I have spent the past week sitting Shiva for Bea Arthur, and I think it’s finally time I quit mourning the loss of her life and instead, celebrate it, which I will begin to do right here.
I first met Bea as a child, in the late 1980’s on the prime-time hit The Golden Girls. She remained in my life throughout the 9o’s and 00’s in reruns, which is likely why I was so shocked at her passing. To me, she was barely 65, living with her girlfriends, eating cheesecake five times a week and retorting wittily to any comment that crossed her path.
It’s hard to believe that Ms. Arthur began her career as a lounge singer, served in World War II and brought abortion into prime-time as Maude, Edith Bunker’s liberal-ass cousin whom Archie hated. To me, she’s Dorothy Zbornak, a wise cracking divorcee who wears long blouses, long skirts and tall boots, who takes care of her sassy, purse-clutching mother and lives with her slutty roommate and a total dumbass. She comes into my home two or three times a day, brightens it and then fades into the credits until next time.
I am deeply saddened by the loss of this legendary television icon, and I hope that if there is a heaven, that someday I’ll meet Bea in it. Until then, I will rest my chin on the top my flattened hand, and roll my eyes slowly and sternly to the right, annoyed that Bea and I will never star in our very own Two Woman Show.
Bea’s passing reminds me of one of my favorite episodes of The Golden Girls in which Sophia’s friend dies. I’ll take a note from Sophia on this one, it will help in accepting the death of TV’s finest, the incomparable Beatrice Arthur. . .
Sophia: Esther Weinstock is dead. We grew up together, she was my best friend.
Dorothy: I’m so sorry. What happened?
Sophia: [sarcastically] She was fighting an oil rig fire in the Gulf of Mexico.
Sophia: SHE WAS 88!
Rose: Well, it’s great that she was able to work right up to the end.
REST IN PEACE PUSSYCAT. REST IN PEACE.