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10 Life Lessons I Learned from Watching The Golden Girls

Updated: May 31, 2020






1. Most of life happens in the meantime…

The GG’s round table talks centered mostly around men- that’s a gimme. Men they’ve dated, men they’ve slept with, men they would like to date and sleep with… but a funny thing happened in between all of those conversations- Life. The Girls volunteered at soup kitchens, they traveled, performed in Neighborhood Theater, took dirty dancing lessons, entered look-alike contests, wrote jingles for the Miami tourism board, attended pool parties, buried loved ones, and so on. And when it was all said and done, when seven years had passed and it was finally time to say their goodbyes, the tears were for each other, and the memories they had created. For the unexpected warmth and richness that had filled a chapter of their lives. Turns out, for that chapter at least, the men were just what happened in between.




2. Just because it suits, doesn’t mean it fits…


Remember when, out of sheer loneliness, Rose went to dinner with the creepazoid who turned out to be the Freeway Flasher? And she only waved the white flag when the police finally carted him off? Or how about the time Dorothy’s nether regions were experiencing their own brand of Beatlemania with ‘George’ who sometimes played ‘Paul’? What happened once she encouraged the Beatles impersonator to sing his own tune? That’s right, she realized he wasn't a Beatle after all, and put an end to the British Invasion going on in her bedroom. Blanche fell in love with Jamie, because he reminded her of George, and Sophia did the same, marrying Max Winestock for the memories. We’ve all done a dalliance with Mr. Suits vs Mr. Fits, even when we knew the measurements were wrong right from the start. And that’s okay. Just be sure to recognize it for what it is, because whether it suits or fits, everything/one comes with a price tag, and some prices just aren’t worth paying.





3. Instead of looking for love in all the wrong places, check the kitchen…



When the GGs collectively found themselves dateless, they gathered, almost by default it seemed, around the kitchen table. They donned comfy robes and dug wholeheartedly into cheesecakes, stories, and gossip galore. They shared, they laughed, and if one had a problem, they dug into it just as deeply as the cheesecake centering their table. Now tell me the last time you had a date where you could wear your housecoat, eat as much as you like, share your innermost thoughts, and still know for sure that the person across the table from you would love you just as much in the morning?


4. Age happens, so get over it…

Sophia was made to sit at the counter, away from the group, when the GGs ate Mexican.

When she wanted her teeth shiny, she ran them through the dishwasher. Rose suffered a heart attack. Blanche got a pacemaker, and Dorothy a hearing aid. The younger three rebelled against life’s scarier changes. I mean heck, when Blanche faced menopause, she whinged and whined and swore her life was over. But Sophia? She simply told her- hey, after menopause you grow a beard, so what? And she shrugged, and went back to her pasta. So while each generation faces its own unique set of challenges, it was Sophia who was mostly able to take it all in stride. We don’t hear about them, but maybe there are a few benefits to growing old after all…



5You can find the shine in even the Rustiest of places…


Blanche is a sparkly object for sure, Rose can dance like it’s nobody’s business, and Sophia weaves a tale like a true anecdotal artisan. But it’s when Dorothy sings 'What’ll I Do' at The Rusty Anchor that the entire room and, if I’m any kind of indicator, viewing audience, is captivated. Who knew? She finally has her moment in the sun, and oh does she shine. 




6. Always recognize the source…

Rose is often dismissed as the dim bulb of the group, but when there were 2 Dreyfus’, who did Sophia turn to? That’s right, the woman who grew up on a farm, and knew all about animals. And faster than you can say St. Olaf, Rose had the issue resolved, and in the most obvious manner. In comparison, when Rose and Sophia needed advice about men, it was Blanche they turned to. Big Mistake! Why? Because she’s a good-time-gal, while Sophia and Rose want their men to stick around past check-out time. We need to recognize the source when seeking advice, because someone else’s solution could just turn into our next problem.


7. People will come into your life, and they will go. Let them…

The Girls did not exist in the age of social media, where folks tend to set up shop in one

another's lives for the duration. Like it or not. No, on Richmond Street, relationships evolved and dissolved, just as they should. Rose finally gathered the courage to say goodbye to her sister Holly, the jerk, and as far as we know never saw her again. Good riddance. Blanche’s men passed through almost episodically, save Mel Bushman (Bushman awaits!). She always had faith that there was a better one waiting around the next corner- a valuable lesson in itself. Dorothy though, had a difficult time letting go of Stan. And if she hadn't? There would have been no Lucas- the man who finally deserved her. Some people just need to go. Let them. 


8. The headlines of today will be lining the bird poop trays of tomorrow…

When Rose worries she won’t be able to pay the bills without Charlie’s pension, Sophia recites a wise old Sicilian saying- ‘Get away from me, you’re bad luck.’ When it comes to light that Dorothy may not be her real daughter, Sophia digs, ‘Call me Sophia, like the rest of my friends do.’ Is she harsh? Yes. But is she also onto something? Oh yeah. She has survived wars, illness, the death of her husband, the loss of friends, and by bringing her own special brand of levity to the table, she delivered one consistent message— what seems like a crisis today, will be just a memory tomorrow.




9. Just keep going…



When Dorothy and Lucas fell in love, it took everyone by surprise. Especially Dorothy and Lucas. The course of her life had been set by a high school pregnancy, and followed up by a failed marriage, and a job that kept her unfulfilled, and on a strict budget. Needless to say, it was not the life she had envisioned. But through all of the disappointments, she kept going, and when the show ended, it seemed Dorothy’s life was really just beginning. It may have taken awhile, but I think we can all agree- Lucas was well worth the wait.




10. You’re going to be okay, after all…


One of the most poignant scenes of the entire series to me, is the flashback of Rose in her kitchen in St. Olaf, sharing a birthday cake and a conversation with Charlie's empty chair. She was explaining  to her empty kitchen that, for her survival, it was time to move on. I’m sure Sophia was frightened after her stroke, and Dorothy even admits she thought her life was over when Stan left. Blanche, on the other hand, was smart enough to marry money, so she was always going to be okay… I kid, I kid. But the Girls moved along with life’s changes, maintaining a certain level of grace and dignity all the while, showing us what we’re all a little bit Blanche, a little bit Rose, a little bit Dorothy, and God help us, a little bit Sophia at times. So maybe the real lesson learned was that inside each of us is the fifth GG, and that even when thing looks bleak, life has a way of coming up Golden.






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