Chicago Tuesday

Getting fitted for a bra is like wiggling yourself head first through a child’s padded steel wire playground tunnel. I had so many women stuffing my breasts through straps and lace today that if I swung that way, it might have qualified as foreplay.

Laugh if you will, but trying on clothes for four hours is hard work. I’d never taken my clothes on and off so many times, and never have I unabashedly undressed in front of a man I hadn’t planned to sleep with – Michael, the head stylist, whom Oprah’s people flew in from LA the night before. (Thank God I remembered to pack "normal" underwear and not just thongs!) It was a matter of efficiency. No time for modesty. If I’d kicked him out every time I needed to take off one pair of jeans and put on another, I’d still be in that Macy’s dressing room. Besides, he didn’t give a damn about my stretch marks. His goal was to make me look good and we had fun doing it. He’s hilarious and a little snarky. He wanted to know the story behind my tattoo, and we both agreed the hotel we’re staying in needs to do something about the sandpaper they call toilet paper. Hello, Charmin? Emergency at 676 Michigan Ave.

Each of the guests for this show (21 in all) needed to have three outfits for the Harpo people to choose from. I ended up being photographed in six for some reason. The powers that be wanted me in something tight. Well, they got tight. Tight jeans, tight dresses, tight tights. I have no idea which one they’ll select (I’ll find out in the morning), but I’m hoping for the purple knit dress and knee boots. I have a feeling they’ll select the $200 jeans and the off-the-shoulder sweater with pointy boots and a belt. The dress is something I’d wear in real life, but most of the clothes I tried on today are way out of my league – fun, but expensive and not appropriate for grocery shopping at WalMart.

Tomorrow’s schedule is packed tight. I start out at Harpo Studios for a fitting and then I’m off to a salon for a makeover and (hmmm….) waxing. Afterwards I go back to Harpo for rehearsal. I will not meet the divine Ms. O until Thursday when I walk out on stage. She doesn’t like to meet guests, even celebrities, before taping. It takes away from the spontaneity of the conversation, she says. I haven’t had time to be nervous about that and I doubt I will until that very moment.

It takes a lot of people and a lot of money to be Oprah. You can’t sneeze at Harpo without at least two producers handing you a Kleenex. They are nothing if not attentive. Things seem chaotic, but there is a perfect rhythm going on underneath the chaos and each program has its own perfect production formula.

As a side note, I talked to a few of the women who will be on the show and they all said the same thing about their audio taping experience yesterday as I did. I was so relieved. I thought I was the only one.

Today was everything yesterday wasn’t. I’ll let tomorrow unfold the way it needs to. I’m finally having (gasp)…….fun.

I’ll write again tomorrow. Good night from Chicago.

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