I wanted to post something that triggered my thought processes, upon learning of actress Betty White’s death…what I loved most about Betty is she was always, unapologetically HERSELF and I always wished I was more like her! She lived a good, long life and blessed everyone she came into contact with. I want to celebrate her by praising her impact on me.

I loved all the sassy actresses that paved the way for women: Betty White, Lucile Ball, Cloris Leachman, Lynda Carter. They broke boundaries that were so hard set in the time that I was growing up. I always admitted to watching the Golden Girls on TV, even before it was “cool.” I wanted to be a sassy, unique old woman (and I’m well on my way). I always felt sorry for Betty’s character Rose, in that show, but she was never phased by harsh comments and was always kinda and giving. What really made me love her, though, was her role as Mrs. Bickerman in the movie Lake Placid. She was feeding her cows to a huge gator. Eventually, they confined her to house arrest, because her character was interfering too much. Her response? “Okay, thank you, officer f*ck-meat!” I rolled on the floor over that for the longest time. It was so earnest, yet unexpected!

Basically, I admired her tenacity, her comedic wit, and her love of animals. She was physically and emotionally beautiful her whole life. She was devoted to her husband and that she loved dogs more than most people. She also maintained the utmost grace and decorum when roasting fellow actors/actresses. I celebrate her quirkiness with much respect and love!

But mostly, I love that she put her true self out there. When I was growing up, my grandmother (also one of the main heroes of my existence) said something interesting. I was helping her cook in the kitchen, because that was what was expected of girls then. Her cooking was ALWAYS impeccible and I asked her how that was?

“Practice,” she said smiling and winking at me. I furrowed my brow. That wasn’t helpful, I thought to myself.

She must have seen that because Grandmas see EVERYTHING. “And,” she continued, “I eat my mistakes.”

“Huh?” I said, caught off guard. “What mistakes? Your food is always great!”

She explained that if anything got overdone or wasn’t as presentable, it was placed on her plate (“eating the evidence,” she laughingly explained). She was raised to give everyone the best. If there was a bigger piece of pie, she gave that away and ate the smallest one. I still do this, to this very day. It’s a Godly trait, to give those you love the best. My perfect friend eggs on the weekend, go to my boyfriend. He doesn’t know, and that is okay!

However, eating your mistakes can be a bad thing too. I never admitted when I didn’t want to do something, or made my mistakes transparent, or anything of that nature — I kept my true, quirky self guarded and muted. Why? Because my abusive then-husband would make me pay for it later.

“I know you think you’re funny,” he’d tell me, in private. “But, honey, you’re really not that smart, and you’re just showing everyone how ignorant and dumb you are. Please, don’t. I want everyone to love you!” What a complete croc! I’d constantly get chided, insulted, and protected in the same breath. No wonder I was constantly in a state of confusion! I NEVER knew how he truly felt about me!

Truth is, I have a high IQ. I love sarcasm and humor and wit, because it does take an intelligence to be so. I think my then-husband’s fragile male ego was forever bruised when a mutual friend of ours, upon his admission of wanting to go to a comedy “open mic” night, stated, “Yeah, dude, you’d be pretty good, but Laura is f*cking hilarious! She’d kill it!” She didn’t know how much I’d pay for her statement later, I’m sad to report.

Betty showed she never ate her mistakes, she embraced them, full speed ahead. I want to be more like Betty. My old self is slowly coming back, post-abuse, much to my boyfriend’s dismay (just kidding, we crack each other up all the time!). She will be missed, but I will carry with me her zest for life!