Thanks to my friend Jessi, who happened to check for ticket availability on Oprah.com, I was able to snag 2 tickets to her show for moms. Since my mom and I have always wanted to attend a taping, this was a pretty big deal for us. I called my mom to tell her we had two tickets and all the details - Get there by 7:30 am, wear bright colors, don't bring anything with you because you can't (no cell phones, cameras, gifts, cards for Oprah)-and she came to spend the night. At the butt-crack-a-don (I like to make it sound like a dinosaur), which is 5:15 in my world, we got up, showered, dressed, beautified, and drove down to the show. We got street parking which was swell, and we got in line about 6:15. We were number 33 and 34 in line out of a gaggle of women.
For starters, Oprah's staff is SUPER. Our experience started with the security guard who was fun and nice and kept us all in line while explaining that we couldn't have cameras or cell phones, and that our coasts would be checked, our purses searched. They have this down to a smooth rhythm and I was impressed - which says a lot coming from me who constantly is bitching about how inefficient people are and how I would do things differently. We checked coats, checked purses, went through the metal detector, and then up to our holding area for just over an hour. The excitement in the room was intense. Everyone was excited. Everyone was a mom -- except 2 men who were there because they got in on standby through their hotel and didn't know it was a mom show (oops!). They had water for us and restrooms. We were all seated in a neat and orderly fashion. The only issue we had was that they didn't have anywhere to get food nearby and once we were in line, we weren't moving. (Pack a snack if you go.) You can take food in until you get to the studio but once you're in line, there is no going back. Luckily, I had a banana with me. Whew!
When the time comes, they call out a few names on the intercom of the preferred ticket holders -- I think you have to know someone to get those tickets - and then they called my friend's name and gave her special treatment because she is currently pregnant. They all got seated in the front section special seats within 10 feet of Oprah. Very nice.
While we waited for Oprah to come out, there was a woman who warmed us all up. She asked for funny stories about our kids. One woman got up and said her son wouldn't breastfeed in the beginning and when she finally got him to, then she couldn't get him to stop. Finally, at age 2, she took and put band-aids over her nipples and told him her boobs were broken. AND IT WORKED!
Another woman talked about peeing in a diaper while on a long car trip so she wouldn't have to stop at a rest stop and wake her two kids in the back seat. Talk about sacrificing!
After a few minutes of warming up the audience, Oprah finally comes out. She wasn't as glamorous as I was expecting -- maybe because her hair was straightened--but she looked nice as always. The show was about moms and motherhood and she had over a dozen moms who had Skyped in to be on the show. One was Heather Armstrong from Dooce.com which is an insanely successful mom blog. We talked about mom stuff. And then 2 women came on for a book they wrote called (something I can't remember). I'd tell you about it but I can't and they didn't give us a copy or any info about it really so what help does that do? Then they introduced Cheryl Hines from the new show called In the Motherhood that is coming out soon and looks cute. She's funny and nice. I was impressed with her. A few members of the audience added to the comments and told stories. And then at the end, Oprah said blah, blah, blah, "you're all getting a Flip Video camera with the Oprah logo." And the crowd goes wild! Yeah! It's a hundred dollar toy and is so easy to use I didn't even touch the manual -- which is again saying a lot because I don't think I've ever not even touched the manual of a new electronic. Super easy to use. Can't wait for Ada to get up from her nap so I can test it out. Too fun.
And that's it. Done. We walked out, got our coats and stuff we had confiscated, and picked up our Flip video and were on our way home by 11:05. Pretty sweet morning if you ask me.
And it was all made possible by my awesome neighbor Colette and her daughter Eva who graciously watched Ada while I went to Oprah. Nice. She's my hero. And she's moving to Seattle so if you know anyone who wants to buy a condo in Chicago... Let me know.
Moral of the story: Keep your eye out for me on an upcoming Oprah. You know the topic and the guests. I'm wearing teal, in the second tier of the audience, and it's doubtful I'll be more than a blurb on TV.