Four independent, different-natured, comical, female friends tackle a big city in style and solidarity–There was only ever one possibility for my New York City birthday theme: The Golden Girls.
Did you think I was going to say Sex In the City? Sorry to disappoint, but with all due respect, those aren’t my girls. My history with The Golden Girls is a little bit storied. I sang the theme song constantly when the show originally aired during my youth. As an adult, my close friends and I realized we all adored the show, identified with the characters and quoted it religiously. I would catch the reruns on the Lifetime network occasionally, but it wasn’t until I was 33 and receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer that I really needed The Girls.
The night I arrived home after a surgical procedure in 2011, I was in pain, scared, and feeling sorry for myself. Unable to sleep, I settled on a Golden Girls marathon on tv and found myself laughing heartily even though it physically hurt to do so. I was somehow cheered and comforted by these women and the shenanigans they got into during their golden years. I turned to other childhood comforts during my recovery, but watching The Golden Girls became a nearly nightly routine I used to fall asleep. I must have watched every episode at least three times over. Something about viewing these characters gave me hope for the future; I wanted to grow old just to see if I could turn out as fabulously funny as they did!
Fast forward several years to my planned birthday trip to New York City. Thanks to The Golden Girls’ pop culture renaissance, I was able to find some cute themed merchandise on Etsy. Starting with these sticker quotes from ShopMaDesigns featuring sassy sayings from the beloved characters. They were a big hit and got us into the spirit of the show during our first night in NYC.
Personal favorites include:
- “Why don’t I just wear a sign that says, too ugly to live?” Dorothy to Blanche/Rose.
- “Eat dirt and die trash!” Blanche to Dorothy (nobody can cut a friend down like these ladies)
- “Go to sleep sweetheart, pray for brains.” Dorothy to Rose
- “Remember these sage words: You’re old, you sag, get over it.” Sophia to Blanche
- “It’s like life is a giant weenie roast and I’m the biggest weenie!” Rose
I put together a few GG themed packages as gifts, too. The simple design of these greeting cards, also from Shop Ma Designs, featuring the iconic character likenesses of Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia grabbed my attention.
You know if I’m gifting, some good smellies must be included. Super Tarts’ Golden Melts wax collection is well-designed and I adore the way each character’s scent turned out.
If you’ve noticed the absence of a Blanche themed gift, I’ll give you three guesses to who is represented by Blanche in my group?? And I don’t want to hear it, because I’m certain the only reason I’m Blanche is because I am the youngest!
Every golden gal wannabe needs her mug of coffee to sip from while dishing around the kitchen table. There’s lots of themed drink ware out there, but I liked the design and Crate and Barrel brand mugs from Pick Me Cups.
Stopping short of making character face masks for us to wear; would that have been over-the-top? I wanted to cap off our trip memorably in true Golden Girls fashion. For our last evening, I scheduled a surprise excursion to the Rue La Rue Cafe in upper Manhattan.
Owned by Rue McClanahan’s son and featuring memorabilia from the set of the show, and on throughout Rue’s career; it’s truly a must for Golden Girls aficionados to pay homage to the fab foursome. And it was incredibly cute, with yummy food, staffed by friendly, artistic employees, while the television show played perfectly in the background on a big screen.
There was so much more, including many of Rue’s costumes, a stage with piano and every souvenir a diehard fan could wish for; from character bags of coffee, to candles depicting the fabulous four in roles of saints. I’m delighted we were able to visit. It provided a sweet ending to my birthday festivities and our trip.
I plan to stay golden into my forties and beyond:)