The Unbearable Banishment: road trip/Oprah’s blues

Thursday, January 8, 2009

road trip/Oprah’s blues

Do you remember the last scene of Carrie where a hand reaches up out of a grave and grabs Amy Irving’s arm, and it turns out it’s just a dream? Okay, that skeletal hand is 2008 and the arm belongs to me and this ain’t no dream.

I’m in Ohio. There’s some family stuff I needed to attend to, so I took a drive out for a few days without my daughters and wife. There is some odorous residue of 2008 that I can’t seem to shake.

I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and flopped around in bed for two hours while being tormented by my inner demons. I finally got out of bed at 5:00 and was on the road by 5:30. I got on Garden State Parkway (a main artery into New York City) and merged into a wall of traffic. At 5:30 a.m. We were traveling the highway speed limit, but it was like a NASCAR race with speeding cars packed together just inches apart. I don’t know how people do it every morning. It woke my ass up, that’s for sure.

As I held the steering wheel in a death grip and drove through the darkness, my mind was racing in a loop of angst. Worries at home. Worries in Ohio. I missed my daughters and wife already and I wasn’t even in Pennsylvania yet. Then, on the Howard Stern radio program, they played the following clip from an Oprah Winfrey interview (emphasis hers):

I feel far more comfortable talking to people on television that I do with this whole role as a cover girl for my own magazine. Doing a photo shoot is a major big deal because there’s a team of people. This past year has been really difficult because I didn’t feel like being a cover girl.

I almost drove into a fucking tree. Are you kidding me?! Hey, Oprah, how’d you like a taste of what’s on my plate? I wanted to reach through my iPod and strangle her. Usually I can laugh at this sort if thing (as Stern was doing) but it was the exact wrong time for me to hear it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm surprised you didn't put your fist through the radio. glad you made it safely and hopefully you can decontaminate the 2008 muck off of you with this trip and start fresh and clean for 2009.

January 8, 2009 at 9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah,, don't get me started. She put herself in that "trying" situation. What else can you say about a person who creates a mag that features her on virtually every cover?

I have a sock full of quarters that you can use to smack the back of her head.

January 9, 2009 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

gnu: Thx for the good wishes. This can't possibly go on forever? Can it?

SA: She's not "virtually" every cover. She's on EVERY cover. The Ego That Ate Chicago.

January 9, 2009 at 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Oprah. She has left everywoman status far behind and I am not sure she realizes it. But she has had her share of shit cakes. I wouldn't want her life because it would mean surviving the abuse she took as a child and losing a baby at a very young age. She has come a long way from there but it's not fair to say she hasn't had problems no one would want or that her current life is trouble free (I always have the feeling she isn't sharing her real life with her audience as much as she is building on the image of what people think her life is).

Anyway, being a woman of a certain age myself I understand the body image issues and the pressure and while they don't compare with things like say - my dad dying a few months ago - they nag daily like a drafty window.

I only rode in a car once in NYC during a rush hour and it convinced me to only every use mass transit when visiting there.

Good luck with family matters. Rob is heading out with the older girls for a funeral up north. Gone for the weekend and I know the missing someone already feeling myself.

January 9, 2009 at 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always get a kick out of Oprah pretending to be common folk.

January 9, 2009 at 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm just mad at her because our weight seems to be inexorably connected. when i starved myself down to a size 8? so did she! when she re-ballooned? i was right there with her... managed to run my half-marathon and get back down to a healthy weight awhile back, but damn if the bitch didn't regain weight again...

understand that your frustration must run much deeper than that... here's to some resolution and peace for you soon...

January 9, 2009 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger Pearl said...

Oprah can bite me.
You know, I hit your site here and there; and I'm sorry to hear you're having difficulties.
Like you, I don't really post the negative.
I hope you find a way through negatives.

January 10, 2009 at 1:00 AM  
Blogger Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Oprah's just keeping it real, I spent today ringing my assistants because they bloody put raisins in my cereal when I SPECIFICALLY SAID I didn't want raisins. ARGH. Life is SO hard.

Or something like that.

January 10, 2009 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger ~E said...

"Some people just have their head so far up their own ass that they can't see anything else around them".

Oprah...Book Club...perfect example.

January 11, 2009 at 2:13 AM  
Blogger Stan D. said...

I actually like Oprah but when I saw that bit I projectile vomited. She goes from being decent (and I like her Book Club, actually) to absolute Ayn Rand levels of self-absorbed insanity. I think she needs to go on a hiatus or something, like Phish.

January 11, 2009 at 6:29 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Annie: I totally get the body image angst, but it was the exact wrong time for me to hear her complain about it with all the other gifts in her life.

Pop: She WAS common folk at one point (see Annie above) but she lost it.

Daisy: It’s a shame your finances aren’t similarly linked.

Pearl: Thank you verrrrrrr much. I think the really personal stuff should stay out of the public domain.

Jo: I had you pegged as royalty from the get-go.

E: I’m no fan of Oprah but her book club DOES get people to read. Nothin’ wrong with that.

tim: What a great observation. You’re right on the money (as usual). I don’t really like Oprah, but her book club DID recommended Love in the Time of Cholera which is in my top five, so she can’t be ALL that bad.

January 11, 2009 at 8:43 AM  

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