I checked into my hotel in San Jose today and the staff warned me that the hotel was completely booked, and they’d be adding higher security procedures, on account of everyone being in town for the opera.

The lobby was filled with people dressed up fancy, so I agreed to show my key to enter the building later that night. For hours afterwards I wondered why everyone was so into the opera. Was someone from movies or Broadway crossing over into opera? Is opera really big in the bay area or something? Why would people stay at a hotel to see an opera anyway? I wracked my brain for hours thinking about opera, how I didn’t understand it though I found small bits of it I heard really beautiful, especially sung live. I eventually chalked it up to the continuing saga of all the mysterious things about the Bay Area these days -- apparently they’re way into opera now.

It wasn’t until the evening, when the lobby was filled with middle-aged women in nice outfits, but not opening night ball gowns and where were all the dudes in tuxes? Why was there literally only women in the hotel lobby? Then I saw someone holding a printed program in the crush of people waiting for an elevator.

I had misheard the hotel front desk earlier that day. It wasn’t the opera causing all the ruckus. It was Oprah.