Nate comes out to wild applause. Oprah says he smells good. They speak of the three cat limit, how a line is crossed beyond that. Oprah tells us that Nate is very straight talking in matters of the heart, but he has never done matchaking so he called in Patti Stanger, a third generation matchmaker. She is on Bravo TV’s The Matchmaker. Patti and Nate team up to help Robin. They look at her man-wishlist. She wants smart and unmarried, she says quitting is not an option, she doesn’t want someone’s ex. Patti and Nate disagree- the best kept secret is the divorced man because they can commit; 90% will stay second time around. Robin does not want a man who drinks out of a straw- Patti and Nate say this can’t be on the dealbreaker list. Dealbreaker’s include religion and politics, not straws. Robin says she can be intense, maybe it scares men away. Patti thinks this is scary, like Robin is interviewing for her new husband- the men pick up on her vibration. Oprah implies that Robin’s vibration is like a panting, no-straw repeating dog.
Robin doesn’t understand why she is still single. Her new dating coaches say it may have something to do with her expectations. Nate reads from her huge list of requirements including no Facebook page, no kids, no straw-drinking; good-looking, athletic, generous, no smoking, likes sweets, handy, with a big family he loves and success in all he does. Robin doesn’t believe this man exists. Patti and Nate say this list shows the girl is too high maintenenace. Patti doesn’t want her to miss out on a great opportunity because of the list. Nate thinks she has added so many items to the list to counteract previous disappointments. Oprah says that the person on the wish list does exist and his name is Jesus. The crowd go wild. Robin was asked to narrow the list down to five attributes. She picks honest, smart, passionate, funny/ silly and successful. Successful could mean money, Robin thinks she could potentially be comfortable if she earned more money than the man, like if he was a teacher and loved it despite it being a badly paid profession.
Patti forced Robin to choose the dealbreaker’s, the values. This is not about lowering expectations- this is a person with frailties; Robin is not buying a car or ordering a pizza. Patti says that people think that they order from a wishlist and God will deliver it tomorrow. We need to reprogram our brain to think that the man is alive and out there. Dating should be fun, not a dentist visit. You are not human resources, stop interviewing. Women looking for men should go skiing, men outnumber women 5-1 and they are rich; you don’t have to ski just sit in the lodge and drink the hot toddies. Most guys go skiing alone, with their buddies.
Robin goes out on a date while Patti and Nate are staking them out in a van outside the restaurant. Robin meets Rick while the coaches are in the surveillance van. Everyone is smiling. Rick looks at the wine list and Robin says she’ll actually have a beer. Rick is happy that she’s having a beer- Patti says that’s excellent, it shows that she is low maintenance, Rick says something very similar. Nate observes that Robin drinks from the bottle yet has a straw issue. They send her a note from the van saying that she’s doing well, then later one saying let your hair down. She tells the guy what they want and he says she should work with them. Nate and Patti say she is dumbing herself down in the conversation. They send her a note asking to meet her in the bathroom, where she says Rick is too old- she guesses he is probably her age. She wants someone in their thirties. Back in the studio they discuss with Oprah that she was being too cutesy, and dumbing herself down. Robin feels that men her age are too old- they have old hearts or old spirits and Robin is young at heart. Oprah says that something peculiar happens to men in their fiftiess, but not in their forties’s. They discuss the issue that she wants someone unmarried but those she meets are set in their ways. She wants a man in his mid-thirties and Oprah says that those men want women in their twenties.
Patti told Nate that the person asking the questions is the one who is pursuing. Oprah tells Robin that this isn’t the hotseat, but rather the warm and fuzzy Oprah show. Robin is representative of the millions of single women watching the show. Oprah says she hated the taking down of the hair, that it was too overt, too contrived. Patti felt the conversation was drifting and that the only way to shift that was sexually. Oprah says she literally was trying to perk things up. Patti wants Robin to know that she is amazing and she’ll help Robin find someone in the real world, off-camera. Patti has a newly released book.
It has been five years since Nate experienced loss in the tsunami in the Indian Ocean. When the disaster struck, Nate was right in the middle of it. He and his partner were vacationing. Miraculously, Nate lived through the catastrophe but Fernando did not. A few weeks later Nate came on the air and talked about his experience, his tragedy. He and Fernando were carried out to the water, where Fernando slipped away. Oprah says it has been five years, and asks Nate how the grief process has been. He says that when Oprah came to his house he couldn’t find any reason to get out of bed. He had daily therapy, Oprah asks if it taught him more about himself. He says he is unrecognisable to the person he used to be.
In 1996, Angela and Jeff had a two year old, Bryce, and the they found out they were having twins. Eric and Aaron were unseparable; as newborns they held hands. They were always together, having fun. When the twins were six, Angela and Jeff noticed a change in Eric, he would fall down the stairs. He was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour. The radiation therapy shrunk the tumour, but it later came back as cancer and Eric died when he was nine. Aaron didn’t do well at all, all he did at school was cry. Aaron says he didn’t feel like life, he was going through the motions, but not really living. Aaron would write notes to Eric to tell him what he was doing. Nate went to their house to do a business plan, but he recognised himself in Eric. Nate called the Oprah Show and said this story is not about a business plan, it is about grief and grieving.
Nate says he can see that the parents are doing their best to keep the family together. Angela feels it just doesn’t go away, some days she has to be under the covers. Some days just stick in her face that he’s gone. Nate says that December, the month of the tsunami and August, the month of Fernando’s birthday were horrorible. Then he realised that the dates have no power. The memory has the power and the memory could come whenever, thus Nate took the power back. Angela tells Oprah that this advice really helped her. Oprah remembers that Camille Cosby said after her son was murdered that everyone has to walk through the fire at some time, that we have to walk right through it.
Oprah knows many of us have struggled through grief. Eric’s depression got so bad that he said he didn’t want to be here anymore. They went to the family paediatrician. The doctor tells Nate that Aaron was unrecognisable. She asked him what he likes to do, he said cook, so the doctor gave him $20 and told him to cook for his brother, and that she was an investor and needed a business plan. A week later he returned to the doctor with a tray of cookies and a big smile. He pays his big brother $2 a day to help out and he gives a portion of his proceeds to the charities that helped Eric.
Oprah says the story is beautiful but she is crying because the doctor did not just put Eric on anti-depressants. God Bless You she says. That is amazing. Angela noticed a change immediately. Aaron got a sense of pride and self-esteem. He thinks of his brother with every cookie he makes. His favourite cookie is inspired by Paula Dean, his favorite chef, the recipe: chocolate gooey butter cookies. In comes Paula Dean with a tray of cookies and hugs Eric. She hugs Angela and Oprah.
Paula Dean, Food Network superstar, built her empire from working out of home cooking up lunches. She turned to her kitchen when she lost her parents. Only in the kitchen would she be able to forget about her loss. She says Aaron can go to the kitchen and celebrate his brother’s life and make his brother proud. Nate recounts the kitchen challenges they have at home- they’ve been through five mixers, the oven is broken and they broke a wooden spoon. Paula remembers she broke a bowl on the Oprah Show. Lowe’s donates a $10,000 gift card to Aaron to outfit the kitchen for his business. The audience each get a $100 gift card. And Lowe’s will donate to two of Aaron’s favourite charities for each gift card that is purchased between now and Valentine’s Day, with a guaranteed donation of $125,000 each to Casey Cares and Make A Wish.
Paula and Nate have cooked up one more surprise for Aaron, they are going to fly him to Georgia to get a behind the scenes look at how Paula’s business works. They look at Paula’s brand new heels that aren’t even hers. Oprah thanks everyone.
WHAT WE LEARNED TODAY:
There is a three cat limit, beyond this a line has been crossed
The best-kept dating secret is the divorced man
When dating you are not Human Resources: stop interviewing
In grief, the date does not have the power, the memory has the power
In the kitchen, one can be creative and temporarily forget loss
A VERY QUICK SUMMARY:
Finding a partner is not the same as buying a car or ordering a pizza.