Growing up I always wanted to be able to sing like Barbra Streisand, laugh like Goldie Hawn and fill out a bikini like Raquel Welch. Now I would be thrilled to be able to walk in a pair of stylish shoes like Betty White. Sunday night we watched a Betty White double feature; the Screen Actors Guild Awards followed by the Hallmark movie The Lost Valentine. We laughed, we cried and all the while I couldn't stop thinking that this 89 year old woman has more energy than I do. Between her TV show, movies, talk show appearances and trips to the awards, she accomplishes more in one day than I do in about six months.
At the SAG Awards, not only was Betty a presenter, but she also won best actress in a comedy for Hot In Cleveland. When she received her award she had to embark on a very long journey to the stage. Her sitcom's theme song which is comprised of about four notes had to be played about 27 times until she climbed up to the stage to receive her award looking fresh as a daisy and perfectly composed during her witty acceptance speech. On the other hand, I would've limped up on stage, out of breath, as my make-up melted and pantyhose fell down to my ankles. That pretty much describes me after a day of grocery shopping at the Jewel.
After the awards show, we saw Betty as the dramatic lead in The Lost Valentine; a story about a pregnant woman who's heroic husband goes missing during WWII, and she returns to the train station where she last saw him, every Valentine's Day for 65 years. As heart-wrenching as her performance was, I couldn't keep my eyes off of her legs. Not one single vein, no outstretched sagging skin that swayed in the breeze. And the woman could wear a heel. No holding on for dear life and cursing under her breath from the pain. I avoid any heel that catapults me more than a 1/2 inch above ground. There was one particularly moving scene where Betty White is overcome with grief and she even cries sexier than I do. For all my stories I pride myself on the intense research that's involved, so I had my husband beat the hell out of me and watched myself cry in the mirror. My mascara and nose were running at close intervals, my mouth went into spasms, and I realized that I had waited too long between dental visits, so I tried closed mouth crying until I started to choke. Ms.White will definitely be nominated for an emmy for her performance; if anyone had seen mine, I would've been carried out on a stretcher.
For all of our differences, Betty and I do share some similarities. We both were born in Illinois, have had the same hairdo since the 70's (1970's), and buy senior tickets at the movies. She is an extremely talented actress who steals the show in every part she's ever played. At 89 when most people have slowed down considerably, she still has impeccable timing and doesn't need orthopedic shoes to take her there. The fact that at this stage in her life she is at her height of popularity from teenagers to geriatrics is no small feat. Does it bother me that my mom noticed that Betty White wears a better bra than her 49 7/8 year old daughter? Nothing could be more uplifting.