Friday, June 11, 2010

The Golden Girls & childfree living

I was sad to hear that Rue McClanahan passed away recently. I loved "The Golden Girls," & I also loved her long before that in "Maude" (also with Bea Arthur). Long before "Sex & the City," "The Golden Girls" formed a fab female foursome.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the example set by the show -- rarely seen, before or since on TV -- the message that older women can be funny and, yes, even sexy. And I love the idea of women banding together for reasons of both finance & friendship -- taking care of each other.

An inevitable fear of childless women, of course, is "What will happen to me when I grow old? Who will take care of me?" Statistics being what they are, most of us marry men who are older than we are, & women outlive men. While we hope that friends & relatives will look out for us, the fact is that (even if we do have children!), most of us will wind up living alone at some point in our lives.

One of the first Internet havens I discovered after making the wrenching decision to stop infertility treatments & live childless/free (almost nine years ago now) was a childless living message board (now defunct). Several of us moved over to a private board some years ago, where we remain in touch. I don't remember who had the original idea, but it became a standing joke (or maybe not so much of a joke?) that when we were old & grey and our husbands had gone, we would all buy a house together, hire a housekeeper (& maybe a hot young cabana boy, lol) & live together like "The Golden Girls." The gal who posted all the yummy posts about food was elected cook, the one who was renovating her house was the designated handyman/person & so on.

We voted on who among us would be Dorothy and who would take on the role of Blanche, etc. (I would love to be Dorothy -- I loved her snappy comebacks & caustic wit -- but I'm afraid there's too much Scandinavian/Minnesotan in me -- I suspect I'm thoroughly Rose, lol.)

It's not really a bad idea, though, is it?


  1. I love it! It reminds me of the cliched friends' arrangement of "when we are 40, and both of us are single, let's get married."

    It just seems like a natural sort of plan. :)

  2. I take great comfort that one of my fav actresses is childfree....Betty White, you can't get much cooler than Betty White...if she can live a life childfree then I can too!!

  3. Love the idea! And like you say, regardless of if you have kids or not, you'd probably be happier and feel more independent :)

  4. It's a great idea! And I, too, would love to be Dorothy, but also suspect that I'm a lot more like Rose...

  5. It's a lovely idea! I too would like to be a Dorothy but am actually a Rose :-).

  6. Loribeth,

    I am so honored that you took the time to read my blog. I've been "lurking" on your blog for almost a year now. If DE does not work out I believe childfree would be our next step. I am inspired by your posts and your blog. Thanks again...


  7. Love, love, love that show. I really am a Dorothy. I only hope I can actually be that cool by that age though.

    I spent many years working in nursing homes, and several of the lady residents lived in such an arrangement before coming to the assisted living. Some of them even decided to all come together.

  8. Love it! And I'm wondering if there's a "sign up" list for being a "Golden Girl."

    As it is, Hubby & I have already been scoping Assisted Livings in the event that no other family members will take pity on a childfree couple. Just kidding! (Not really ...)

  9. I have read your blog for some time now. Not sure that I have ever posted comments.

    I have had problems since highschool; I married my highschool sweetheart so our complications now are no surprise to him.

    We have not chosen fertility for several personal reasons; nor have we made the official decision to live "childfree" for the duration.

    I read your post about "Mother's Day" and said 'amen' at the end.

    I feel like many times you take the words out of my mouth.

    My husband and I have also chosen to keep our journey private. Which in and of itself is a blessing and a frustration but works for us.

    I find that now; I get most paused dumbfoundedness from those women who tried "SO LONG" - 6 months, to get pregnant before succeeding. My husband and I have been not trying for 7 years.

    While our family and friends know that we are being faced with challenges that is where their knowledge ends.

    I want to thank you for some of the burden you have taken off of me.

    I would love nothing more than to move in that Golden Girl house with a group who understands without me saying a word.

  10. Love ya, Lori! I'll get started on some modern looking quilts for us. ;-)

  11. I have the biggest smile on my face right now, Jan! : )