I put on my Party Panties for Oprah in Vancouver

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Waiting for Oprah
Self portrait, sitting in the audience waiting for Oprah in Vancouver. I looked cute, no?

On Thursday afternoon, this mama went into a whirlwind of activity in preparation for Oprah. That’s O-prah. You really have to sing it a little to make it sound right.

I showered in plenty of time at 3 pm – oh and I put on a pair of red party panties in Oprah’s honor. Because Oprah would want to know I was wearing nice underwear – right? 

I blow-dried my hair – straight like I like it, bopped into a pair of transition jeans and a sweatshirt and blew down the hill at 3:45 to pick my kid up from daycare.  Snack time was just starting up so it took a good half hour to get back home with the boy.

My had mom offered to make an early dinner so I left that and the boy with her and went to get dressed in my favourite turquoise cashmere sweater and dress pants,  and check out my seldom used makeup drawer. A few brush strokes of eye shadow and a lipstick later, I pulled out my ticket and I was ready to rumble when at I caught a glimpse of my chipped, dirty, horrible nails. Gah! I’m quick with a clear polish stick and even found a butterfly nail art to stick on. Because Oprah wouldn’t want me to come to her show with crap nails!

In the meantime, my son buzzed into my room for a visit, clung to me like a stick-on, and blocked the way out of the room as I was trying to get going. At one point he grabbed my leg and refused to let me take a step. With my husband away on business, separation anxiety has peaked this week. Eventually my mom came in to join the fray, trying to convince my son to let me go…to the kitchen to eat because time is running out. 

Little malfunction in the kitchen, no dinner ready. “So sorry,” says my mom. Ummm, okay mom I know you will be reading this so I will just say a little I told you so, you didn’t need to try to make dinner so early…I settled for a bowl of cereal and headed toward the door as planned to head to my friend’s place for 5:30 pm so we could drive downtown together.

Meltdown city:  my little guy at this point starts begging me “don’t leave the house ever again” and “I’m missing you.” He’s got his arms around my neck and nobody feels like a worse mother than me at that moment because I paid $150 for this ticket and have to leave right now to go to Oprah; and my heart hurts hearing my child’s pain.

Finally get my coat and boots on and am ready to roll, when my son wails, “I didn’t get my kiss!” I fall for this and it’s another 5 minutes before I get out the door at 5:10 pm. It’s a dark and rainy night, but I am lucky with the traffic and make it to my girlfriend’s place right at 5:30 pm – except as I drive up I realize Murphy has smacked me in the head. I forgot my ticket. I rush to the door , manage to say “hi” and “sorry, forgot my ticket! I’ll go home and get it and just meet you at the show.”

Well a mountain of self-recriminations later, and totally exhausted before I have gotten anywhere, I drove home to pick up the ticket and round two with little boy blue. Luckily there was still time to get myself to the skytrain and downtown to Rogers Arena in time for the  7 pm show (well, actually it started at 7:30 pm).

When the action started, a random guy in an expensive suit introduced the event, thanked the sponsors and all that jazz.  J Patt – who is looking very old but spry and says he’s been married for 61 years – made a cameo appearance to introduce the introducer for Oprah – Stedman Graham who spoke to us about “The Oprah I Know.” Apparently he didn’t answer her calls all day because the whole thing was a surprise! What a sweetheart.

Then the divine miss O (remember, sing it a little: O-Prah) took the stage dressed in a lovely pink (well, I was so far away I actually thought it was white) gown and her hair was amazing. I’m not going to try to capture everything she said but here’s a few random nuggets.

  • Each of us has a calling, a purpose – why are you here?
  • Its up to you to do the work to find out what that is
  • When she was 22, she was making $22,000. Gayle said she was making her age – imagine when she was 40 or 50!
  • One of her secrets of success: listen to your inner voice
  • She thought Lance Armstrong was telling the truth and that we will forgive him one day because if we don’t forgive public figures like him, then how can we forgive ourselves for our mistakes
  • 2012 kicked her butt due to the ongoing saga of her “struggling” network. She sat with it one day and began to turn it around by changing the way she thought of it and by being able to bring in her expert team from the Oprah show after that ended
  • She is so tired of dieting and would rather have a truffle pizza instead of some green juice. Ummm, what is a truffle pizza?
  • Edmonton was so cold she could hardly breathe cause her nostrils froze together. Someone should have told her it’s just best not to go east of BC in the winter.
  • She was so happy to get here rain and all
  • She would have liked to go to the Canucks game on Wednesday night but it was sold out. She was happy the Canucks won!
  • She can’t believe there is no garbage or cigarette butts on the streets of Vancouver, just one wet newspaper all the way down Georgia from her hotel
  • The honest truth: she was intimidated to come here to talk because she thinks we are already living our best lives in Vancouver.

There was tons more but red party panties and all, I remember more about the start of the night than the rest of the show.

To me Oprah is a cultural icon. An engaging storyteller. A beacon of hope on the long journey of life. I’m glad we “met.”

But what I really learned is that I probably would have had a better time if I’d just spent half an hour playing with my son, gone out in my jeans, and left the nail art in the box. 

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5 thoughts on “I put on my Party Panties for Oprah in Vancouver

  1. Turns out I was in Vancouver when this happened. I was attending a seminar and had no idea it was happening or I would have tried to get tickets – well in advance, of course. Someone else attending the event with me went, and had many good things to say about it the next day.

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