On May 18, 2007 I finally met Rue McClanahan who played my idol, Blanche Devereaux, on “The Golden Girls.”
On the show, Blanche is a man-crazy sexagenarian looking for love in all the wrong places. Anyone who knows me will understand the disconnect/similarity there.
However, the person who portrayed Blanche was, in my experience, a nice, occasionally witty, woman who was patient with the hordes of autograph seekers that had gathered in a bookstore that evening at a tour in Chicago promoting My First Five Husbands and the Ones Who Got Away.
Comparing the woman to her character, Blanche Devereaux is pretty unfair. By the time it was my turn, Rue McClanahan seemed tired. Bored, maybe. Definitely ready to be done. I mean she was seventy-three years old.
I read her book cover to cover and I hope I do half as many things as she has done.
We can all be dynamic at some points, and it would be nice if we were remembered for those moments, rather than brushing our teeth, drinking our coffee, and our feeble attempts at being amusing.
At the time that I met her, McClanahan acted as a timeless classic. Even today, if I’m in a bad mood, I can just put in any one of the seven seasons of “The Golden Girls” and within ten minutes, my mood has lifted and I am lost in the brilliant writing and acting of a great team of showbiz veterans.
When I met her, I told her this. Not as eloquently as I have stated above, but in my own rushed and socially awkward way.
“Ah, the power of laughter,” she said, politely.
Those were Blanche’s five words to me.
I will live by this.