After the last couple of weeks of house hunting, numbers crunching and floor plan arranging, I have found myself incredibly stressed. Some people turn to wine, some turn to isolation. I turn to the familiar. Including all of my old favorite TV shows: Wings, Frasier, I Love Lucy, Golden Girls. My heart and head hurt a little less when I ensconce myself in the tried and true songs and sights of my childhood. My grandmother was a large part of why I watched all of these shows.
Lately, I have found myself missing her, and after having spent a day with her sister, my great Aunt and fellow trouble maker, she's been on my mind. I have caught myself humming Golden Girls tunes more than anything. That was our show. After I lost my grandmother when I was 15, I knew that I would always be able to find her in the four women of this show. So when Micah and I got engaged last year, I knew who I would invite in place of my grandmother. I attached this letter along with my invitation, and it was the hardest, most intimate thing I've ever written. It was a stretch, and I never heard back, but it made my heart sting a little less knowing this letter was somewhere in the world.
Dear Ms. White,
My name is Brittany, and I have been a nearly lifelong fan of you and your work. Granted, I am only 25, but I grew up watching Golden Girls with my grandmother, and the four of you became a staple in my household over the years. My love for the show and the characters you women played is widely known, as most people like to poke fun of my set of the entire series on DVD and constant quoting of the characters!
I know it may seem odd to receive a wedding invitation from a stranger, but I promise it’s for a reason. I never thought I would marry, especially this early in my life. I am about to graduate with my Master’s and found myself taking the next step in life on my own. And then out of left field, I met an incredible man who loves me, Golden Girls obsession and all. As a bonus, my future father in law is a veterinarian, and that sure helps me out with my little shelter animal problem! I can’t ever seem to say no to a pair of sad dog eyes or pitiful cat purrs, and it is murder on a graduate student’s wallet. But I can’t help loving animals and the sense of love and devotion they give, regardless if we humans deserve it or not! I had always joked that if I ever got married, I would love to have the cast from Golden Girls be my honorary grandmothers, and now it looks like at least half of that is coming true! We are getting married May 28, 2011!
I had never realized that getting married meant that all of my family will be in one place together, which is a feat, considering everyone in my family has been divorced at least once. In writing out my wedding programs, I realized I did not have a grandmother to be a part of the ceremony. She took her own life when I was a sophomore in high school, and since then the world hasn’t been as saucy without her. She was a real handful, and passed that spice down to both my mother and I. In considering my bent and broken family tree, I realized that with the amount of time I have spent watching your shows and movies over the years, including GG, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Proposal, You Again, Hot in Cleveland and many others, I got to feel like Rose, Dorothy, Sophia and Blanche were a part of the family.
Going through high school and college without her, I felt like I was able to have that wit and wisdom that only a grandmother can provide when I watched the show. I feel like for the time, the show really touched on some progressive issues, and that grandmother of mine was always pushing the envelope with her “forward” thinking. The four of you all represented sides of her, and I feel like she isn’t really gone sometimes when I hear that familiar song start over the television. It reminds me of being 5 years old, snuggled down in her bed and sneaking York Peppermint Patties from her bedside table as I watched the four of you get into hi jinx and hilariously compromising situations.
I don’t want you to think this is a letter requesting a gift or anything of that nature. This is my thanks to you for being a part of such a wonderful show that has provided millions of people happiness and laughter over the years. I am sad to not be able to send this to any of the other “Girls”, but thought that maybe you could pass along my gratitude!
So in closing, I just wanted to say that the show gave me a part of my life back that was taken far too early. And I wanted to say thank you for being a friend.