  Rich.  Thank you, Suze Orman.
2.  Skinny. Thank you, Bob Greene.
3.  Perfect relationships. Thank you, Dr. Phil.
4.  The secret of life (by going on vacation for a year.)  Thank you, Elizabeth Gilbert.
5.  My own way (by putting-my-own-needs-first-for-a-change.)  Thank you, Martha Beck.
6.  My Best Life. Thank you, Ms. Winfrey.

As I picked it up, the shiny pages fluttered to the opening editorial– How to Stop Spending–nested gracefully between the Gucci and Prada ads.  Like a zombie on the holiday episode of “My Favorite Things,” I shelled out $4.95 (that’s a lot of peppers) and held the cool, slick volume close to my body, a little giddy over this uncharacteristic impulse buy.  I tightened my hold on the glossy and glanced around quickly as I beelined for the car.  No one was going to steal this moment from me.

Later that night, soaking my jalapenoed skin  in a well-deserved jetted bath, I finally sank into the riches I had been saving all day long.  I eagerly flipped through this iconic tome of American femaleness but, as you may have gathered from  my subtle forshadowing, I did not learn how to get rich, skinny, validated, enlightened or fulfilled.


I did, however, learn two rather significant pieces of information from this vault of info-tainment:

#1:  “Living My Best Life” apparently means living any other life than the one I’m living now.  My current life, it would seem, remains a problem to be solved.  By Oprah’s staff.

#2:  Elizabeth Gilbert is the single most annoying person on the planet, with Martha Beck in a close second.  (Oprah, of course, remains in a cosmic league of her own.)  And yet they all made a few bucks off of my back.

Are you as disappointed in me as I am in myself?  I’m sorry to have burdened you with this confession, but doing so has made me feel a bit lighter, kind of like when Bilbo gave Frodo the ring.  And now, my friends, you are at liberty to cast off your own cares of 2009.  What was your lowest moment this holiday season?

Come on.  Let’s talk about it.
Oprah would.

19 thoughts on “wallowing in the psuedo-psycho-babbleonian Empire of Her Majesty

  1. These comments are too funny! Glad I'm not alone in my fascination with/anger toward Her Majesty.

    I have one complaint: only Lisa shared her lowest holiday moment with me (and I am soo sorry about all those practices, Lisa–I'd offer to drive for you but I'm not that nice.) Did you all sail through Christmas unscathed? 'Fess up!

  2. Sooo…You don't know me (starting off creepy I know) but I know your parents…Anyways Your blog is my ab work out and I am a runner and enjoy those posts. Overall I clicked on your blog when I was at a friends blog (I think the title intrigued me). Ever since I read the classic Junior Mint post I haven't stopped laughing. Thanks!

  3. So I finally have a google account, right? You would think I could at least remember the password! Every time I make a comment it takes me about 10 minutes to find where I jotted down my password and for some reason I have 2, so then I have to try both to see which one works. What's wrong with me?

    Anyway, I loved this post and I couldn't agree more. For some reason I harbor some very deep and real anger toward Oprah. Is it true she's going off the air? Or did that already happen? It can't be soon enough for me. I better be careful – she probably has spies everywhere . . .

  4. Jennifer – I am sad to admit that I don't even have that much adult class. I admire FamilyFun and sometimes People – "always looking for that hollywood diet" that will work for me and include ice cream!

  5. I stared at that magazine many a time in the check out line last month, but I stopped myself. Good thing, I guess it wasn't as good as it looked? The real reason is I have bought magazines in the past because the cover promised to change my life and have ALWAYS been disappointed. Just not going there again.

    But since we're talking about low points for 2009, let's discuss how clever it was for me to sign my three oldest up for soccer. The season began just a few short weeks before baby #5 was born. Certainly I needed to be driving to 6 practices a week with a newborn, right? And piano and scouts and activity days too, anybody else want to do an activity???

  6. We do not know each other, but I laugh so much when I read your posts. You have such awesome wit and I love knowing what you really think! I love and hate–love her for things I've learned on her show, and hate her for that ridiculous "favorite things" show she does every year wherein we learn about all the fabulous things we can't afford. I've read a couple of her magazine articles and really didn't like the overall "great life in a nutshell" thing either. Anyway, thanks for your honest and hilarious thoughts. 😀

  7. You are the woman I hope to be one day, Jen! I loved every honest minute of this post. Thank you for doing those things that I always feel are too below me (but secretly I want to buy one of those trashy magazines–not just O, but the real trash!). I hope it at least makes a great fire to warm your feet by.

  8. shoot! that's nothing. i used to be a subsriber many moons ago. even sent in a tear out card promising the chance to win a cute bag full of advertiser's goodies. and what do you know? i won!

    i laughed through this whole post. laughed and laughed.

  9. I love it! Oprah totally annoys me… I think she does some great things, but I just can't stand listening to her. One question, did you at least get a decent coupon in the magazine?

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