So, I Went to See Oprah.

So, I Went to See Oprah.

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 shot on the right is what was happening to my left. The shot on the left was the view from the right.

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.

(ADDED: Or just read it here.)

The Details

12 Responses to So, I Went to See Oprah.

  1. Kelly says:

    So so amazing! Can not to wait to see the episodes on my screen at home.

  2. LisaAR says:

    Seeing Oprah’s show was also on my life list, but I just dragged my feet (I live in the Chicago area) until I realized time was running out. FOREVER. And so I got busy, and I was lucky enough to make it to the show that had Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher on it. I was absolutely delighted. Your journey sounds overwhelming. I mean, I was thrilled to be a part of a “regular” show…but the Farewell? Holy crimony. Good for you. Great for you. I look forward to reading your recap as a “sister in the Oprah experience.” (Though, again, yours is WAY cooler!) :)

  3. aliallen says:

    supercalifragilisticexpealidocious! so exciting! And you look FAB in that red!

  4. Holy fucking shit, Laura. I am freaking out FOR you! I would’ve peed & slobbered everywhere like a neurotic golden retriever. I watched it today with tears running down my face & then pumped my fist in the air when Beyonce was all, “WE RUN THIS MUTHA!”

    It makes sense that you would love Oprah because you are like her. At least the part of you that I saw in New Orleans. Can’t wait to watch tomorrow & read your first hand perspective & see your crap camera phone pics.

  5. how amazing. I watched today’s show and was blown away by segment when the young girls shared how Oprah has influenced them.

    I was able to attend a taping once (as a backstage) and was delighted to find tissue boxes under the seats. Please tell me they had 14,000 tissue boxes in that arena.

  6. Laura says:

    Isabel, they totally had 14,000 tissue boxes under the seats. For real. And thank goodness. Wait until tomorrow’s show! Serious tears. In a good way. Also, I want to be Beyonce when I grow up.

  7. Imelda says:

    WOW! Just wow!!!

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  9. edustory says:

    OMG…I just finished watching it!! How exciting and what an amazing chance to see her before her show is over and especially on this event!

  10. Pingback: Oprah’s Last Show! Project: What Have You Learned? | Momfluential Media

  11. What a great experience – to see the legend before she hung it up!
    Thanks for sharing!

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