Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Friendships Are Like TV Shows

Recently I've become a return watcher of The Facts of Life now that it is appearing on many cable stations in reruns.  This show about four girls in high school and college was popular when I was in high school and college and I loved it!  Still do.  Blair, Jo, Natalie and Tootie all had a friendship that stood the test of time.  When I thought about this show, and some other rerun favorites, I realized that female friendships can be classified by three different shows....

The Facts of Life, as I mentioned earlier, was my high school/college picture of girlfriends.  At times I envied Blair, but was really Natalie.  And now that I'm older I think I've ultimately turned into Mrs. Garrett.  As I recently watched the reruns, I see how life issues were dealt with in the 80s and heave a sigh that I wish that they were handled in a similar way on TV today, instead of sitcoms trying to take a stand for the latest controversial topic.

Designing Women was another of my favorites.  I adored Charlene!  She was who I wanted to be.  That one who felt like she was born too late and wanted to marry a soldier...and she eventually did.  Suzanne made me laugh and her sister, Julia, was the matriarch.  This was the show in my 20s that I identified as a picture of female friendships.  I think I was most like Charlene, the hopeless romantic, though some people thought I was more Mary Jo.  Bernice was one of my favorites too.  The episode where she wore the tree skirt as an actual skirt I remember laughing until I cried.  I believe this may have been the same episode when Charlene's baby was born; a two-parter that featured Dolly Parton. (Triple Score!)  Now that I'm older, I'm probably more like Julia, but I hope some day to be like Bernice!

The Golden Girls is one of those shows I never tire of.  Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia living in Miami in their twilight years.  It's sad to think that only Betty White is left from the cast.  When this show aired - in fact it debuted 30 years ago - I was far from their age, but I still loved the show.  My girlfriends and I would joke that we'd grow old and move in together in a house like Blanche's in Miami.  I love Rose, and not just because of the name, but because of her happy innocence.  She was always the one I'd want to be if cast in the show.  As I grow older and celebrate my Golden Jubilee this year, there are episodes of this show that touch me more now than they did 30 years ago.  Friendships like that are precious.

I love to watch all of these shows in light of each other, realizing that friendships last and blossom no matter what age or stage of life we're in.  You take the good, you take the bad, and say, "Thank you for being a friend."

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