Tuesday, September 14, 2004
When I was still married and living on the farm in northern Indiana, we got a new neighbor. Oprah. Yeah, she bought the old fortress that had been owned by an ex Cubs player (don't remember who that was.) And it really was a fortress. Tall brick walls surrounded the property, with locked iron gates at the entry. It was a pretty big house, from what I could see - in fact some magazine did a spread on her with her dogs when she first moved in.
Anyway I was working downtown Chicago then and getting up at 4:00 to catch the 5:30am train into the city. What a pain in the ass that was. Lucky for me, some days I could work from home or I'd be preparing to visit customer plants and could get a little bit later start. On those select mornings, right around 7:00 or so you'd hear a helicopter buzzing the house. If you made it to the window in time, you'd see HARPO printed on the bottom. Yeah, that sure beats the hell outta taking the train. My husband would always tease me that, since I was such a big shot city girl now, I should call my pal, our neighbor Oprah and see if I could catch a ride. I know, the man had a brilliant comedic mind.
So one day I was at the local grocery store to pick up stuff I needed for dinner. This was just a little hole in the wall 2fer store. It had 2 of anything you could possibly need in a small country market. It might be a year out of date, but they made damn sure they had 2 of everything. So, being as it was a Saturday nite, small town (we didn't even have a real stop light) and I was in a hurry, I went in my jammies. I did that a lot. (I was married, I didn't need to impress my neighbors.) As I'm walking down the canned goods aisle, I ran into someone standing in front of the soups. In her jammies and curlers. I excused myself and started to walk around, when she said "Oh No, please excuse me!". Yep, it was Oprah. No fuss, no big deal, just shoppin at the local market on a Saturday night in her jammies and curlers. Just like me. (well except for the curlers.)
Now, I don't agree with Oprah politically. I don't watch her show. Never been a fan of talk shows. But I admire her as a person. She had a dream. Worked very hard to achieve that dream. And now she shares as she sees fit. Generously. And I also appreciate the fact that she makes no apologies for spoiling herself, or for being who she is. Not falseness there at all. She has more money than God and she spends it as she wants to. Some to charities and some on herself.
Hell, I'd like to think I'd do the same thing. And you can bet, if I had her money I'd take the helicopter to work! And I'd probably still shop in my jammies too!