Monday, February 6, 2012

What I Learned from The Golden Girls

I know what you’re thinking. What was a ten-year-old girl doing glued to the TV during an episode of The Golden Girls?

And truthfully, I have no good answer for you. Other than I liked those ladies. They made me laugh. So I never switched the channel to She-Ra (I liked He-Man better anyway) or The People’s Court. (Man, did we have options back in my day.)

If you read my post about Mr. Miyagi you understand it doesn’t take much to serve as an impetus for me to absorb a lifelong lesson. I learned from Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia. I also liked how golden was the choice word to describe them. Little had I known what it meant at the time.

This quadrangle of ladies passed on the value of friendships. They were there for each other. Simple as that. And that message embedded into my preteen brain.

If you’ve seen the show, did you ever notice how contrasting the characters were? You’ve got your levelheaded, rusty-voiced one, your Sicilian mama, your flighty sweetheart, and your Southern belle who seemed sweet on any male heart. I watched. I scrunched my eyebrows. And
I gleaned the invaluable blessing of making friends who are different than me.

I have a secret. I love my vocation. I also have no doubt writing became such a natural fit because I understood from the first written word that it’s something I’m able do forever. I never want to stop living. (Get busy living or get busy dying…can you name that movie?) That’s another takeaway those sunshine state ladies bestowed upon me. They didn’t cease living. Their lives were full and active. This is my dream. Heck, I’ll likely be the old lady in the media, running a marathon at age 98.

As bumble-brained as she could be, Rose sure could weave a story. And I’m telling you, St. Olaf sounds like a wonderful place to visit. Those St. Olafians (or however it goes) are prime character material.

Finally, as I sprawled on our carpet (part carpet, part dog hair), riveted to the TV during each episode, I did something else that might surprise you. I sang. You see, The Golden Girls gave me one other thing I’ll never forget. They taught the importance of thanking your friends.

On that note: “Thank you for being a friend.” (Sing along. It’ll shake the Mondays out of this Monday.) “Traveled down the road and back again. Your heart is true. You’re a pal and a confidant…”

*All “I”s are on someone right here.


  1. Such a fun post, Wendy! I confess, I never actually watched Golden Girls. (Is that considered a crime or something? Ha.) But I love your point about making friends who are different from you. There is so much learning that occurs when we branch out and go beyond our comfort zone. It's also wonderful to have friends with strengths I don't have; they can help to uphold me when I'm weak.

  2. Shawshank Redemption! Shawshank Redemption! I LOVE that movie. Haven't watched it in forever. But when you wrote that, Red's voice immediately came into my head. And then I remembered the old man and his crow (what were their names again?). So sad.

    Okay - sorry. I totally got off on a tangent with Shawshank.

    You know, I've never seen an episode of The Golden Girls, but I am in the process of watching The gilmore Girls. Both have the G thing going. ;)

  3. I loved the Golden Girls. My older sister still watches that show and she's not much older than me :) I haven't watched it in years, but it still sticks with me.

  4. Loved the Golden Girls. My husband (yes, my husband) and I watched it together every night (this was when it came on after the 10 o'clock news). The only thing I think I learned from it was not to be as dull as Dorothy.

    Years later, however, I had a strange dream about Rue McClanahan that encouraged me to keep moving forward as a writer. So maybe I did learn something. :)

  5. My mom loved watching The Golden Girls, but I never watched it myself.

    Though I love what you learned from the show, how to be a friend and how to have a friend.


  6. I loved that show too! My neighbor's little boy who is nine loves that show too, which is hilarious to me.

  7. Friends! Ones of God's greatest blessings. Sooo thankful you're one of mine, Wendy! You rock!

  8. That was one we used to watch all the time! Why don't they make shows like that anymore?!

  9. A few years ago, I was picking up my daughter and two roommates from college. They got on the topic of the Golden Girls. They decided that I was the only mother that they would allow to live with them! I guess I'm Sophia. I took it as a complement, I think.

  10. I liked the Golden Girls too--a funny and smart sitcom. Loved Rose's stories!

  11. I didn't see much of this show, but enough to remember the distinct characters. I can totally picture you running that marathon someday. Maybe I'll be at the finish line cheering you on. ;)

  12. I've never watched this show, but oh my, I love that theme song. :) Thanks for this fun Monday post. And yes, I do love your point about choosing friends different than yourself. So true.

  13. I loved The Golden Girls! And Mama's Family...and all those good old shows! I'm sure I wasn't the demographic they were shooting for but I loved watching funny shows with cantankerous old ladies! Good times! Good memories!

  14. I did watch The Golden Girls from time to time, it was always good for a laugh. As a side note, my husband's cousin was married to Rue McClanahan for a while back in the day.

  15. Golden Girls ... watched it on and off.
    But friends, ah ... I learned the value of friendships somewhere along the way. And I've tried to pass the lesson along to my daughters.
    A girl has got to have her girlfriends.

  16. Lindsay, So true about appreciating the strengths in our friends. Not criminal, but close. ;)

    Katie, I know, I dated myself with this post. You crack me with the G connection. And yep, you guessed the movie. Such a powerful one. I was just talking to my mom about that guy with the crow...such a symbolic figure.

    Cindy, They were such a fun group of ladies! So fun age became unimportant.

    Linda, Okay, that's just cool that your dream about Rue inspired you to keep at it! Dreams can be so wild!

    Erica, I'm a stick with it kind of girl. My friends being something I like to stick with most. It's been difficult to move as much as we have, but I've learned distance doesn't mess with true friendship.

    Jennifer, That's a character right there. I just want to see that boy laughing at those ladies. That's the image your comment gave me.

    Keli, You roll. Grateful for you today as well!

    Cathy, Seriously! My husband and I talk about this a lot. It seems all too often shows are preoccupied with vanity and too shall I put this, show. I miss me some old wrinkly ladies.

    Loree, Yes, huge compliment to be taken by that. What an honor!

    Coleen, I particularly liked how passionate Rose could get about St. Olaf, as though by mere mention of the small town she transported there.

    Sarah, Nope, I'm going to be convincing you to run it with me. Too little old ladies letting our arm flab flab in the wind! ;)

    Melanie, I love the similarities I share with my friends, but I'm thinking of one dear soul I'm close with who is pretty close to my opposite. She's taught me so much!

    Lacie, That's the crack up about the 80s...the whole demographic thing didn't matter near as much b/c there were only a handful of shows to choose from. :D

    Joanne, Guess I appreciated laughter back then too. Huh, there's a Kevin Bacon degree for ya!

    Beth, Passing that very lesson on to my daughters and watching them navigate the sometimes tricky waters of female friendships at their young ages. Rooting them on. Kindness goes such a long way.

    For me, so does trust.

    Love having your thoughts here!
    ~ Wendy

  17. Oh my gosh, I love The Golden Girls! I've been watching them since I was in middle school, and I never get tired of any one episode. They're all wonderful! They do have a lot of important and valuable lessons to teach, and I love how fleshed out their backgrounds are. They are such well-rounded characters. :)

  18. I haven't seen many episodes of the show, but they did get it right. Most often your closest friends are the people that are nothing like you. They tend to complement who you are instead.


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