Things Rose Nylund Taught Me

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.]

Image via photobucket

  • Kassandra Jennex

    This is exactly how I have felt about this show and Rose specifically for a really long time! I love the Golden Girls- it was everything that a 30 minute sitcom should be and dealt with so many issues I ran into in my own life even though its characters were in a completely different stage of their lives than I am.

    Rose however was always my favorite!

  • Billie Gordon-Fischer

    My daughter is almost 13 and this is one of her favorite shows and Rose is her favorite character! For her 12th birthday she got season one and two and we watch them all the time. If Golden Girls is on TV she will find it:) I love that so many of the issues are things that we are still dealing with. Best Show Ever!

  • Lindsay Jones

    My absolute favorite summer TV lineup during high school was “Murder, She Wrote”, “Matlock”, a second helping of “Murder, She Wrote”, and then back to back episodes of “The Golden Girls”. I don’t think there was ever any doubt as to who was the coolest girl on the block.

  • Justin Devore


  • Sami Martin

    Love, love, love the Girls!! And I have to agree with Lindsay, “Murder, She Wrote” was a great show as well! (I never got into “Matlock.”) Those shows were absolutely amazing and reflect a much different time than today’s shows… I managed to get my nephew hooked on them as well and am proud to admit that he speaks frequent “Girls.”
    Thanks for this post!! I was more of the Dorothy Zbornack-type, though!!!

  • Andrea De La Rosa

    Golden Girls is definitely one of my all time favorite shows. Rose was awesome but Sophia was the best. I want to be like her when I’m that age.

  • Lorrie Colin Spoering

    i’m more attached to dorothy, but rose (and the others!) is awfully special as well. i do hold the notion of eating cheesecake as often as possible close to my heart.

  • Aimee Dahlin

    I was one of those 80’s kids raised on t.v. too, loved the Golden Girls. I remember thinking that I was too young to be so into these old woman, but I just couldn’t help it.

  • Kelly Cifranic

    I LOVE Golden Girls! I even showed an episode for a government lesson while student teaching (the one in which Dorothy and Stan are getting audited by the IRS)! This post made me inordinately happy.

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