Ever since my fall, I've been watching a lot more TV. It's lucky, too, because I've discovered the most delightful new show. It's called The Golden Girls. It's on every day at 5:30 p.m. on channel 14 and is about four women, Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia, who are getting on in years, just like me. And, like me, they have no husbands, and their children rarely visit or call.
In the past, I never looked at the "boob tube" much. Other than watching the Weather Channel to check for storm advisories for Cincinnati, where my daughter Emily lives, I barely even turned the thing on. But with Harold gone two years this month and me not really trusting myself to take the bus to church anymore—not to mention the broken hip—let's just say I've had a lot of time on my hands. I can't even crochet or sew anymore because of the arthritis, so rather than just sitting in my blue chair staring at the wall for hours, I've started to look at the TV.
Lately, the highlight of each day is when I tune in to see what's going on in the lives of these Golden Girls. It's such a nice escape to be able to step into this wonderful world where older women wear stylish clothing, say lots of clever things, and, judging from the way they are always on the go, have no problems with bursitis, high blood pressure, or hemorrhoids.
The Golden Girls have a lovely Florida home with a full patio and breakfast nook, and they go on vacations and take dance classes together. Sometimes, I try to imagine what it would be like if their house had one more bedroom, and I lived there. Though I don't think it would be appropriate to date at my age, I would very much enjoy the companionship of some good friends. I would readily agree to do all the housework if it meant I had someone to talk to once in a while. And if I fractured my hip, I would have the assurance that I wouldn't have to lay on the floor in pain for three days, waiting each day for the mailman's footsteps so I could cry out in the hopes of getting his attention.
Of course, living in a house full of women is bound to cause some tension, especially when everyone has such different personalities. Sophia is grumpy and always has some smart-alecky thing to say. (At first, I didn't like her much, but I soon saw that even she has a soft side. Besides, you have to be tough living in Brooklyn.) Dorothy, Sophia's daughter, inherited her mother's mouth and is the unofficial leader of the gang. Blanche, a wild Southern belle, is quite the narcissist. Rose, on the other hand, is sweet and dim-witted. She reminds me of my dear sister Lydia, who passed on last year. Sometimes, one of Rose's silly remarks about small-town life brings me to tears, making me think about how much I miss my one and only sibling, who is gone forever.
The Golden Girls often get mad at each other. At times, they even resort to calling each other nasty names, using words I don't think one should be able to say on television. But at the end of the day, they always find a way to patch things up and become the best of friends again.
I sure wish I had some friends living close by. Ruth, my best friend of 51 years, is in a home down in Emmetsville. I haven't seen her since Christmas of 2002, and at that point, she didn't recognize me or her own children anymore.
My, it looks so sunny and beautiful down there in Florida. It's terribly cold up here. I'm so frightened of catching pneumonia like Harold did, I hardly leave the house during the winter anymore. I signed up for Meals On Wheels last month, and most days, they drop by with something to eat, so I don't have to turn the stove on anymore. (I accidentally left the gas on last December but, luckily, the neighbors smelled it and pounded on my door.)
I do get jealous of the Golden Girls, how they have each other. But I need to remember that it's not all cake and ice cream for them. They've had to face some very difficult situations recently, like when Dorothy found a lump in her breast, and the time Blanche found out that her late husband had fathered an illegitimate child, and when Rose was cut off from her husband's pension. But by sticking together, they're able to face even the worst. As for me, I am left to face the world alone.