If you follow Twitter at all, you may remember that last Monday I flew to Chicago to see Oprah. You know. Normal.
The hows-and-whys about how and why I was lucky enough to experience this are all still a little fuzzy to me. But here’s how the details went down. During the Mom 2.0 after-event reading in New Orleans (where we raised $10,000 for the American Red Cross…whoohoo!), I was backstage, ushering rockstar writers onto the stage, when Maggie Mason sidled up next to me and told me that I would be going to see Oprah (Oprah!) in May. I was a little high on life and gin at the time so A.) I wasn’t at all sure that she was serious and B.) I began to jump up and down and completely freak out, as you do on the Oprah show, in order to show her that I was totally up for the gig. It worked.
Fast forward a month, and I’m on a plane to see Oprahpalooza, a gathering of 14,000 of Oprah’s closest friends at the United Center in Chicago (otherwise known as “Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular”).
And what a spectacular it was.
It has taken me a week to write about this, because, frankly, I was blown away.
I had no idea what I was about to experience, but when Mother Oprah summons, you go. No questions asked. So, I asked no questions. I just got on the plane. I knew it would be incredible. I knew it would be some kind of a tribute concert/performance/night of the stars event. But that’s about all I knew.
Well, I also knew I needed a drink.
If you know me at all, you know I’m more of a sipper than a drinker. But I was pretty sure I needed a cocktail before to prepare my body for what it was about to receive. I was right on all accounts. Right times three (on the cocktails) and right times three thousand (on all other elements).
Our seats were ridiculously fantastic.
Seriously, the photos do not do this justice. No cameras were allowed…and that’s a whole different story that will come up at some point soon…so all of these lovely shots were taken with my crap camera phone. Enjoy.
The show is running today (Monday 5/23) and tomorrow (Tuesday 5/24) when Oprah is showing on your television of choice. I don’t want to ruin anything for you but prepare yourself today for Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Josh Grobin, Patti LaBelle, Dakota Fanning, Beyonce (Beyonce rocks it out, y’all. Watch her here.), Diane Sawyer, Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Queen Latifah… so many people, it’s dumb…like, for instance, I totally forgot until right now that um, Madonna was there. And that’s just what will air today. Don’t even get me started on tomorrow. Because what will air tomorrow was my favorite…and included my favorite parts. I’ll write about all that tonight. Until then, watch today. Or be like me and set your DVR/Tivo/Recording Device to capture it so you can watch it over and over. I, for one, will need to watch it 17 more times to fully remember and process what I experienced.
Again, much more on all of this tomorrow. (Added: Here’s the tomorrow recap, right here.)
But first, a owe a huge thanks to Maggie Mason and Andrea Wishom. They made this happen for me. Like I said, I’m still not sure how or why I was lucky enough to fall down this rabbit hole of goodness, but I’m eternally grateful for the experience.
Also, huge high fives to Elizabeth and Margaret. They were excellent row mates and very fun to FREAK OUT! with as more and more unbelievable surreal things were thrown at us by the second.
This was an item that I wrote on my “life list”, two years ago, and it’s one of those items I never thought would actually occur…sort of a “stretch goal,” as they say. But as magic seems to happen, this wish did.
It happened. And they gave us tissue boxes to prepare ourselves.
First rule of communication: Know Your Audience.
Oprah does. Her incredibly talented producers do.
And that’s what I’ll tell you about tomorrow.
Come back for the rest of the story.