“Thank you for being a friend. Traveled down the road and back again. Your heart is true; you’re a pal and a confidante.” Yes, I’ve had this memorable theme song running through my head all week as I’ve worked on the seventh page in my ABC’s of Alice journal, which celebrates Grandma Alice’s favorite 1980’s TV sitcom, The Golden Girls!
Whenever my parents went out on a Saturday evening during my childhood, Grandma Alice came over to the house to keep an eye on my sister and me, and we all watched the show together. Looking back, it’s easy to understand why it appealed to her. First of all, it was one of the only shows ever produced that focused specifically on the lives of women over 60. Second, the show highlighted the unique problems and concerns of widows; the characters of Sophia, Rose, and Blanche had all lost spouses. My grandmother had been widowed twelve years before the show premiered in 1985. Third, Sophia and Dorothy were an adult mother-and-daughter pair that shared a home, which sometimes strained their relationship; Grandma Alice also happened to reside with her adult daughter, which probably wasn’t always a breeze. Fourth, Sophia had strong connections to the “old world” in much the same way Grandma Alice did. Like Sophia, who was born in Sicily and could speak Italian, Alice had spoken German at home as a child and had close relatives who had been born in Germany.
My favorite character was always Sophia, because she reminded me most of Grandma Alice. Even today, whenever I watch a rerun of The Golden Girls and Sophia enters a scene, I instantly think of her. Sophia was spry and active well into in her eighties and was fiercely protective of her independence, just like Alice. Sophia was never shy about sharing her true feelings, and at times, she could be quite stubborn; these were also traits that belonged to my grandmother. Sophia did anything and everything to avoid being sent to the oft-maligned “Shady Pines,” and my grandma also found the idea of moving into a nursing home abhorrent. I’m glad she never had to, because I know without a doubt she wouldn’t have thrived in that environment.
This page was created on a background of black gesso and stamped acrylic paint, and contains vintage receipt paper, patterned paper, ephemera, a playing card, a raffle ticket, Washi tape, gingham ribbon, a paper flower, a button, text typed on a vintage typewriter, stickers, rub-ons, a pen, and a photo of the cast of The Golden Girls.
I hope you’re having a wonderful week–and thank you for being a friend!