Saturday, November 21, 2009

Don't Do It For Me, Oprah

Now I feel bad. My previous confessional post about my Oprah regrets appears to have prompted her to throw in the towel completely. I knew as a big-hearted person that she would feel terrible about the circumstances behind my decision to decline an invitation to appear on her show, but O, taking it off the air? Entirely uncalled for. I'm fine. Really. It all worked out. In retrospect -- and at this point in my life I am all about retrospect -- not going on the Oprah show was one of the best moves I ever made.

Had I appeared on Oprah that spring of 1996 the book I'd just released might well have taken off and become something. Maybe not, but let's say for argument it did. That would have prompted publishers to line up with large cash offers for another book I didn't have in me, but would have committed to because I would have gotten all wrapped-up in the money and attention. Guaranteed. The resulting book deal would have demanded a fast-track turnaround to capitalize on all the buzz and would have derailed my life for a solid year. The book would have sucked and so would my standing as a father, husband and friend. I would have spent the money on a better boat and a larger woodshop I wouldn't have had time to use. Panned by the press, resented by my family, and distanced from my friends I would have bobbed in the bay alone on my better boat and wished I'd simply said no to Oprah. Which in fact I did.

So there, O. Happy ending. You like those, right? You know how and when to leave a stage and I -- in my little dim rim of the limelight -- did too. So, I won't feel bad about you canceling your show for me if you won't feel bad about me canceling your show for me.


Blogger mlt said...

I think this officially makes things right between you crazy kids. So glad.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Jmot said...

That was amazing. Well done.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous David Steinberg said...

It's amazing what decisions in our lives can lead to...just when we thought we knew it all!

I, for one, wish you had written twenty more books, but purely from a selfish standpoint. In my own "works too hard and stressed out" life, your stories and voice have always helped me calm down and take things a bit slower.

Just last night, facing a bit of insomnia, my wife said, why don't you put on some Tom Bodet.... I had to bust out my tape collection and realized that it had been a while and we couldn't find a tape player among the pile of ipods, iphones, and ipod touches in the house. We pulled out a relic of a "boom box" and slipped in the cassette of "The End of the Road."

It had been a while since ANY tape was played in that machine and within five minutes it was making so many creaking and whirring noises that my wife and I were in tears with laughter. Needless to say, no story for us, so tonight I'm downloading it all via Itunes (that will at least get you a check for .05 cents!).

Cheers to you...and god bless!

9:53 PM  

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