My husband is working a lot right now so there is an abundance of time on my side in the evening after the kids go to be to indulge in the sort of TV programming that doesn’t rank on both of our ‘must watch’ lists. I’m actually being generous here… I’ll leave it to you to come up with a more colorful version of his opinion about most of my viewing choices but it rhymes with ‘drap’. Let’s set the scene…
I curl up on the couch with my favorite afghan blanket crocheted with love in 1970’s technicolor by my beloved Grandma Frieda and hit the line up on my DVR. Ooh… a new Housewives… maybe. Then I see it. My latest dream lineup. Rosie and Oprah’s Lifeclass. A bag of Parmesan Goldfish and a glass of icey-ice water and I am settled in. I realize I should also work on my son’s baby blanket, but I just started a new sweater instead. Don’t judge me.
I am really loving the return of Rosie O’Donnell on her new evening talk show, The Rosie Show. I’ve always enjoyed her and am thrilled to see her back on TV. To me, she is real, genuine and kind. I know there are a lot of people who don’t like her, her politics and her opinions. Fine. Don’t watch her. I will gladly watch and enjoy. Here’s what I like: Over the years, I’ve found that I have a knack for trivia. Specifically 1970s-1980s pop trivia. If you need a TV sitcom theme song, I’m your gal. If you want to know the original artist of a remake on the radio… call me. Of course, this was pre-internet and now you just search for it in seconds so that sucks but I digress… The point is, I always hoped that this crap taking up space in my brain and frankly, freaking people out with why I think this information is valuable to store in the first place, would one day bring me fabulous cash and prizes. Rosie has proven me right. She gets on stage and connects with the audience. She proves that her brand of personality connects with many and annoys some too. I get that. I do this on a daily basis and to see someone else do it on TV makes me feel a little bit better. Sometimes she puts her foot in her mouth, sometimes she overshares. She is a fan and when she talks with her guests, she connects in a way that makes you believe that she is interested in what they are there to say. I must admit, though, I am jealous. This was my dream job and Rosie has it. Ro- can I call you Ro? If you need a guest host, call me. I’m from Chicago so I have a place to stay so you wouldn’t even need to cover my hotel. I will sing showtunes. I will dance and complain about wearing Spanx. Call my mom and her friends and they will vouch for me. I could totally do that.
(NOTE: This totally wasn’t supposed to be a love letter to Rosie O’Donnell. I could have cut it or edited it, but this is really what I wrote and I’m trying to limit my inner critic who told me to hit delete.)
Next up is Oprah’s Lifeclass. For some time now, I have craved a little more spirituality and growth in my life. I want to be a better me, a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better daughter… you get it. I must admit, I was a little skeptical when I first saw promos for the show. Was this going to be a how-to guide about the way my life should be, according to Oprah? Would there be Kool-Aid to drink? Who is Oprah to tell me how to live? Normal skeptic stuff, not necessarily towards Oprah herself, but there seemed to be a sort of evangelical feel to it, at least to me. And yet, I decided to watch. I was wrong. This is exactly what I had been craving. Oprah takes many of the life lessons that she has learned over the 25 years of doing her show and looks back on how, when and why these were important lessons for her. In her experience, she has come to know that when something resonates with her, it does with others too and this is the opportunity to review and take a deeper look at these lessons. Last night, I watched one that talked about our need to be validated. There was a great discussion about Toni Morrison’s quote, “When your child walks in the room, does your face light up?” I’m thinking about myself as a mother, a child, a wife. There is a lot there to digest and that is what makes this show valuable to me. I can use these lessons and spend moments each day looking at how I live my life and hold a mirror up to my actions. I know that sometimes, like many parents, I put technology in front of my children. There are moments when I would rather look at Facebook than look at another Lego tower built by a three-year-old and while that makes me human, it also makes me sad. The last thing I want is for my son to believe that someone on Facebook who I rarely, if ever, actually speak to is more important than him. That isn’t to say that I should always drop whatever I am doing for my children. I think it is important that they learn that sometimes they need to be patient and let me finish whatever it is that I am doing, but this lesson reminded me to check with myself before asking them to wait. Especially, if I’m watching an important show… (kidding!)