Life Lessons From Sara Gilbert’s Darlene Conner

You’ve probably heard that Sara Gilbert is expecting a baby with her wife Linda Perry! [CONGRATS!] The adorable announcement was made on The Talk, which Gilbert co-hosts, after Gilbert was unable to complete a dare on a segment of the show where the hosts confront their fears.

“Before we go, I just want to say, I’m not going to do the dare. And I’m going to tell you guys why. We found out about the dares this week, they announced our dares, and I was scared to do it. And I really do believe in facing your fears and doing things that make you uncomfortable, but,” Gilbert said, starting to tear up. “I actually can’t do the dare because I’m pregnant.”

Gilbert’s announcement, bundled with some wise words about courage, reminded us of another brave lady she introduced us to: Darlene Conner.

Darlene Conner, Gilbert’s Roseanne character, was the brazen, wise-cracking, deadpan teen we all aspired to be. Her words, and awesome confidence, still get us right where it counts. Darlene is a spirit guide for both the young and old. And in honor of Gilbert’s big announcement, we thought we’d look back on all the things her alter-ego taught us about life.

Lesson 1: Never apologize for vegging out 

Lesson 2: High school doesn’t hold all the answers 

“High school’s just learning lies and telling lies.”

Lesson 3: You don’t have to conform to society’s standards of “womanhood”

Roseanne: [Darlene has all of her sports equipment in a trash bag after getting her first period.] Oh, I get it, you think you got to leave this stuff behind now. Like women have to give up baseball gloves and start wearing aprons and stuff.

Darlene: All I know is that I’m not shaving my legs or wearing pantyhose like Becky.

Roseanne: You think I make Becky wear makeup and put on perfume? She does it because she’s always liked that kind of stuff. That’s the kind of woman she wants to be.

Lesson 4: When dating, play it real cool

Lesson 5: Not everyone’s a “kid” person

“I don’t like kids. I didn’t even like myself until I was 14.”

Lesson 6: Girls can do anything that guys can do. Anything.

Roseanne: What is it with you? All you do is just lay around that couch, staring at that stupid TV, one dumb rerun after another.

Darlene: And I do it as well as any man.

Lesson 7: Just say no

Lesson 8: Stand your ground

Lesson 9: Don’t be afraid to say (and write!) how you really feel

Darlene reading a poem aloud she wrote for school:

To Whom it Concerns

Darlene’s work will be late/It fell on her pancakes, and stuck to her plate

To Whom it Concerns

My mom made me write this/But I’m just a kid, so how could I fight this

To Whom it Concerns

I lost my assignment/Maybe I’ll get lucky, solitary confinement

To Whom it Concerns

Darlene’s great with a ball/But guys don’t watch tomboys, when they’re cruisin‘ the hall

To Whom it Concerns

I just turned thirteen/Too short to be quarterback, too plain to be queen

To Whom it Concerns

I’m not made of steel/When I get blind-sided, my pain is quite real

I don’t mean to squawk, but it really burns/I just thought I’d mention it

To Whom it Concerns.

(All images via)

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