Today marks the first of many lasts for my BFF, Oprah, as the first show of her final season airs. Like many women around the world, I have long-dreamed of meeting this superlegend, sending in more letters than I can count over the past 24 years. And, although this dream has yet to come to fruition, I have come close …
While browsing Oprah’s site last year, I saw a topic that piqued my interest: “Are you too old to be on Facebook?”
Being a Facebook addict and compulsive Oprah-writer, I had to respond. A few days later, my phone rang. On caller ID? “Harpo Studios.”
This is it, I thought, this is what “The Secret” is all about. I envisioned arriving in Chicago, greeted by Nate and Gayle, handing out G6s with Oprah, maybe even helping surprise guest Bono set up his own Facebook page.
I let it ring one more time, not so much because I’m cool like that, but because my stomach suddenly dropped to my knees, leaving me light-headed. This was not going to go well.
“Hello?” I answered, heart racing.
“Hi, this is Allyson from ‘The Oprah Show,’ is Julie available?” she asked. She sounded young. Very young. What if she thinks I really am too old for Facebook? What if she thinks I am too old to be on TV? That’s ridiculous. I’m almost 17 1⁄2 years younger than Oprah, and she’s on TV. But she’s Oprah. Of course she gets to be on TV. Did she just ask a question?
“Yes, this is Julie,” I said.
“Great! Did I catch you at a good time?” she asked.
No! I’m totally freaking out, and you aren’t even the real Oprah!
“Absolutely! How are you?” Good move, put the ball in her court.
WAIT! Bad move. What if she just wanted you to say, “Yes, and I’m 100 percent ready to be on the show. What time should I be there?” What if she decides to move on to a more cooperative old person who uses Facebook?
“Fantastic!” her perky voice cheered. She asked a number of questions, which I mercifully nailed. Then, just when I had started mentally selecting an outfit for my debut, she asked me if I updated my Facebook status regularly.
“Well, yes …” I humbly started, “but nothing too literal. My friends and I just try to make each other laugh.”
“Really? Like what?” she sounded interested. This was my moment to shine! Unfortunately, this was also the exact moment I drew a blank.
“Oh … uh,” I stammered, running to my computer to check my status.
“Um…” C’mon! SAY ANYTHING!
“We quote … movies … from the ’80s?” I winced.
Had Allyson called again after my massive choke, this story would have been about the time I was on “The Oprah Show” instead of my unfortunate bout with memory loss. And now only 140 episodes remain.
I may be watching from my sofa, but at least I won’t ever be seen jumping on hers.