My Dryer is Broken, and What I Learned About Oprah

Feel sorry for me. Our dryer died a couple of weeks ago. It was sad. I reached in to pull out the load of jeans I had put in and recoiled in horror – they were still wet! Why, you may ask, have we not yet replaced the dryer? Good question. At our house, broken things must sit for long periods and become part of the stories of our home, taking on almost the level of myth before anything is done about them. But that’s a topic for another blog.

In many ways, I don’t really mind going to the laundromat as long as I can get to the one that closes before 8 p.m. because the one that stays open late is near TU, and it’s sort of a laundry/bar. You can have some beers, play pool, watch TV (I had never seen that Japanese contest show before, and now I know I don’t ever want to watch it again because it was pretty disgusting), and, unfortunately, smoke. That’s the worst part. I don’t smoke, so it seems antithetical to leave a laundry with your clean clothes smelling like smoke. It’s also dark and cave-like in there, making it difficult to read. I try to avoid this laundromat.

My favorite one is well-lit, quiet, smells like detergent and fabric softener, and has stacks of women’s magazines. Since I don’t subscribe to women’s magazines, I have enjoyed catching up. One of the Oprah publications was all about how we should love our bodies for what they are. Yes, the entire magazine! I found it to be hypocritical and WAY self-indulgent. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve never been an Oprah fan. Actually, I like her because she seems like a nice enough person, but kind of gullible. I mean, anyone who would promote Madonna as a parenting role model is a little sketchy in terms of common sense.

I do like that she supports reading good books, though.

But isn’t it a little silly, not to mention ironic, to devote an entire magazine to women’s bodies and body types, then tell us not to focus on them? Is it just me, or is that crazy? I mean, after going through page after page of photos of different shaped women in their underwear, tearful essays about hating your body, then accepting it, Oprah herself chastising herself for gaining back the weight she had lost, I had to wonder — isn’t all of this just buying into our collective body-obssession disguised as self-help? By the end of the magazine, I couldn’t decide whether I should eat a banana split or go for a run.

I had to pick up a copy of Vogue to clear my mind. At least it was full of straight-forward fashion. I’ll take a little unrealistic, nutty fashion over Oprah any day. Yeah, and I watch America’s Next Top Model AND The Hills, too. I guess what I’m saying is that in my quiet hour with only the tumbling sound of the dryers to distract me, I realized that I, for one, want my entertainment as fluffy as my towels. Don’t disguise it as anything more serious than that.

Categories: Editor’s Blog