02 June 2009

“OPRAH: My Soul Sister in a Parallel Universe”

An Observation

Part Fourteen

In 1998, New York City is when I first began watching The OPRAH Show. It was when ABC started airing it at 1:00 am in the Tri-State area. She announced the spiritual format, “Change Your Life,” and since I had spent over a decade reading self-help books, and many of her guests were the authors I read---I watched.

I didn’t know much about Oprah Winfrey, except she had a daily television talk show. While discovering her as a television personality I observed her camera angles and judged her self-consciousness that the camera magnified.

Around the same time, while reading an interview with her, she shared a quote from Stedman about her childhood abuses---her honesty and vulnerability was palpable, and a way of thinking that I could apply to my own life and abuses---so I took notice. And the more I learned about Oprah while watching the show---I found a kinship that unfolded over time, as there were many coincidences woven throughout our lives. Although she was born 6 years before me into a different culture---our similarities are uncanny…. I’ll share them with you below. Please let me know your thoughts. And if my imagination has carried me away…. ### RBS

Our names both 5 letters & 2 syllables.

Oprah’s father, formerly in the Army, worked as a coal miner.
My father, former Army SGT. worked in the boiler room of a company fueling the fire with coal.

Oprah lived on a farm.
I lived on a farm till I was nine.

Oprah is from Miss.
I am from Mass.

Oprah’s grandmother used to hit her as a child with a switch.
My father used to hit us as children with a belt and a horsewhip.

Oprah loves blueberries.
I picked wild blueberries on our land as a child and it is my summer favorite.

Oprah wore glasses as a child.
I started wearing glasses when I was 6.

Oprah was molested at 9 by an uncle and cousin.
I was molested at 9 by an ex-step brother.

Oprah ran away from home at 13.
I left home with a fiancé and my mothers blessing at 13.

Oprah became sexually active at 14.
I was sexually exploited at 14.

Oprah’s half brother was Gay.
My brother is Gay.

Oprah’s half brother died from AIDS in 1989.
My sister died from AIDS in 1987.

Oprah’s early dating years was with abusive men.
Till I was in my early 20’s, I had relationships with men 10 – 20 years my senior, the latter was a black man. I experienced years of mental, physical and verbal abuse.

Oprah’s film debut in “The Color Purple” was 1985.
My film debut in “Tough Guys Don’t Dance” was 1986.

Oprah loves books and is an avid reader.
When the abuse ended, I began reading and collecting books for over a 15 year period.

Oprah keeps a journal.
I began journaling at 21.

Oprah meditates.
I began meditating at 27.

Oprah loves trees.
I began hugging trees at 27. Oak is my favorite.

Oprah’s middle name is Gail.
My sister’s name is Gail.

Oprah’s fragile self – worth after several break-ups resulted in weight gain.
My self esteem and body image was shattered by my late 20’s and I packed on weight.

Oprah doesn’t wear a bathing suit in public.
I stopped wearing bathing suits in the mid 90’s.

Oprah’s top weight was 220 before she began a program.
I hit 220 lbs. in 1994 when I began working out.

Oprah’s never been married.
I was engaged once as a teen---but never married.

Oprah never had children.
I used birth control and was fearful of having children.

Oprah loves dogs, her first as an adult being a medium sized black Cocker Spaniel named “Sophie.” [6 letters, starts with S, 2 syllables]
I love dogs, my first as an adult, a medium sized white Poodle named “Sunday.” [6 letters, starts with S, 2 syllables]

Oprah moved to Chicago for her career in TV.
I moved to New York City for my career in film.

Oprah used the number 111 with an audience contestant on one of her mock game shows.
I hit the NY state and NH state lottery number 111, 5 times since 1992.

Oprah entered into publishing in April 2000 with her O magazine.
I entered into publishing when writing a memoir in February 2000.

Oprah’s 70-acre California estate is on a mountaintop.
My family home was a ranch on a 35-acre wooded hilltop.

Oprah’s astrological sign is Aquarius, an Air sign.
My astrological sign is Gemini, an Air sign.

Oprah has a large gay following.
I have more male gay friends then women.

Oprah's sister Patricia died in 2003.
My mother Patricia died in 2002.

Oprah gained back most of the weight she lost in the past 3 years.
I gained back the 20 lbs I lost plus 25 more in the past 4 years.

Oprah’s favorite junk food is potato chips.
Mine is Ruffles with sour cream.

Oprah’s switched to Blue Corn nachos.
I started eating yellow corn nachos 5 years ago.

Oprah discovered a 40-year family secret November 2010.
I discovered an 80-year family secret July 2010.

Oprah is a billionaire.
I am penniless.

Copyright May 29, 2009, R. B. Stuart. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of this blog in any form.