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Happy Cheesecake Day! (Part 2)

I’m Feeling Like a Golden Girl….Happy Cheesecake Day!


By Mirah W. (mwelday)


Those who know me well can attest to the truth of the following: I love The Golden Girls.  I swear it’s one of the best television shows ever made. Every year while I decorate my home for Christmas I watch a marathon of The Golden Girls. I don’t know where my idea for that tradition came from but I’ve been doing it for years and I love it.  I have all of the seasons on DVD and consider the collection a prized possession.  When my husband and I move, which we do often, those DVDs are carefully divided: some stay with me to be packed by the movers and some are sent ahead to be waiting for me at our new location. It never hurts to have Dorothy, Sophia, Rose and Blanche at my fingertips; bad days have been known to make a change for the better because of a good GG laugh.

I can’t count how many times I’ve sung along to ‘Miami, You’ve Got Style’, laughed at the Sonny and Cher costume moment, shed tears over the finale and watched the girls eat cheesecake at the kitchen table.  Ah, the cheesecake.  I wonder how many cheesecakes they went through during those seven seasons?  I read once that Dorothy, portrayed by the incomparable Bea Arthur, didn’t even like cheesecake.  Bummer for her.  But hoorah for the fans who came to love those cheesecake scenes.

For Cheesecake Day I decided to read Rue McClanahan’s My First Five Husbands…And the Ones Who Got Away.  Just in case you’ve been living under a rock with no tv reception, Rue McClanahan was the Emmy-winning actress who portrayed Southern belle Blanche Devereaux in The Golden Girls, which ran from 1985-1992 and reruns are still shown daily on various networks around the world. Sadly, Rue passed away in 2010, just three years after she published her autobiography.

I knew from the start I would like this book. What’s not to love about a book with an acknowledgment that mentions Saint Dymphna, the Patroness of Insanity, and scalawags?  I mean, that’s some good, funny stuff.  But it wasn’t all funny.  Rue went through some serious heartbreaks and disappointments.  The constant moving, separations from her son, deaths of those she loved and failed  relationships all caused her pain.  But she maintained hope things would improve and because of hope and perseverance, she had a career that spanned decades including dancing, theater, television and movies.  In her book, Rue gave readers several pearls of wisdom: don’t put too much stock in omens (or in Rue’s words: ‘omens don’t mean bloody squat’), always take time to think about decisions, and never lose hope.  Not afraid to admit when she made a bad choice, Rue didn’t flinch from telling the truth in this book.

In one of my favorite chapters,  she shared a secret about the ‘Men of Blanche’s Boudoir’ calendar which was featured in one of the Christmas episodes of The Golden Girls.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise for those of you planning to read the book so  I’ll just say there were some prankster prop guys and whips involved. I think the calendar episode is one of the most hilarious and memorable of the series. Rue must have thought so, too, because she kept a copy of the calendar after the show ended.  Just knowing this makes me smile.

Rue was respectful and honest when she wrote about her relationships with the other actresses on The Golden Girls.  Even though she confirmed there was some tension at times and they weren’t all the best of  friends, she acknowledged they still cared for one another. I think part of the magic of the show would have dulled a bit if I found out they didn’t actually like each other.

Having read Rue’s book and learned about her experiences, I think she’d agree with me that in spite of difficult times, life is sweet.  Which leads me to a realization: life and cheesecake have a lot in common.








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One Response to “Happy Cheesecake Day! (Part 2)”

  1. Regina (Gr8Smokies) says:

    I, too, love The Golden Girls. I think it is an awesome show. Glad to read your memories. My mother and I watch it together, and I have memorized more episodes than I care to admit.

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