"No, you haven't offended me. Well, the thing is-I'm not satisfied with you because I don't feel you try hard enough," she said.
At this point I was completely baffled and asked, "Try hard enough at what?"
"You don't try with Oprah. You need to try harder to get to her. She would love you. You are so sweet like she is. Why can't you try to get on her show? Why can't you send her your books?"
I thought this woman was sweet. "Ma'am, I did send Oprah my books. My publisher also sent them to her. She never responded. I imagine she is really busy and simply hasn't had time to read my novels. She gets a lot of books, you know. I don't want to worry her to death."
As her face tightened for the second time, I knew she was not happy with my answer. "You see, that's what I'm talking about! You just won't keep trying."
"Well, I don't want to be a nuisance. You know what I mean?"
"No, I don't know what you mean. I want you to try harder. I want you to promise me
that you will write Oprah a letter or send her an E-mail. That's it-a letter or an E-mail. Just E-mail her and tell her who you are and get on that show. Can you do that?"
I looked at her and shook my head and gave in.
"Well, I guess I can. I'll do it." I answered thinking she could be a little loony or crazy.
"So, you are promising me you'll send her an E-mail. Right?" "Yes, Ma'am-I'll send it."
"Okay. Try harder. See you. I loved your first book. Can't wait to start this one."
The little old lady who appeared to be in her mid eighties walked out of Barnes and Noble. I was dead tired from all the talking and running around that day and had a book club discussion that started in half an hour.
On Monday night, March 21, 2005, I was laying in bed trying to go to sleep. As I lay there I remembered the little old lady and my promise. I've always been one to get a guilty conscience if I don't keep my word. I always try to keep my word. I was so tired, but got up and went to my computer. I booted it up and found Oprah's website. I am not totally computer savvy and sometimes have a hard time. I couldn't find a way to simply send a message to Oprah. The more I tried, the more lost I became. As I scrolled down I saw the words "Be on the Show." There were topics listed that you could click onto. I saw five topics that I qualified for. One that particularly interested me was called "Have you Spoiled Your Daughter?" I knew I had definitely done that. God knows Alia had taken me for a financial ride-limos and all.
I clicked on and typed my story. I wrote about how I delivered hot lunches to her at school from kindergarten through fourth grade each school day. I let them know about her receiving a baby grand piano for her 11th birthday. And, of course, the limousines I hired to cart her and her friends around on her birthdays. I told of all the clothes purchased from Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales all her life. I couldn't leave out the expensive vacations including cruises. She'd been in private school all of her life and just loved going to Manhattan to see all those Broadway shows. She was the restaurant and hotel queen and to boot-Miss Alia went on a shopping spree with $29,000.00. Yep-she was definitely spoiled. I then answered a few more topics, did an E-mail telling Oprah about my books and called it a night. I hit the sack.
On Tuesday morning, March 22, 2005, I decided I could not make a scheduled doctor's appointment. I was too tired. I wanted to spend the day relaxing. I usually showed up for my therapist, Dr. Anne Highland-but this particular day I called to tell her I couldn't make it. I was supposed to be there at 11:00 a.m. but instead I got back into bed and turned on the television. Around eleven twenty my phone rang. The person on the phone asked for me. "I'm a producer from the Oprah Show,"
"This is Adrienne," I calmly answered.
"I'm calling regarding the E-mail you sent to the Oprah Show."
I never flinched or showed any emotion. I was completely calm. The only thing running
though my mind was my psychic. Yep. My psychic. I love that stuff and had my cards read about a year and a half prior to this phone call. The Psychic-Mr. Dee had said in the reading that I would get a call-not directly from Oprah-but from her "people." He said it would be regarding an interview. That was all that was registering in my brain-that Mr. Dee had been right again about something else. I'd been going to him off and on since 1991 and many things he predicted have come true. He'd even forecasted the success of my novels. He also told me some details of the affairs that my no good cheating husband had during our marriage. I regained control of my thoughts and answered Oprah's producer's question. "I actually sent five E-mails. Which one are you referring to?" I asked.
"Well, do you have a spoiled daughter?"
"Yes, I do-Alia."
"Well, I'd like to talk to you about her?"
Miranda Creighton and I talked nearly an hour. She grilled me. She had many questions and also asked me if I had pictures of Alia in limos and did I really have a baby grand piano. She wanted to know what I did for a living, if I received child support from my husband and wanted more details about things I did for Alia. I told her how every Christmas I had a budget for Alia-that I'd spend about $1500.00 on her gifts. I explained how one Christmas Alia gave me a list in November of all the things she wanted. I purchased all the stuff. She was about 8 years old at that time. I hid all the stuff and the second week in December Alia presented me with another list. She had changed her mind. I kept all the previous gifts and then went shopping again spending about $1200.00. I explained to her that when Alia began losing her baby teeth, she would put the teeth under her pillow. I would put $10.00 under the pillow for each tooth. I would also alert all my friends and family she lost a tooth. I would have them mail five dollars for each tooth missing from "Tooth Fairy Land." I told her how Alia got a lot of mail for the teeth. I told Miranda about all the giant sleepovers Alia had for her birthdays and the Miss America Pageants we had at the house.
Miranda questioned me about Alia's clothing. I answered all her questions and then she wanted to know where Alia was. I explained that Alia was a student at Temple University in Philadelphia on honors and was at school. I let her know that Alia also worked for the President of Temple University part time as she was a full time student. She then wanted to know where Alia got $29,000 to go shopping. I explained it had been an insurance settlement she received from an automobile accident which occurred in January of 2001. I told her Alia was eighteen and away at college at the University of Maryland when that case settled. Even though I begged our attorney not to send the money directly to her, the law was that it was her money and she was an adult. He had to send it to her. I also explained that I'd done everything I could to persuade Alia to let me put the money away for her, but she refused. I told her Alia spent the entire sum of money between October of 2002 and July of 2003. The producer then wanted to talk to Alia. I gave her the main number to the college as well as Alia's cell phone number. She said she would call me back.
I hung up the phone, turned over, got comfortable and watched TV. I then called a couple of friends to let them know what had happened. I started to think about that little old lady in Barnes and Noble who approached me three days prior to Miranda's telephone call. Many things were going through my mind about the events that transpired between Saturday and Tuesday. I thought about all the sessions I'd had with my Psychic, Mr. Dee over the last few years and how in his office after many meetings he talked to me about Oprah, telling me I'd indeed come in contact with her. My thoughts were interrupted when I received another call from Miranda Creighton, Oprah's producer. She said she could not locate Alia and needed to talk to her. Miranda said Alia's cell phone was turned off. She gave me a number to give Alia to call her. I called straight through to the President's office and got Alia. I explained what was going on and told her to call Miranda. In about thirty five minutes I received another call from Miranda. She went over a few more things with me regarding how I had raised Alia and then said "I've talked to Alia. She'll be home early today at 5:00 p.m. We want to set you guys up for an interview."
"Okay-that's fine. We'll talk when she comes home."
Another call came in twenty minutes from Miranda. "Listen, we're preparing for the interview."
"Okay," I said
"Well, we'll need a few things from you for the interview. We need pictures of all the stuff you bought Alia-you know, get those things out. Also, we need pictures of the limousines. Do you have them? If you have videos of the Christmases, we need that stuff, too."I told her I had many pictures and I offered to send them in.
"Well, you don't have to send them. You see, we're sending a television film crew to your house. You can give the things to them."
"Okay, what day will they come?" I asked.
"Well, they will be there about four o'clock today. They are coming to your house
today. They will be there a long time filming you and Alia and her things."
I was stunned. "What?" I screeched. "Today? You mean this interview is not on the phone?" I was dumb struck.
She tried to calm me down. "Listen, you can do this. Just start getting it together. I'll call you back later. The crew will call you. Everything will be fine."
"Oh my God! I look like hell. I don't have any clothes on. I have to wash my hair! I have to find all the stuff! Jesus Christ! Oh shit!" I was screaming and jumping out of the bed.
"Okay, Adrienne. You calm down and get things together. The people coming will have a lot of equipment, too. I'll talk to you soon." She hung up.
I stared around the room. I didn't know what to do first. I'm not normally a neat person, but over the last three weeks I had cleaned and organized my house really well because I was having a party to launch my new novel Connecting on April 3rd, 2005. Today was March 22nd. I had put so many things away in the garage and basement because I expected company from out of town for this event. I had cleaned my screened-in porch and washed all the covers for the furniture. The covers were laid out in the living room waiting to be put back on the furniture. I didn't know where a damn thing was as far as all those pictures! Where in the world had I put all those old pictures? What the hell was I going to put on to look pretty? Lord have Mercy!
I walked into my own bedroom. For the last three weeks I'd been lying around in another bedroom so I wouldn't wreck my cleaned up room before the party on April 3rd. I started looking for a nice outfit to wear for the videotaping. My hair was all over my head. I had panties and a tee shirt on. It was 3:15 p.m. Shit.
I ran into the bathroom and plugged the curling irons on to heat up. Then I began making the bed I had been in all morning. I ran to the basement looking for pictures and old videos I had taken of Alia opening her Christmas presents. I started tearing the house up. I ran to the closets hunting for all those expensive dresses that I had bought for Alia. I couldn't find the pictures albums. Shit! I started cursing Oprah and Miranda out as I ran around. I was hysterical!
I went into the living room and grabbed all those sofa and chair covers that belonged on the porch and took them to the basement. I looked in my closet and found some picture albums-none had the limos in them. I was still running around in panties and tee shirt. The doorbell rang. I ran to the door and peeped out. It was a White guy. I knew it had to be the TV man. I yelled through the door asking who he was and that was him alright. I ran up my stairs and grabbed a robe. I was tying the belt as I came down. I completed the tie and let him in. I know I looked like a maniac and I was in a frenzy.
I let him in, he introduced himself and I immediately began apologizing for looking so scary and I was trying to hold the bottom of the robe shut. I was pissing and moaning about not being able to locate all the pictures. I began showing him what I had dug out to see if they would do. He then said "There are two more people coming. We have equipment to install and work to do. You just calm down and get your stuff
I went back to my huge basement and began ripping open boxes searching for pictures and videos. Then I ran to the garage and found some photo albums. I threw them in the living room and headed up the stairs. The two other guys arrived and the crew began setting up poles for lighting, undoing smoke alarms and my burglar alarm system to insure that no beeping from those devices could interfere with the taping of the interview. The phone rang and it was Miranda. "What now?" I thought."
"I'm E-mailing something for the crew. When it comes up, do not read it. Don't even look at it. Just print it out and hand it to them."
"Okay," I said and we hung up. I wanted that call to end quickly because I thought she may ask me to hunt down some more stuff and I didn't want that job.
I jumped into the shower. After I got out I went for the curling irons which were heating up in the other bathroom. I started trying to curl my hair and they broke. They just broke! I moaned in the bathroom. I sat on the toilet and tried to fix them. I was unsuccessful because the piece couldn't be put back on. I looked around for the Crazy Glue and couldn't find that. I was naked. I couldn't go down the steps because the guys were down there.