Oprah is on. Her best friend, Gayle King has revealed her new goal: eating what GQ Magazine named the "20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die." I’ve certainly made goals involving food, but usually it involves what not to eat. Maybe cook with more tofu, but I never need motivation when it comes to burgers. Gayle asked each "hot listed" burger joint what makes their burger best. "Fresh ground sirloin," each responds. "Nothing is ever frozen." The Counter, in Santa Monica, offers options. You can choose your bun (English Muffin, Sesame Seed Bun, Toast, Onion Roll), vidallia onions, caramelized onions, red onion, cheese, types of meat. I would take an hour to decide and probably get two drastically different burgers, eating a little more than half of each, then wrapping the rest to savor later. Something old school then something gourmet. I thought the only reason to ever hit New Haven, CT would be for Frank Pepe’s Pizza. I thought wrong. Now, I am obsessed with a road trip to New Haven for Louis’s Lunch, where they cook their burgers sideways with onion, serve EM up on toast, and refuse to serve you condiments. I’m bringing mayo with me.
Never mind the burgers (I’ll probably have one tonight while at Frank’s Restaurant in the meatpacking district). I can’t get past the fact that Gayle wears the same pinky ring as Oprah. I now, and have for a very long time, want that ring, that diamond eternity band for your right pinky finger. I want to buy myself one to remind myself of what I aspire to become. I’ve worked hard and deserve it. I want it, and each time I’d wear it, I’d feel proud. It’s like the first thing I bought with my first real paycheck. When I received my first full-time job paycheck, I went to Barney’s and bought a pair of brown chunky Freelance boots. I bought the boots back in 1997. They cost $300. "How much did you spend?" my father yelled.
"It’s my money now, and it’s up to me how I spend it."
I loved the freedom money brought and bought me. My wanting the pinky eternity band has nothing to do with frivolity or money and everything to do with a goal, with reminding myself of my strength. When I was first on my own, single again, in my new apartment, the symbol became my "K" chair, a symbol that I was Klein again. Maybe I’ll buy myself the right-handed diamond ring when I reach a goal, like when I begin to earn royalties on my first book, or maybe the day my book comes out. I still have my wedding band and original engagement ring. I’ve been saving them to sell, to use the money for something meaningful to me. I’ve held onto them hoping one day it would be revealed to me, the significance of the money and where it should go. I never realized Oprah’s ring was a friendship ring. That kind of changes everything.