Lots of people think that discovering Oprah was your long lost sister would be akin to something really awesome, like hitting the lottery. Think of it: The most powerful woman in the world is now your relative. All that money! All those fancy celebrity parties! All the magazine covers your face will be on, and all those talk shows. Your million-dollar book deal! All that money!
But we all know what happens to those lottery winners, how 98 percent of them end up divorced, bankrupt, ostracized from their families, and even bigger losers than they were when they cashed in their winning ticket. Yeah. Like that.
I feel so sorry for the woman who was recently "reunited" with the Universal Ruler of Daytime TV. (Reportedly, the woman is a half-sister named Bunny, who Winfrey's mother put up for adoption shortly after her birth.) Blinded by the light gleaming from the Tower of Oprah, she probably has no idea what she is in for.
None of this will likely be anyone's fault, including Oprah's. Oprah herself probably can't help what she is. At some point, she went from being an inspirational example of strength and hope to this self-promotional talking head whose face haunts you at the grocery store checkout. I'm sure she has no idea how annoying and narcissistic she is, as is true of most people who are put on a pedestal for most of their life.
Which brings me to the first reason why having Oprah as a sister would be miserable: promotion. Oprah is ALL about promotion, starting with her newly discovered half-sister. What does she do when she gets "reunited" with this mystery person? She teases this "earth-shattering secret" to be revealed later today on her show. Oprah and some of her worshippers would call this form of public confession a type of therapy, but I call it shining the spotlight on HER. It's not like this story is going to inspire other long-lost sisters to suddenly emerge and reunite with viewers. But it IS going to gain her some mega ratings because, hell, even I'm going to watch Oprah's show today and I can't stand her.
And that speaks to the second reason why having Oprah as a sister would be miserable. She will always be "the favorite child." She will now take center stage at every birthday, holiday dinner, and family reunion. You know how annoying those types of siblings are. You plan, and clean, and cook for days getting ready, and then your sister who never remembers birthdays and who only visits twice every few years waltzes in for a few hours and steals the show. People barely notice you and all the work you did because they are too busy listening to Oprah's stories about Tom and Katie and John and Kelly, all those cars, and what she ate for dinner last Tuesday.
Oprah is also very much a loner, and a very busy loner. I'm not sure how available she'll be for much needed "sister chat" about Real Housewives or how you've fallen off your diet again. You could text her, but her assistant will probably take a few hours to get back to you. Aside from Gayle and that Stedman guy who was around for a while, Oprah hasn't seemed to forge any longlasting close relationships in her life. Because if she had, we would have surely learned about it on her show, or in several full-length feature stories in her magazine.
And lastly, after all those years of living in Oprah's shadow, after all those celebrities who only talked to you because you were Oprah's "relative," and losing all those real friends that you lost because you felt they no longer ran in "your circle," don't think you're going to get any substantial cash out of it. First of all, the half-sister, Bunny, is supposedly a grandmother, so presumably older than Oprah. With all those fancy doctors that Oprah buys, this old gal is living to at least 110. But regardless, leaving her Big Sis all her billions would not Oprah's style at all! Because she will need to think of a way to promote herself even in death.
The bulk of empire will be probably be divided up into a dozen or so foundations for sick kids, starving artists, and to feed several countries in Africa for 10 years (because that will get a LOT of press). The rest will go to some vast media library she will found (which will house and preserve all those episodes of her show and ALL those magazine covers). Anything left will be divvied up among Gayle and that guy Stedman (is he even in the picture anymore?), and the new kin will likely get a sizable donation made in their name to one of Oprah's philanthropic efforts, and maybe a little extra something -- enough to buy a few lottery tickets, if she's lucky.
Image via Alan Light/Flickr