I am not a religious person.
I was raised in and out of many faiths (thanks mum!), but as an adult, I decided to take a quiet step back from all that is belief-based. That lack of religion though, meant there there was a gaping hole in my vocabulary when it came to expressing shock or surprise: “Oh my God!” feels odd to say when I don’t believe ‘God’ exists.
A while ago, I started to say things like ‘Oh Holy Oprah’ and ‘Praise be to O’ in place of the ‘G’ word, then it sort of stuck. I never really followed Oprah with any kind of fervor, but I considered Her the ultimate religious stand-in for privileged women without an official faith, so using Her name instead of ‘JESUS!’ when I stubbed my toe just seemed funny to me.
Basically, I’m an Oprah fan, but not the kind of fan who would spend money to go to Her show. I respect Her and think She’s brilliant, but there’s a lot of crap in my ‘saved’ list on ASOS and I’ve got bills to pay, so Oprah tickets are just not that high on my list. But would I say no if I was offered free Oprah tickets? HELL NO. I ain’t no dummy.
Sun Super, who I assume were one of the official sponsors of her tour or something, offered two Mamamia staffers VIP tickets to see Oprah this past weekend. I went. I experienced. I breathed her air.
This is what it’s like to pray at the Church of Oprah.
The Holy Building:
The chosen venue for worship was AllPhones Arena. I took my place in line with the other Believers and waited patiently to get inside. I’m not sure of this happens at every church but I was already a little frightened.
The Religious Dress Code:
Kaftans. Camilla kaftans as far as the eye could see. Literally, every second woman in the crowd was wearing a Camilla kaftan, because apparently Lady O wore one last time she graced Australia with her Hoy presence. If, shamefully, you had failed to spend $400 or more on Her preferred muumuu, you could purchase O-approved attire from the merchandise counter. I lined up for 25 minutes and bought the ugliest t-shirt on offer:
It was $50, which I guess could be considered my donation to the Church, since I did get a free ticket.
The Holy Text:
The Oprah Tour program, which after buying ugly t-shirt, I could not afford. Sorry Oprah.
The Body of Oprah:
Soggy fries, which we lined up for almost 40 minutes to buy.
Apparently at one point there were burgers, but by the time we made it to the front of the line they were sold out. Yes, I almost cried.
Oprah was almost an hour late to the stage thanks to a ‘ticketing issue’ (is that a regular church thing?), so the Believers were entertained by DJ Faustina Agolley, who played every single song you would hear in a karaoke bar at a Hen’s Night. When we entered, fifty thousand people were dancing to Nut Bush, and right before the Lady herself came on stage, a massive ‘Aint No Mountain High Enough’ singalong made everybody forget that they were pissed off for waiting so long.