Losing My Religion: Oprahcalypse Now!

by Judy Maitland

ARE YOU THERE, OPRAH? It's me, Judy.

Hail Oprah, full of grace. Blessed art though among 18- to 49-year olds. How could you do this to me? For 25 years, I have counted myself among your faithful. I've attended Your service every afternoon at 4 p.m., along with millions of fellow disciples, often ignoring my children and forgetting to cook dinner so I could listen to Your Word and watch as Your guests were allowed to sit in Your presence, the sinners that they were, confessing their eating disorders, affairs with their best friend's spouses, and compulsive shopping addictions, and waiting, watery-eyed, for Your blessing and absolution.

You were a warm and welcoming Mother, with a heart as large as Your frame (even during Your "Skinny Oprah" years, since, to be honest, You were still a little big-boned), You were always there when I needed You.

But now all that is over. The Mayans were off by a few months, because for us, the world will reach its true end on May 25, 2011, when the Oprah Winfrey Show ceases to exist. The Rapture is upon us and You haven't even shown us which Jimmy Choos look best on zombie feet or made plans with Gayle for a "Girl's Weekend in the Wasteland." And for some reason, Nicolas Cage didn’t bother to make an epic thrill ride warning the world about this, but in any case, the citizens of Earth will be devastated by the giant crater the loss of You, Oprah, Godprah, will leave in their lives. 

You've said that 5/25/11 is the "perfect" time to quit, and You do know a thing or two about perfection. I suppose You will be spending your new free time continuing to guide the oppressed and unenlightened. Maybe on your OWN network? (And should we read too much into the fact that OWN spelled backwards is NWO, as in New World Order? Hmm.)

You may have had your personal "Aha Moment" when you decided to close up shop, but what of the rest of us, Mother Winfrey? Me especially. What am I saying? Me most importantly!

How can I be expected to let go of You after bearing witness to such phenomenon as 1988’s “The Wearing of the Size 10 Jeans" and 2004's "The Miracle of the Pontiac G6s"? Who will steer me away from satanic verses (James Frey's A Million Little Pieces) and point me toward the gospel of truth (Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, anything by Maya Angelou, and pretty much every Tyler Perry film)? And how can I ever repay You for teaching me the value of getting fitted correctly for a bra? How will I be able to recognize the Devil's own (abuser Chris Brown, dog-killer Michael Vick, couch-jumper Tom Cruise) and understand the voice of a true angel (27-time guest Celine Dion!). And once I finally manage to live my "Best Life," how will I know what to spend my middle-class riches on without the annual holiday rite, The Blessing over Oprah's Favorite Things? How will I be shown the Coming of the Uggs, Williams Sonoma croissants, and "Hope in a Jar" wrinkle cream without Godprah's testaments of approval? How will I go about my daily life without Her reaffirmations of my self-affirmation? Who will I turn to for advice about the boys' next Halloween costume? Or find the perfect red velvet cupcakes? Or know about Baconnaise?

And, yes, while you have left Rachael Ray, Dr. Phil, Nate Berkus, Mehmet Oz, and the other apostles behind to spread your philosophy of Hope (In a Jar), you largely leave us a shepherdless flock. And You will leave me behind a bewildered devotee wandering around shocked and clueless, like abandoned children, tsunami dogs, the Democratic Party, and all this so soon after Michael . . .

An  Oprah-less world will be like the Rapture, all the goodniks up in Heaven, and the rest of us doomed to stare at each other in perpetual boredom.


I wonder who's on Ellen . . .


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