Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Grandma Bea Arthur

"...California, California your such a wonder that I think I'll stay in bed. Big time rollers, part time models so much to plunder that I think I'll sleep instead...I don't know this sea of neon thousand surfers, whiffs of freon and my new grandma Bea Arthur..." - Rufus Wainwright
I have been struggling to find the words to describe how I am feeling. I absolutely HATE having to refer to Bea in the past tense now. I lived my life up to now surrounding myself with an image of a woman that I have never met (yet have stalked outside of her home....scary I know). ! Sitting now on my "Golden Girls" couch eating a cheesecake in her honor (even though she hated them) makes it feel like one spectacular last hurrah.
I was just in Los Angeles no more than four days ago, now she is gone. This same phenomenon happened in 2006 when I also returned from Los Angeles and soon found out that Glenn Ford had passed (my other hero). Somehow I feel connected in a strange way to both. I also feel that Bea Arthur has been here ever since I have and I have taken her for granted. Actually, everyone who knows me, knows that this isn't the truth. I lived, ate, drank, quoted...and if society wasn't so ill, would allow me to dress like her. Cowl neck sweaters and scrunch boots would be back IN!!! Truly though, I guess what I mean is that you never realize what you have until it is gone. Today's news of her passing was far more shocking and it hit me harder than poor Estelle Getty less than a year ago. This time it wasn't just a TV icon from my all time favorite show, it was one of my personal idols.
My obsession began at a very vulnerable time in my life in 2004. I was at home thinking that my world was crashing all around me but by chance it was salvaged by the sharp wit of Dorothy Zbornak. Johnny and I went to see her one woman show shortly thereafter (fittingly in Florida of all places!) and it seemed that our eyes locked. I saw the actual Golden Girls couch locked away in storage in Burbank and each year a "holiday" card would be lovingly signed and sent to Bea's address in Brentwood, California - an address that I might add, that I have on occassion walked past hoping for a the chance to hear a familiar baritone say
"Get the FUCK off my lawn!"
The opening strains of Golden Girls will now sound a bit more meloncholy and the greatest comfort I have is that mother and daughter are together again in TV Land competing as Sonny and Cher in a talent contest at Shady Pines. If there is one good thing that comes out of this, it will hopefully be the return of cowl neck sweaters and scrunch boots! !

!Here's a cheesecake just for you Bea!

1 comment:

Gashapon said...

Beautifully stated!