Last Monday night our fitness instructor couldn’t make it to class so we (the class) were supposed to go upstairs and walk the indoor track instead. Being the exercise buff I’m not, I opted to go back home instead. I’m glad I did. I had forgotten to tape Betty White’s 90th birthday TV bash. I missed the first twenty minutes of it but managed to get the gist of the show. Actually I would say the “gists” of the show but apparently that is not a legit word. Ah, the joys of writing “creative” nonfiction. So the gists of the show were: Betty White was awesome and still is, (most of us named Betty are, you know) and the TV stars that I grew up with and loved are REALLY old! OMG – Mary Tyler Moore, Carl Reiner, Ed Asner, and the one that shook my reality the most – Chevy Chase. I couldn’t believe how much older HE looked and he is only three years older than me. OMG! My mirror has been fibbing to me for how long now?
TV reruns and old movies warp our perception of aging. Laura, Dick Van Dyke’s TV wife, never aged while Mary Tyler Moore did. So did Betty White. I just didn’t notice. Maybe because Betty White and I have been growing older together. She never hid her age but played on it, used it to her advantage, with “Golden Girls”, TV commercials, “Saturday Night Live”, “Hot in Cleveland” and her newest show, “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers”. I felt old watching her birthday party, I felt sad for those who were missing, and at very end, I felt so very lucky for all of us to have the ultimate senior role model, Betty White. As she stood on stage, swaying to the beat of the music and clapping, she looked radiant and vibrant. Just the way I want to look when I turn 90.