This was absolutely the last time I’d shift uncomfortably when Shaune walked in on me watching Oprah. It was her last episode. I don’t know why I always felt a tinge of shame like he’d caught me red-handed in a nefarious act. Well, I think I know why but the real mystery was why I could never shake that feeling despite my true opinion of the show: wholesome and educational, researched and compelling. And even though I’d been known (in our house) for my over-compensatory lectures of the benefits of Oprah on our culture, I still felt a tiny bit queasy every time my husband asked what I was watching.
Yesterday I caught some news coverage about her last show where a Canadian anchor man when asked if he was a fan of Oprah’s, responded diplomatically with well, I don’t think I was a part of her demographic. Fair enough, I thought.
But something about this talk show host, philanthropist billionaire elicits bad attitudes in a lot of men I know and even some women. One girlfriend acts as if she happened to be home when Oprah was on and the only reason she watched was that there was absolutely nothing else on. Every time we discuss an interesting aspect of a particular episode, she participates using this contingency. As if to admit that had she willingly taken part in the viewing, she would have been lowering herself to a domain she would rather not be associated with.
My husband who is a modern-day Dad, an evolved spouse, and even a pioneer of the accurate division of labour in a marriage slumped his shoulders every single time I answered that I was watching Oprah. Yet on more than one occassion he watched episodes in rapt enthralment.
Honey, you know it’s true.
It’s not my intention to ask the cosmic why and shake my fists at the universe for creating men and women so different. I’m not even interested in changing my husband anymore. I gave that up some time ago – mostly. It’s this notion that I felt guilty about watching Oprah even though I loved the show. I won’t go so far as to say it was like Stockholm syndrome where the kidnapped person starts identifying with her captor. It’s something more elusive.
All I know is that for some reason the mere mention of Oprah serves to send some people straight back to the dark ages. It made my well intentioned, evolved, pioneer husband ask me Wednesday: Are you gonna have a girl party because it’s the last Oprah?
Really? Girl party?*
Oprah once said in regards to the relationship between men and women:
A man will only treat you the way you allow him to treat you.
I can’t think of one good reason my husband would suddenly talk to me like I was fourteen, giggling over Justin Bieber. In this one instance, she was wrong.
*It's a rare occassion when my husband is anything but respectful and supportive toward women.
I'm joining the ladies at the Red Dress Club in their prompt that asked we begin with the phrase this was absolutely the last time and end with she was wrong.