Susie's Musings - Thank You for Being...Old, Friends

Nick Ut

It appears I’m on an 80s TV kick this week. First, it was “The Greatest American Hero.” Now I’m turning my attention to “The Golden Girls” — with a dash of “Friends” (and the 90s) thrown in.

I didn’t really watch “The Golden Girls” much when it initially aired. It debuted during my senior year of high school and ran through my college and law school years. Oddly enough, I wasn’t hungering for geriatric comedy at that stage of my life. Perhaps that was ageist of me?

In any event, while I was certainly cognizant of the series and its leads, they didn’t figure prominently in my TV viewing back in the day. Now, by the time “Friends” rolled around, I was out of school, starting my adult life, and working full time. Plus, I was close in age to the cast, so it quickly became must-see-TV for me. And yes, I did, at one point in the mid-90s, sport “The Rachel.”

I hadn’t given “The Golden Girls” much though in the intervening years. But when Betty White sadly passed away, just a couple of weeks shy of her 100th birthday, the show returned to my radar. Days after White passed, The Hallmark Channel (which is now pretty much what dominates my TV consumption — don’t judge me!) ran a dozen-tissue tearjerker from 2011 in which White starred – “The Lost Valentine” —  followed by “The Golden Girls” pilot.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the ages of the show’s stars at the time it premiered — only to discover that three of the four were in their early sixties, while Rue McClanahan, at 51, was just a baby at the time. Yes, I took the opportunity to rib my then-60-year-old and 62-year-old sisters via text. Not that my 53-year-old self had much room to talk.

I realize age is a relative thing, but my sisters do not seem like old(er) ladies to me — or like women in their sixties looked and sounded to me when I was in my teens and twenties. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I’m 54 and fast-approaching legit “Golden Girl” status myself.

I did find one of my new favorite memes on a friend’s Facebook timeline earlier this year:

Sign me up!

Confession: I’ve since taken to leaving Hallmark on — even after the evening movie has ended and the channel has reverted to the golden gals. And yes, I often find myself chuckling. It’s 80s humor, but it’s good humor — and we could all use a little more of that.

So, imagine my amusement to learn that the gals from “Golden Girls” and pals from “Friends” have united the most ardent political foes, with an assist from simple math. The Hill has the story:

Nothing says congressional unity like a harsh, age-related reality check involving “The Golden Girls.”

Senators on both sides of the aisle are coming together after a writer noted a potentially mortifying factoid about the classic 1980s series.

“All of the actors from ‘Friends’ are now older than the youngest ‘Golden Girl’ was in that show’s first season,” Eli McCann, an attorney and host of a podcast called “Strangerville,” wrote in a tweet over the weekend.

“Have a nice day,” McCann wrote to his more than 28,000 Twitter followers.

McCann’s math checks out. The “Friends” cast currently range in age from 53 to 59 and thus, are “older” than McClanahan was when we first met Blanche Devereaux.

Following this stunning revelation, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) shared his dismay:

Cruz’s ideological foe, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), concurred:

Following which, McCann took rightful credit for achieving world peace:

In sum, and to paraphrase another set of golden oldies:

We’re older than we once were…and younger than we’ll be. 

Don’t mind me — I’ll just be over here in my muumuu noshing on cheesecake.


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