I’m sorry I’ve been so out of touch this week. I’m catching up with my life after two weeks of Oprah prep and execution. I finally updated Marty’s Writing Page and Val’s Writing Page, and I’m working on a new writing page for my friend Shari, the one who started all this Oprah brouhaha in the first place. I should have her page in place tomorrow.
Here’s what I realize since I got home last Friday: My life is the same, but I’m not the same. I slew a lot of dragons these last two weeks and I learned a lot about myself and others.
For instance, I hadn’t been on an airplane in 10 years. Flying scares me, but over the years I’d gained so much weight I knew I would not fit comfortably in the seats.
More than my own comfort, I worried about the physical and emotional comfort of those around me. When I sat in an auditorium or theater seat, my 300-pound body spilled over to the seat beside me. That’s why I always sat at the end of rows so I could maneuver as much of myself as I could to the aisle. In an airplane, the seat space is small and there is no allowance for a large body other than to inconvenience the person in the next seat. I knew I’d be embarrassed. I’d feel unworthy. I didn’t want to deal with the other passengers’ disgusted looks and so I stayed home and prayed no emergency would arise that would force me to fly.
Today I weigh 130 pounds. I fit in most seats, but the eyes take awhile to catch up to the body. When I see small chairs or seats, I still panic a little. I always wonder, “Will I fit?” My fear of flying didn’t go anywhere either, so two dragons were slain when I stepped on that plane for Chicago. We took off, we landed, I was fine.
On a much lighter note, I’d never had my eyebrows waxed before. A few of my friends have it done, but I’m blond, Norwegian and generally hairless there, so it never occurred to me to visit an aesthetician. I just load on the eyebrow makeup.
Have you ever been lectured by an aesthetician? It’s a little like disappointing your first-grade teacher. You lay there on what looks like a gurney, a bright light shines on your face, and she hovers over you wearing a mask like she expects mad gobs of gunk to come squirting out of your pores. She holds a tweezers and tape for ripping out your hair. She sighed, disappointed in the sad shape of my brows and said to me, “I’ve been doing brows for 25 years. I love brows. They are my life.” That’s when she proceeded to pluck and pour hot wax on my eyebrows. “Keep your eyes closed,” she kept saying.
She said I need to use a blond pencil, perhaps taupe, but never anything in a honey color. OK, I said. I promised her I’d throw away the light brown pencil if she just let me walk away with my face in tact.
As for my hair, you know that the hair lady at Oprah straightened it for the show. While I didn’t recognize myself at first, I confess I liked it that way. So last Saturday, I bought a flat iron. Sunday I bought shampoo, conditioner and product specifically designed for straightening hair. Today, I did it. It took me an hour, but I did it. I blew my hair out with a big brush, flattened it with an iron and went out in public. No one laughed or stared so I assume it looked OK. I went with my daughter to her doctor’s appointment and I watched Claire in the waiting room. A woman asked me when I had my baby. I told her I was the grandma. She said no way, that I looked too young to be a grandmother, and so now I’m pretty sure I have to straighten my hair every day.
On to the clothes. I doubt I’ll wear the outfit in that combination again, but I do like the jeans and the shirt (although I won’t wear it quite as low on my arms as I did on the show), and the boots are amazing. The belt, well, it’s pretty flashy and I live in Appalachia, so I think the belt will be willed to my granddaughter.
I might be a little too confident in clothes selection, however, because when I was at Macy’s today buying a new eyebrow pencil, I also bought…..
(Michael, if you’re reading this, please don’t hate me.)
Yes, those 1980s throwbacks are BACK! I loved them in the 80s, wore them into the 90s, and am very glad to see them for sale again. I promise I won’t wear them in public unless I’m going to a Flashdance party, but I’ll wear them in my house because I get very cold in the winter at night in my fleece jammies. Don’t laugh. I know I’m no Jennifer Beals, but I really like leggings. Stop laughing!
My Oprah adventure continues to amaze me. And it’s not just the flying and the eyebrows and the clothes and the hair. I met so many awesome people, had so many interesting moments. They keep coming to me, flashing in my mind when I’m driving or cooking or working out. Was I really there? Did that really happen? Yes, it did, and I smile and shake my head throughout the day when I remember.
I was glad to get home and back to my life. But I’m not the same person who got on that plane for Chicago last week. I’m even better.