What does independence mean when you have a billion dollars?


The popular television show Family Feud is about as light a piece of entertainment as you can get. Can come in handy during recuperative times or times of serious overload. Anyway, I just saw something that blew my SWWAN mind.

The show runs a bunch of test groups and asks certain test questions. Then when they invite folks on the show, the guests are supposed to try to guess the most popular answers the test groups gave. Today, contestants were struggling to fill in the answers to this question: What do Oprah’s fans most want to help/urge her to do?

Answers included, keep giving away prizes, keep donating to charity, lose weight, and a few others. But the #1 top answer–by a resoundingly more-than-double any other answer–was “get married.”

I was astonished. Certainly that can’t be because Oprah seems like someone who’s incomplete, right? I’m sure they don’t think she’s miserable or lonely. What could it be? But consider how Oprah is loved much as subjects love their royalty. I just watched a marvelous film (Mrs. Brown) in which Judi Dench played the imperious Queen Victoria in mourning after her beloved Alfred had died. Everyone wanted her to get married again (she never did and ruled another 20 years)). Queen Elizabeth I of England remained unmarried her entire 40-year reign and never ceased to have people actively petitioning and scheming for her marriage.

I imagine the subjects/fans want the queen/Oprah to experience the same joys and pleasures of marriage they themselves enjoy. It seems wrong to assume that people could be uncomfortable with or threatened by the independence of a happy single woman who repeatedly demonstrates her commitment to pursuing good causes around the world, generously sharing her wealth, and providing ongoing value and entertainment for her audiences.

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