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Student Maxine Poupko at work on a story.

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By Maxine Poupko

Oprah is popular, but sometimes she bugs the shit out of me. 

I succeeded for a few weeks in not watching TV first thing in the morning. But I caved last Sunday. Well, it’s Sunday and I’m going to make an exception on weekends.

Then I changed my rule again. I decided that first thing in the morning I would only let myself watch movies that had a good Jungian based message, something that had redeeming value, instead of Say Yes to the Dressor 90 Day Fiancé. 

So, Sunday I watched Chocolat. I loved it. Great message. Everything changes—life, death, rebirth. Shit happens, but hang in there long enough, and transformation occurs. I searched the Internet for more Jungian based themes.

This morning, I was too cranky to start a movie. So, I altered my plan and let myself watch a few minutes of that annoying Super Soul Sunday, because Edith Eva Eger, a 91-year-old holocaust survivor, was being interviewed. She just published a book about how we all have choices in our lives, no matter what has happened to us. The theme was educational enough for altering my rules.

I liked her. But Oprah was getting on my nerves, and for the first time in my life, I heard myself yelling at my TV.

“Can you shut the fuck up, Oprah?!!”

I’ve seen the popular Ms. O do this countless times in her interviews. She is so focused on what’s in her own mind to say during the interview, that she cuts off her guest. Or the guest will say something so deep and meaningful, and my mind wants to catch it, but Oprah immediately changes the subject to meet her agenda and what’s in her own mind.

I’m not interested in Oprah’s aha moment. I’m interested in mine. 

And please, don’t fucking call everyone who watches a SuperSouler. I am not a SuperSouler!

Since I never yelled at the TV before today, I began to think, OMG! I’m becoming my father.He used to yell like a mad man in front of the TV, when he watched football or tennis matches. It scared the shit out of me when he did it.

Everything was calm and suddenly I’d hear him yell, “You idiot! The ball was out!”

 

Edith Eva Eger was so full of one-liners filled with wisdom that I had to keep rewinding to hear her words. I wanted take a moment to focus on what this astounding holocaust survivor, who has become a world renown psychologist was saying, but Oprah kept rudely interrupting her. 

She was talking about waiting in a line in Auschwitz, with her mother in the middle and she and her sister on either side of her. Dr. Mengele, known as the angel of death, asked her if the woman next to her was her mother or her sister.   

Eger said, “It’s my mother.”

Even at 91, she told Oprah that to this day, she hasn’t forgiven herself. 

Those words caused him to send her mother to one side, and she and her sister to the other side.

He told her, “Your mother is just going to take a shower, and then she will be back.”

Her mother said to her before she walked away, “We don’t know where we’re going, but just remember: No one can take away from you what you put here in your own mind,” as she pointed to her head.

And in the next split second, the very popular Oprah changed the subject.

Our classmates are then asked, “What drew you in and what do you want to know more about. Here are the comments:

Jimmy: What’s Super Soul Sunday?

Nickell: I was drawn to the intimacy. The writer brought me into her world with a great level of detail. So rich and human.

Susan: This narrator is funny. I want to hear more about her father.

Jill: I love how the writer gave a smackdown to someone popular and she used humor to tell the story.

Andrea: I was so drawn in by the specificity of the narrator’s habits and rules and then how she cheats. I’m so in. The line, “I’m not interested in Oprah’s aha moments. I’m interested in mine.” Love it! And the interview. I feel like I am experiencing the interview the way the narrator did.

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To read the full story and all of Andrea’s weekly essays, click HERE!
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By Allison Langer            I woke up this Mother’s Day morning, thinking about how I got to this point. The point where I can sleep until I wake up.              My kids are 9, 11 and 13. They’ve traded diapers and bottles for ipads and iphones. They make their own eggs and toast. But, there was a time when I wasn’t sure I’d make it to this point.             I had my first child when I was 36 and single. I couldn’t wait to have my own baby, someone I could cuddle and push around in a stroller. I bought sperm from a sperm bank, found a fertility doctor and Jackson was born. He was your typical angel baby: nursed well, napped well, slept through the night at three months. So, I started planning for the next baby. Then the next. I wanted a family of independent, successful and grown family members. Members that eventually came together on holidays, produced more family members and kept me alive when I got old. But, I didn’t spend too much time, any time really, thinking about the journey to get that point. Sloan is my third child. He was NOT an angel baby like his older brother. He wanted more milk than my breasts could make and I worried he would starve. He screamed from 7-9:30pm every night and I worried he would never outgrow the colic. By two years old, he was screaming “NO” when it was time for a bath, bed, anything. And then he’d vomit. At some point during the night, he’d rip his diaper off and wake covered in poop. When we taped the diaper together with duct tape, the duct tape was all that was left in the morning. At three years old, he was biting his teachers and he hit a kid with a Styrofoam bat. His tantrums continued at home and got so violent, I was worried he’d stab me in the middle of the night. Sloan’s pre-k teacher told me he needed help or he’d never make it in elementary school. I believed them, so we started therapy.             I started to wonder why I’d wanted a family so bad. And I worried I would never enjoy the family I’d created.             Sloan’s in third grade and he still can’t sit still. He’s still impulsive and artistic and creative. He also begs me to dog-sit our neighbor’s puppy, which we do. He texts his grandma and me heart emojis before he goes to bed. And this morning, like the last three Mother’s Days, Sloan set his alarm for 6:30am, so he could collect flowers from the neighborhood and arrange them around the canvas he painted for me, the card he bought from the CVS, a fresh cup of coffee and breakfast he made of apples, cinnamon and gluten free bread.             His older sister, Blake, gave me a homemade card and my favorite beauty products—lip gloss, Sun Bum, mud mask. Jackson walked out of his room in the morning, away from the glare and excitement of Fortnite and gave me a hug and a kiss.             Coffee in hand, I plopped onto the couch with the New York Times. Blake and Sloan watched what kids watch on their ipads. Jackson was in his room playing Fortnite. I thought about the journey of motherhood. How mine has just entered another phase. A phase I’ll probably rush through like everything else in my life I’m rushing to accomplish— landing a client, writing a book, getting a boyfriend. All the things that once we get them, we start looking for the next thing. And then I thought about my 82-year-old dad who just two nights ago took the long way to get to a restaurant. When I asked why he did that he said, “What’s the rush?”
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Hi Writing Class Radio,

Andrea here. I’m so far behind with all the other stuff that goes into making this podcast, that I thought I’d stop and make things worse by complaining about it. Today I set out to send an email blast to our subscribers and listeners and holy shit, I promised I wouldn’t overwhelm you if you joined the list, but now I’ve totally underwhelmed. It’s been more than 8 weeks and episodes are flying out bi-weekly, which means the newsletter is looooong. And it means, you might have some binge listening to do. Also, we announced a Spring SALE for April on our 3-part video series, which gives you all the tips we love—how to start, finish, and everything in between—for just $40. The sale ends soon, so jump on it here. And then I noticed that our blog was 11 weeks behind. If you didn’t know, I’ve been writing a #weeklyessay, so I had to throw up some of those, which you can read HERE. And then Allison said the email looks 80s, which was not a compliment, so I’m trying to flatten its hair and take out its shoulder pads.

#writerslife, #amwriting, #amcomlaining, #writingcommunity, #podcastingproblems

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