Friday, March 1, 2013

One Day at a Time . . .

"This is it. This is life, the one you get, so go and have a ball . . . "

I was in New York once, and I was staying at The Plaza Hotel - because, you know, that's where Eloise lived, and if you never read Eloise, it's not too late.  She is - hands down - the best ever  :-) 

Anyway, it was the 90's, I was recently divorce, and I was on vacation in NYC and hey, I got a great a great rate because how else could you ever stay at The Plaza if you didn't?  And let me tell you, I was really happy to get to The Plaza, because the flight to NYC was the worst scariest flight I have ever been on (the worst flight was on Lufthansa, coming back from Egypt a few years ago, but that's another story).  Trying to land - multiple tryings to land - at LaGuardia in a harrowing storm, with millions of birds all over the runway - oh it was terrifying. 

I think I bruised the hand of the man sitting next to me - he was kind enough to hold my hand as I was saying The Lord's Prayer to myself over and over - I always say The Lord's Prayer every time I take off and every time I land.  I heard once that those are the most dangerous times on a plane, and if we're going to crash or explode at one of those times, I figure that having said The Lord's Prayer pretty much means I go straight to heaven.

I was praying in terror and white-knuckling it all the way on to the ground, so I was VERY glad to get in a cab, get to The Plaza, drink alcohol, and pretend I was wealthy.

I had two different rooms there - one was rawther (that's Eloise-speak) large and looked at an interior brick wall, and the other was weeny and looked over Central Park.  The reason I had two rooms was that part way through my week there, I had to check out for a night and go to New Jersey for a wedding and then come back.  It was too spendy to pay for a night in a room I wasn't actually sleeping in.

I had a really nice time at The Plaza. 

They have doormen at The Plaza - like they do at The Drake here in Chicagoland.  It has been my experience that doormen are always really nice.  As I was coming and going throughout my stay, one doorman said something to me - I'm not sure that he called me Ms. Franklin, but he intimated that he "knew who I was."  I remember saying to him that he must have me confused with someone else, and he just gave a knowing smile and said he was glad I was staying at The Plaza.

Come to find out that Bonnie Franklin - the actress who had played the mom, Ann Romano, in the what was groundbreaking for the mid-1970's drama/comedy One Day at a Time, was doing a show in NYC - something about tap-dancing if I recall correctly - and the doorman was sure that I was her. Nothing I said could dissuade him.  Never mind that Ms. Franklin stood all of 5'3" and I am a giant.  I guess it was my hair and the bob haircut I had back then, because I'm sure that the doorman was unaware that I used to be able to do a respectable single time step back in the day ;-)

I was reminded of all this today when I heard that Ms. Franklin had passed away from pancreatic cancer. 

Television in mid-70's was not like television today.  It was the heyday of the great Norman Lear, with shows like All in the Family, and Maude, and One Day at a Time - a show about a divorced mom raising two girls on her own.  Mr. Lear tackled social and political issues like no one else ever had.  I've often wondered if One Day at a Time resonated with me because I was raised by a single parent (my mom was a widow).  I watched it regularly.  I wanted to know what was happening with those characters - troubled Julie, perfect Barbara, handsome Schneider, and mom Ann, taking her life one day at a time.  A true child of television, I wanted them all to have happy endings. 

It was with sadness that I learned of Ms. Franklin's death today.  A piece of my young life gone.  I guess the older I get, the more this is going to happen.  Davy Jones last year, Bonnie Franklin today.

I  can still sing the theme song . . .


1 comment:

Tammy said...

I loved that show, and I so wanted Valerie Bertinelli's hair (I still do). They don't make them like that anymore.

BTW, it's not saying the Lord's prayer that guarantees eternity in heaven - only accepting Jesus does that. :-)