delicious ambiguity: gilda radner

2399165937_686eb91e13_oOne thing I’ve learned from Gilda Radner‘s SNL character, Roseanne Rosannadanna, that no matter what, it’s always something. No matter what mood I’m in – elative, cranky, or just plain indifferent, there’s always something that will help me land my helicopter and keep me grounded.

Gilda died on May 20, 1989. That day, I just broke up with my fiance a term I used lightly since he was never serious about getting married. May 20 was the date I fantasized a wedding since it was 2 years to the day we met.

Alas, it didn’t work out thankfully and instead of sipping champagne and dancing to a bad eighties DJ in a reception hall, I sat home alone intent on watching Saturday Night Live, a fate I was more than happy with. Steve Martin hosted so I was ready for a good laugh camped out in my parent’s basement, sinking into the couch with a bag of microwave popcorn.

Instead of the usual goofy jovial monologue, he broke down reminiscing of Gilda. They played a clip of them dancing together from 1978. She wore a white dress and red sash. Following that show I rented everything she was in from the neighborhood video store and studied her broadway show. I also bought her book It’s Always Something about the illness that took her, ovarian cancer.

I learned that back then there were hardly any tests to detect it early so she became a martyr for this cancer so hopefully other women will not suffer the same fate. She also suffered from horrible self-esteem and bulimia. She blamed herself for giving herself cancer trying to recall what she did to give herself this fate. It’s always something women do unfortunately, thinking that if we go through a rough time we obviously did something to deserve it.

And that was not her case, nor is it rarely ever the case with the rest of us. Since then she’s been like an angel floating around, always there when you call upon her with her tap shoes. She’s bathed in white, a red sash tied around her waist, ready to snap us out of whatever crabby mood we’re in. She reminds us that no matter what, it’s always something so you might as well just make allowances and forgive yourself and others.

 

 

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