Sunday, January 25, 2009

O, My!

I swear I had no intention (this time) of writing to Oprah, but somehow my search for information on her site about this kid ended with me answering the question, “Are you too old to be on Facebook?” with a link to this story.

Now, having written to Oprah dozens of times in the past 20-some years and never yet stepping foot in Harpo Studios, I had little reason to give it another thought. So you can imagine my surprise when, just a few days later, I found the following email in my inbox from Oprah(‘s assistant producer) herself:

“My name is Allyson and I work on a production team here at The Oprah Show. I read the email you submitted and I'd love to ask you a few more questions if you have a moment this week?”

I could hardly breathe. Oprah(‘s assistant producer)? Wanted to talk to me?

I left her a voicemail saying I would be available to chat the next day. And the next. And the next. And any day after that for the rest of my life.

And in less than 24 hours, my phone rang again.

This is it, this is what “The Secret” is all about, I thought, ready to charm the socks off that lady. Allyson was about to be blown away by the quick wit and charm of Jules, yes she was. I envisioned the limo pulling up to my house, Nate Berkus greeting me at the door holding a monster bouquet of fresh flowers to liven up my home and confessing his secret crush on me. Maybe Bono would be on the show that day too. In fact, maybe I would get to help Bono set up a Facebook account of his own!

I let it ring one more time, not so much because I’m cool like that, but because, after one more glance at the “Harpo Studios” on my Caller ID, I suddenly felt light-headed.

Uh-oh, this cannot go well.

I answered anyway.

“Hello?” I said with a smile as my heart raced, my face flushed, and my pits ran with sweat.

“Hi, is Jules available?” Allyson 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 even watch TV, much less be on it? Wait---that’s ridiculous. I’m almost 17 ½ years younger than Oprah, and she’s on TV. But she’s Oprah. Of course she gets to be on TV. Wait, did she just ask me a question?

“Yes, this is Jules,” I said.

“Hi, Jules, this is Allyson from the ‘Oprah Winfrey Show.’ Did I catch you at a good time?” she asked.

No! I’m completely and totally freaking out, and you aren’t even the real Oprah! You are one of her many assistants... with the best job ever!

“Absolutely! How are you?” Good move, Jules, ask a question, put the ball in her court. Make her work for you.


Bad move. What if she doesn’t want to work for you? What if she just wanted you to say, “Yes, and I’m 100% ready to be on the show, I’ve even picked out my outfit. What time will the limo be here?” What if she decides to move on to a more cooperative old person who uses Facebook?

“Great,” her perky voice cheered. “I got your letter and I have a few questions for you, if that’s okay?”

“Of course!” I said… Allyson, I’ll fold all your laundry and wash your car if it means I get to meet Oprah. And Bon Jovi too, if he’s available for lunch or dinner or whatever that day.

She proceeded to ask me a number of questions which I easily nailed, and, just when I thought I was doing great, she asked me if I update my “Facebook status” daily.

“Oh, I do… ” I humbly started, “but I don’t like to be too literal. My friends and I really just use it as a way to make each other laugh.” I am so clever!!

“Really? What are some of the funny updates you’ve listed?” she sounded interested.

Ahh, this is my moment to stand out. My moment to shine, to show this gal we old people can be hilarious when we want to! Which is the exact moment early-onset dementia kicked in. I drew a blank

“Oh? Well, uh," Snap out of it and speak, Jules!

“What are some things you and your friends post for each other?” she merrily pressed on.


“Movie references from the '80's?” I started, “um, pop culture stuff… TV theme songs... ” I replied with a wince, kissing my opportunity to sing Motown up and down the Miracle Mile in the back of a limo with Gayle King goodbye.

She gave me one last shot. “Like, what do you have posted right now?”

“Ummm… ” I replied, racing to the computer to find out. Get it together, Jules, before she decides you're just another James Frye! My tongue swelled up, my lips turned numb, it was as if I had just swallowed a vial of botox-injected collagen. I tried to rattle off my last few updates from the computer, but I’m pretty sure nothing else I said to her from that point on made any kind of impact. Or sense, really.

So if Allyson finds herself with a severe shortage of potential guests and I end up spending a night in Chi-town, drinking in my New Earth from the All-Suite Omni Hotel and having brunch in the Harpo green room, I will be sure to fill you in. But after her very polite, “I'll be in touch if I have anything else for you,” I am not holding my breath.

Unless it makes me look slimmer on camera, of course.


Sassy Britches said...

Aaaacck! I had such high hopes! Just because you were nervous and couldn't give snap answers, they're giving you the "don't call us, we'll call you?" Noooooo! Age discrimination! I protest! :)

Bella@That damn expat said...

That was a cool post! I don't watch Oprah, but it has become an institution so I understand your nerves:)

Morgan the Muse said...

Aww... I am sorry. But at least, you got a blog post out of it. :)

Kimmer said...

Jules, lovely spending time with you today. In more ways than one, UNDERSTAND your encounter with "allyson". Moreover, I can tell you that Harpo studios is a bit disappointing, so in case your stage fright leads to nothing, please will survive...

Bella@That damn expat said...

Hey, I gave you an award:

Jules said...

SB - I'm just hopeful that they are looking for FB users waaayyy older than I am, and that I've got my wits about me should this ever happen again!
Bella - Thanks for the award! I will do my best to carry it out...
Morgan - Thanks for the sympathy, good blog material comes in many forms
Kimmer - You blog too? Seriously, when do you have time to do all of this?!? It was great to meet you last week!