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Did you hear the news? (Of course you did, it was the media equivalent of shock and awe.) On Friday, Oprah announced that her final show would be Sept. 2011, after 25 years on the air. So while the speculation about her reasons run rampant, now seems like the perfect time to talk about Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk.

Robyn Okrant spent a year doing absolutely everything Oprah recommended–purchasing Oprah endorsed fashion, cooking Oprah approved meals, reading Oprah endorsed books, finding Oprah approved spirituality. She chronicled her Oprah experiment on her blog, where readers can see what a monumental task this undertaking became. Between Oprah’s TV show, her magazine and her website, Robyn spent a whole lot of money and even more time to live an Oprah-approved “best life.”

I don’t really watch Oprah or read her magazine anymore. Personally, I find her out of touch. Larry King just had her BFF Gale on his show, asking Gale how Oprah “engaged with the everyday lady.” To which Gale responded that Oprah was “just like you.” Sorry, Gale, no she’s not.

Oprah is worth billions. She can’t walk down the street, take mass transit, or fly commercial without getting mobbed. She can find the absolute best pair of pants, no matter what the cost, and buy ten of them. She can work out with expensive trainers and consult with nutritionists. Oprah employs a lifestyle army. It’s much easier to live your best life when money is no object.

But is Oprah really living her best life? From what I have read, her work schedule is insane. She has no work-life balance. Her yo-yo dieting is another tip-off that there may be something gnawing away at her. So is the commercialism that surrounds this best life really just a band-aid for happiness? Can it really be found in the best pair of pants, the best ergonomic gardening set, or the best rolfing?

The book comes out on January 3, and I am going to try track Robyn down for a quick interview for this ol’ blog! I am in AWE of the discipline it must have taken to live this “best life.” And I have a lot of questions too. Did Robyn find her best life by Living Oprah? Does Robyn think Oprah is really living her best life? Is the Best Life found in those perfect pants, or did she somehow transcend these messages and find a spiritual epiphany?

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I couldn’t sleep last night so I did a late-night viewing of
Tabatha’s Salon Takeover. I am not a reality TV kind of girl (gave up on them
after the late Anna Nicole’s fabulously trashy show was canceled on E!). I had
never watched Sheer Genious, so I was a total Tabatha virgin.

 

It is not the best reality show I have ever seen, but
Tabatha, apart from her unfortunate eyebrows, was a delicious blend of
compassion and bitch.  The salon
she took over was filthy, though it appears like it may be one of the cleaner ones
based on teasers for next week’s episode. Some real ewww inducing moments
included a stylist who never cleaned out his brushes and an area of the floor
littered with old nail clippings under the manicure station.  And there was petrified dog shit on the
floor the owner’s office.  Nasty!

 

Cleanliness in salons and spas is pretty much the most
crucial part of running an upstanding business. Particularly when waxing or
extracting…. Bodily fluids, people!

 

If you are getting a service at a new salon or spa, and you
don’t think it’s clean, walk out. If you are getting waxed or extracted, your
tech should be wearing gloves to protect both of you. If you are getting waxed
and you see the waxing tech double dip, walk out.  I don’t care what anyone says, double dipping is not
safe.  Some argue that the stick
never touches the skin, but that’s patently false.  If you are being waxed properly, the stick will touch the
skin. 

 

Many many years ago, before I knew better, I got my bikini
waxed at a small spa in the Village that was recommended to me by a
friend.  At the time, I did not
think anything about the double dipping, but after a few months of regular
waxes, I had the absolute worst in-grown hairs imaginable. They were everywhere
and so badly infected that they turned into actual boils all over my bikini
area. In addition to being horrific, it was incredibly painful.

 

I did not understand how it happened, since I used TendSkin
daily.  It turned me off waxing
until I went to school in February. 
That’s when I realized that the problem may not have been ingrown hairs,
but some sort of infection from a lack of sanitation…

 

There is just way too much nastiness out there to take any
chances.  If it makes you uncomfortable, walk away.