April 19, 2024
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April 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

(Banji, the editorial staff regrets the egregious proofreading error that appeared in your last column. As we say in the biz, “Oy. Just shoot me.”)

 

It would seem that in a Jewish newspaper I should be writing about the greatness of rabbis (or the great falls of some rabbis), or about the wonderful teachers that my children have encountered over the years (or the really bad teachers that they have encountered), but I will be writing about Oprah Winfrey. For those of you who have been living under a rock or in a house with no television, Oprah Winfrey is considered one of the great women of our time. You can debate that statement if you have nothing else to do, but I am standing by my opinion, for now, anyway.

She grew up in extreme poverty, had a tumultuous upbringing, but had a dream for herself. She worked her way up to become an empire. Not only that, but the people she encountered along the way, like Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, also became empires unto themselves. Though, many years ago, someone bought me a cookbook by a woman named Rosie (not to be confused with Rosie O’Donnell), who used to be Oprah’s personal chef, but she has seemed to disappear into oblivion. Poor Rosie, I guess she cooked something Oprah didn’t like. I wish I knew what that was…

So Oprah has this great career, this great talk show, amazing guests and got them to jump on couches (Tom Cruise reference, in case you missed that episode) or cry their eyes out as they talked about their problems with addiction or adultery with millions of Americans. It was like we were in Oprah’s living room. She made us feel that we could live our best life, even if that life didn’t involve a fabulous compound in Hawaii or an even more fabulous compound in Malibu. We have the tools to make our lives the best they can be.

Every magazine she puts out has her on the cover—usually airbrushed and looking way fitter than she actually is. But that is okay, she is Oprah. Her name is on the magazine and she can do whatever she wants.

But inside the pages of this magazine, and this applies to every issue that I have ever read, are really engaging, life-affirming, “you go girl and find your bliss” articles that make me wonder if my life is really so sad that I should start following the advice of a woman who gave up her television career to start her OWN network (Oprah Winfrey Network)? Girl, that’s not going so well. I don’t even know what channel it is on and I watch a lot of TV when I am finding my bliss at the bottom of a laundry hamper filled with socks that don’t match. I wanted to watch it, I really did, but I just could not find it. So when she went off the air, I stuck to the magazine, mainly because I got it free with all of my Coke rewards points. (Husband #1 drinks a lot of Fanta, so we have a lot of points. In addition to the Oprah subscription, I also have a fashionable red hoodie with the Coca Cola logo on it, a Fanta T-shirt, a Coke T-shirt, a Coke knapsack and a set of lovely American Idol Coca Cola cups—but I digress.)

There has been news of Oprah not being the powerhouse she once was. She still hasn’t lost the weight, which always continues to make me happy because with a personal trainer, a personal chef, no annoying husband (I do not refer to any particular husband when I put the word annoying in front of him) and no annoying kids (again, not referring to my own, perfectly-well-behaved-all-the-time-even-when-I-am-screaming-at-them kids), if SHE can’t do it, how the heck am I, a mere mortal, supposed to do it? (Yes, I know, keep my mouth shut, blah blah blah) NOT THE POINT!!

Driving in the car, an ad came on the radio for Oprah’s “world tour” at the Prudential Center. “Motivational speakers” “Hear Oprah speak about living her best life.” Uh oh, Oprah is going on the road? To Newark, no less, to reclaim the audience she lost because she made the mistake of ending her show. A tear came to my eye. I am actually a little sad for Oprah that she is doing this. How can her fans let her know that it is okay for her to take her 12 doggies and handsome man-friend Stedman and just fade away into the beautiful Hawaiian sunset? Is it the money? Is it the ego boost of having all of those people come to see her? What happens if the Prudential Center doesn’t sell out? Will people compare her to the New Jersey Devils? Poor Oprah. I wish that you find your best life; and if it is on stage in Newark, then more power to you. I am going to find my best life right here at home, reading your magazine and aspiring to not eat an entire Duncan Hines cake before I go to bed.

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow

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