Not Sophia!

It’s the end of an era. Estelle Getty, the actress that played the wonderfully sarcastic Sophia Petrillo on “Golden Girls,” died today. She was 84.

I loved “Golden Girls.” Of course I was a grade-schooler when the popular NBC sitcom had it’s run. Being a grade-schooler, I had nothing better to do on Saturday nights than to watch GG. I remember many Saturday nights laying on my parent’s bed watching GG with my Mom, and all the shows like “Empty Nest” that came after it. I remember thinking it was hilarious and never knew, back then, it was revolutionary to have women in their 50s and 60s be the subject of a major network sitcom.

Years later, the Lifetime network, brought GG back in reruns, and for me, it was appointment television. The best thing about re-watching a show you loved as a child is you finally get all the jokes. Man, that show is dirty! Sophia is and always will be my favorite. I want to be like Sophia when I grow up. They tried to blame her forthrightness on a stroke she had, but really, I think Sophia finally stopped caring what other people thought and decided to speak her mind. I’ve probably seen every single GG episode two or maybe even five times and I still laugh out loud. Just the other night I was in tears over an episode I know I’ve seen more than once.

I loved how Sophia always started a story with “Picture it, Siciliy, [insert date here].” Once, when Dorothy accused her mother of making up a story her answer was:

“So what? I’m old, I’m supposed to be colorful.”

And she was, oh yes she was.

Back to reading

Every Saturday of my young life was spent being taken to my piano lessons at Mrs. Edward’s house and then to the libary with my Mom. If I was lucky, we’d go to the Ogden Mall and eat a Cheese Dog at Hog Dog On-A-Stick for lunch. And if I was REALLY lucky, my Mom would also get me a cookie from Mrs. Fields. This trip to the library every Saturday was a tradition because my Mom was an avid, avid reader. She had her name on so many waiting lists for different books that all of the librarians knew her by name.

My Mom passed the love of reading and books onto me. Every summer the school district would pass out a summer reading list and give awards to kids who read 20 age appropriate books during the summer. I always read over 200 books and got my own special award. My life has been so full of good books that I can scarcely remember a time when I wasn’t reading a book for pleasure. In fact, I was an English minor simply for the fact that I knew I was going to be required to read a lot of good books, and not because it would help me in my major field (although it has).

Since my Mom passed 8 months ago, I haven’t been able to read a single book. I started a book twice and took no joy out of reading it. I couldn’t even study for the Social Work licensing exams because I was so distracted. I don’t know if it was my grief or the fact that reading to me has always been so tied up in my Mom. We shared so many books together and whenever she read a book she knew I would like, she would pass it on to me. I guess in a way we had our own private book club because we could talk for hours about the books we read.

After hearing many great things about a book called “Water for Elephants,” I decided to buy it and read it while on maternity leave. I forgot what it was like to be so engrossed in a book that you will defy extreme tiredness or hunger just to get to the next page. I forgot what it was like to spend an entire afternoon so encapsulated by a book you don’t notice the hours that have passed until you have to turn the lights on because you can’t see the words anymore. I haven’t finished this book yet, but so far it is excellent. It’s restored a piece of me back to myself that I lost when I lost my Mom. So for now, I’m back to reading.