Thursday, January 26, 2012

Betty White's 90th Birthday

This photo isn't from her 90th birthday
celebration, but it's one I like a lot.
She looks so happy!
NBC recently honored Betty White for her 90th birthday.

Man, oh man. I adore Betty White--like most of the rest of the world. She's a fantastic woman: kind, funny, smart, and a little suggestive every now and then. Recently I have been reading a lot of biographies, and Betty White's was the first I finished. It was fantastic.

It's wonderful when the stars align and seemingly separate things come together without your own intent. When I started reading these biographies, I had no idea that her 90th birthday celebration was going to air. It wasn't until I finished three books--all of which overlapped one another in their discussion of the early days of TV--that I even heard the celebration was taking place. (Read my previous blog post about those books here.) I kinda like to think that's a little gift from my grandmother, who would be happy I've been reading her books.

So the stars aligned and I got to watch the Betty White birthday celebration because my kind boyfriend recorded it for me. We watched it this week, while eating a delicious dinner he cooked in honor of dating one another for a full year. What a wonderful anniversary gift--the chance to see so many of my favorite entertainment people packed into one special show.

I cried.

When Betty White came up on stage to say thank you to everyone, I choked back the unexpected tears before letting them just flow freely.

My head has been in the early days of TV because of these books. Spending a lot of time with these people hearing their life stories helps me understand them (and the industry) better. Some how I feel like they could be dear friends, you know what I mean? I've spent the past two months listening to Betty White, Carol Burnette, and Dick van Dyke talk about their work and the people they appreciate: Mary Tyler MooreCarl Reiner, Ed Asner, and soooo many others.

And I got to see many of them on that show this week. By chance.

Now I recognize that we all want to do great work but it's a challenge for so many reasons. Life simply happens and there are no projects or paths that are easy. Every step of the way I've struggled with Abandoned Allies, but I've learned really great lessons--but I'm getting paid now to put those lessons to work and that's pretty cool.

Plus, if this stuff were really easy, the victory might not taste so sweet. It's hard on purpose. You have to really, really want it. Because making a film is damn difficult.

My other epiphany repeat: life is just a fleeting moment in time. We aren't here for very long. My grandmother lived to be 91, but even that doesn't feel like a very long time to me. I miss her terribly, and simultaneously recognize my own limited existence.

So here to you, Betty White. Thanks for having an awesome 90th birthday party, and letting little folks like me share it with you.

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