Five years ago, when I was just a 15 year-old-girl struggling to find my place in society and trying to navigate the modern world which didn’t really appeal to me, I was introduced to The Golden Girls, a sitcom from the ’80s that changed my life completely.
My curiosity got the best of me when my mother told me that I was exactly like Dorothy from The Golden Girls. This prompted me to find out more and the it became one of the most important things in my life as the series changed my perspective on life especially about growing older.
To those of you who are unfamiliar, The Golden Girls is series about four women living together in Miami navigating their daily lives as middle-aged women.
When I first watched it, I couldn’t believe that these old ladies lived such a life as I was one of those kids who thought that life ends at 40 – you’re doomed and can’t have fun beyond this age, I was wrong thanks to the Girls.
The show became an important part of pop culture as it broke down many stereotypes and created a representation for older people but also opened doors for the younger generation (me included) which was rare back then in the ’80s.
To me it was more than a show, it was my teacher and my best friend even though the Girls were much way older than I was and have had more experience – the show educated me a lot on social issues like AIDS and menopause, among others.
So today, I will share some life lessons The Golden Girls taught me that I’ll remember forever.
Friendships are important
What most people love about the show is how four women who are polar-opposites get along and embraced each other’s difference. As a young person trying to understand the intricacies of society, they taught me that you can be friends with people no matter how different you are and that your differences might just complete one another.
Of course, in the beginning I questioned how the intelligent and caustic Dorothy Zbornak could even get along with cheeky and not-too-bright Rose Nylund. But their relationship goes beyond ever-green punchlines (you might have seen a particular GG clip recently on “Spanish Fly”).
A strong support system is important in life. Sometimes all we need to get through a tough situation is a friend’s encouragement like how the girls supported Blanche in the episode ‘End Of The Curse’ when she had a hard-time going through menopause.
Getting married ain’t the main goal in life
In the show, all four women were previously married prior to living together and they even had active dating lives – Blanche was something of a precursor to Sex & The City‘s Samantha, Rose had a steady relationship with her boyfriend, Miles and of course in the final episode, Dorothy got married.
While they showed that you can still date even when you’re pushing 50, they reminded us that marriage or being in a relationship isn’t actually the ultimate goal in life like in fairytales.
They taught me that it isn’t the end of the world if you’re single and that you can still have fun especially when you live with your best friends.
Never be afraid to try something new!
I have to admit, growing up is scary especially when you have to try out new things in life but that was one of the lessons the Girls taught me – never be afraid of trying something new.
Change is an often a running theme in the show as the girls would try out something new together like changing hairstyles or starting a new business like selling “Bacon, Lettuce & Potato” sandwiches like in the episode ‘Take Him, He’s Him’.
Although the outcome is often unexpected as with all good comedies, their courage and confidence to try new things sparks a sense of bravery in me to dare to take chances.
Whenever there is a crisis, sometimes all you need is Cheesecake!
Okay, not everyone has full access to cheesecakes like The Golden Girls did but whenever there’s a problem, the Girls would sit around together and discuss their ongoing crisis over cheesecake and that taught me that I don’t need to go through something on my own.
As an independent person, it’s only natural to not want to burden your friends or family with your problems so you tend to carry it all on your shoulder. I have taught myself to open up to those I trust and let me tell you, it doesn’t hurt one bit to go through ups and downs in life with your loved ones supporting you.
My perspective on growing older changed as I finished the show (all seven seasons, 180 episodes!). I was no longer afraid of growing older and instead I became inspired to live life without the worries of what society has made ageing to be.
The most important lesson The Golden Girls taught me is that life is ever-evolving and it doesn’t stop, so it’s up to you to embrace your life no matter what age as time is constantly ticking and there is no such thing as too much cheesecake!