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Oprah gets a reality check

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Posted on September 23, 2005

Valerie Rojas
Editor in Chief

It seems that Oprah Winfrey sure has been getting an extra amount of sympathy lately. No, she’s not deathly ill or broke or any of those silly things. But, get ready, this was pretty tough on her and I’m sure it’ll be hard on you; the diva herself was turned away from a fancy pants store in France because they were closing.

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Oprah gets a reality check
That’s right, they told Oprah she couldn’t come in and do a little shopping even after she told them who she was. Now, of course this sounds incredibly horrible and unimaginable. How could anyone turn Oprah away? Well, I guess I could see how.

For the last two and a half years of my life, I have spent about forty hours a week behind a cash register managing an accessory store in the Montclair Plaza. When I heard how Oprah was throwing a fit about being turned away from Hermés, I have to say I wasn’t exactly on her side.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that Oprah happens to be an awesome humanitarian. She pulled herself out of poverty and brought herself to a point in her life where she can afford to lavish her studio audiences with outrageous gifts such as automobiles. Her life truly is a rags to riches story.

I’m sure if I ran into Oprah in public, we’d hit it off. Well, unless she expected me to keep my store open a little later so she and some of her gal pals could take a look around.

Of course, this doesn’t just apply to Oprah. Oh no, it applies to every last minute shopper who realizes they want to shop in a certain store just as the gates are coming down.

When quitting time rolls around after an exhausting eight-hour day, there is a certain joy that I experience. As the seconds tick on by and the last customers wander out, a sort of elation builds up and I know that I am almost free. But every once in a while someone comes along and tap-tap-taps on my gate asking to come in and look around for just a few seconds.

Sure, it’ll take you just a few seconds to come in and manhandle some merchandise before deciding you really didn’t want to purchase anything anyway. It will take your children a few seconds to goober up some toys before throwing them all around the store. But it will take me a good thirty minutes to clean up the mess you left. Your two seconds will push my entire schedule back, making me close my registers later and forcing me to get home after all the fun stuff I was planning has come and gone.

I know exactly how those French folk must have felt when Oprah and her entourage of divas marched up to the store entrance.

Sure, they probably should have let Oprah in. She probably would have spent more money than I could ever even dream of seeing. But sometimes, letting those last minute shoppers inside just doesn’t sound as appealing as going home, escaping the hordes of shopaholics and actually being able to spend time waiting on yourself for a change.

I understand that Oprah’s feelings were hurt as a result of being told no. She wanted to show off in front of her friends and when the name Oprah Winfrey couldn’t open a door, she was embarrassed. The Frenchies didn’t realize that this woman happens to be queen of the scene in the U.S. of A. They just wanted to go home.

Oprah herself has even admitted that the store was closing but she just can’t understand why she wasn’t allowed inside and that is why this ridiculous story has been getting so much coverage.

Come on, Oprah. Just get over the whole French fiasco. You weren’t turned away because of the color of your skin or because your show womps. The store was closed. Suck it up and save your money for another day.

Valerie Rojas, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at