Hi friends. I haven’t posted in a while because while my new job is AMAZING, it is also amazingly time consuming. I am exhausted beyond belief between work and a magically wonderful but overly energetic toddler, many things have taken a backseat.
Today I woke up in a good mood. Excited for my first formal review at work, some delicious pizza, and to countdown to the new year with my tiny human and some sparkling apple cider… Then news hit – Betty White died. December 31, 2021, at the tender age of 99.
I know what you are thinking… she was old. It was coming. Yes, she was a national treasure, but you didn’t know her personally… or at least that’s what some responses to my grief have been. The thing is, she was Golden Girl Rose Nylund, and I did know her. She sort of raised me…
You see, I, like many others my age and demographic, was a latchkey kid. And even though I had a brother only a year older, I was for many many years of my young life profoundly lonely. Coupled with one deceased grandma, and the other one plain unpleasant and unkind… The Golden Girls became my grandmas. They kept me company – still do on many occasions. They taught me good manners, they taught me being gay was ok (Blanche’s brother), being sassy was funny and charming, being a smart woman was something to be proud of, and amongst many other things they taught me how to be a friend – something I only knew how to do from mimicking what I saw of them. They brought me comfort and made me laugh.
They were also real life role models. Brilliant and talented woman, and badasses – both Bea Arthur and Betty White were in the military!
They helped me even as an adult… A few years back I was in a horrible situation at work where I was bullied daily. I was struggling to conceive my daughter and truly going down the dark rabbit hole of depression. The only thing that helped get me through my day (besides Red Bull), and helped stop me from spiraling into madness in my cubicle, was listening to episodes of the golden girls. I would play them on my phone and wear my headphones. I did not watch them since I was working but I didn’t need to. I knew every episode by heart and just hearing their voices was enough. It was like being wrapped in a warm blanket or a snuggly hug of a mother figure.
Beyond the Golden Girls, there was the Golden Palace (btw will get some Hulu space, I believe), countless movie cameos, Hot in Cleveland, and other tv appearances… Betty White, my last living Golden Girl, was the grandma I only knew from a distance but taught me so much about life and how to live it.
So I have been very sad today. I had been talking all week about her 100 year birthday special. But I’m not sure I’m ready to see it now that she’s passed. Am I being too dramatic? Maybe. But if you think so, then congratulations on not being so lonely as a child that a lady playing a fictional character on tv was your imaginary loved one.
New Years Eve will forever be Betty White Day for me. A day to remember to live up every chance, opportunity, dream, and moment up until the last one. Thank you for being a friend.