I was one of those ’80s kids who was raised on television. It was my friend. Or at least the characters on it were [even if they weren’t exactly real people], and thanks to those many thousands of hours logged in front of the tube, I consider myself to be a professional television watcher. I mean, next to becoming an Oscar and/or Emmy-winning writer and learning the ‘Thriller’ dance, being asked to participate a Nielsen Box survey is basically at the top of my bucket list.
Of all the TV shows I watched and loved [and there were many], one show was – and still is – my all time fav. It had that LOL brand of comedy, long before anyone even knew you could acronym a laugh. During what might be considered one of the best known TV theme songs of the ’80s, we were privy to a clip show/ credit fest featuring feisty Sophia, sarcastic Dorothy, Southern Belle Blanche and Rose. Lovable, laughable Rose, played by television icon and recent nonagenarian, the incomparable Betty White. They were The Golden Girls.
I loved all of those ladies; however, Rose grew to be my bestie. And though they bore the brunt of most of the show’s jokes, I listened to her rambling stories. This farm girl from Minnesota schooled me on some very important rules for living a happy life. Here’s what Rose Nylund Taught Me:
– You can participate in any conversation by simply telling a story about the time something completely irrelevant happened to you when you were growing up in your small town that nobody’s heard of.
– It’s okay to ask stupid questions. Someone has to. If people laugh at you, let them. You rent a huge house in Miami with a well-tended front yard and a spacious lanai. You win.
– If a manipulative neighborhood ‘tween holds your beloved teddy bear hostage, remember that she’ll grow up to be Jenny Lewis, AKA Hannah Nefler of Troop Beverly Hills, AKA eventual band member and creative force behind indie group Rilo Kiley, so give her a break. She’s a ‘tween and your teddybear will be okay. Blame hormones.
– Contrary to popular belief, it is entirely possible to convince 44 million people each week that you aren’t a hermit, even though in seven years you’ve only been seen outside of your house a handful of times.
– Always be wary of mild-mannered boyfriends – they’re usually connected to the mob.
– Most contests are arbitrary and can be decided just as fairly by drawing straws – like class valedictorian, for example. And though you may never be crowned Junior Butter Queen of St. Olaf, it’s okay because nobody really knows what that means, anyway.
– Drive a bookmobile, become a candy-striper, organize a charity talent show. Help others whenever you can, even if you come in second for a Volunteer of the Year award to someone who is already dead.
– If one man dies during sex with you, it’s probably not your fault. If two men do, it might be.
– Sometimes the best roommate situations start as ads on supermarket bulletin boards. [FYI, sometimes the worst ones start that way, too.]
… And perhaps most importantly: eat as much cheesecake as possible.
I remember the finale of Golden Girls. Before leaving the house for the last time to live in Atlanta with her new husband, Dorothy tells her roomies, “You’ll always be my sisters.” Now I won’t go that far, but Rose Nylund: If you threw a party and invited everyone you knew, you would see the biggest gift would be from me and the card attached would say, “Thank you for being a friend.”
[… even if you aren’t exactly a real person.]
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