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Have you ever seen "The Golden Girls" television program? If not, here's a synopsis. Four comical women, age 50 and above, share a home in Miami, Florida. Divorce or widowhood has brought them together. Dorothy has a very dry sense of humor. After 38 years of marriage, she is deserted by her husband for a flight attendant. Rose is a naive, sweet, and wacky transplant from Norway. She grew up in a small farm town, where she met and married the love of her life. When he passed away, she moved to Miami. Blanche is a refined charmer from the South, who's self-absorbed and enamored of herself. Sophia is Dorothy's hard-edged Sicilian mother, whose conversations feature quips, criticisms, and snide remarks.
During the show's 7-year run, older women as housemates was a novel idea. Currently, divorce rates are sky-high for people age 50+. Additionally, some women have lost their spouses to death. Others have never married. Consequently, women are banding together for support. The situation of "The Golden Girls" has emerged as a current way of life.
ADVANTAGES OF BEING A GOLDEN GIRL - Sharing a home with other women as a divorcee, widow, or single woman has many benefits.
1. Shared Expenses - The current cost of living is painfully high for many. The amount of money needed to meet basic expenses of housing, food, and healthcare is exorbitant. The stress of money issues can negatively impact one's life in many ways. Dividing expenses makes the burden more manageable.
2. Divided Chores - Running a household independently can be a full-time job. "Many hands make light work" is a proverb that rings true. Life is much more pleasant and easy when there are plenty of hands to help.
3. Physical Protection - Living alone can make one more vulnerable to vandalism. Having "live-in company" means greater safety.
4. A Sense of Belonging - This makes life more meaningful. People who feel their life has purpose tend to be healthier, physically and mentally. A feeling of "community" makes one feel more secure.
5. Emotional Support - Living with caring people goes a long way toward having a happy life. It can help with managing difficult circumstances. It can make undesirable habits easier to drop. Living in a supportive environment means you don't have to call or travel to receive back-up. You have "on-site" feedback and assistance.
6. More Fun! - Being with other women who share common interests makes for great times. Ladies can exercise together, share clothes, team up for cooking, and "shop till they drop."
DISADVANTAGES OF THE GOLDEN GIRL LIFESTYLE
1. Compromise Is Required - When living with another person, for the relationship to work, compromise is necessary. Some people are more amenable to flexibility than others. For example, adaptability is needed regarding facility use, privacy, and personal preference. A woman may need to shower at night if there's a morning line for the bathroom. Even agreeing on inside temperature involves compromise. Gather a group of people, and you'll find that some like it hot, cold, and in-between. For people to co-exist, they have to be willing to relinquish some control. This can be a challenge.
2. Compassion Is Needed - This is especially true if a household member is going through personal difficulty. An impatient or critical person does not make for good company.
3. Co-Existing Merges Different Habits - Some people are messy, and others are neat. Some are organized, while others are scattered. Some are early birds, and others are night owls. Living together combines a variety of habits. People want the freedom to be themselves. If a housemate is unyielding and stoic regarding others' habits, she won't be a happy camper.
4. Co-Responsibility Is Requisite - Interdependence is created through the Golden Girl lifestyle. Housemates count on each other to do their part. If a woman doesn't meet others' expectations, housemates may become resentful. There needs to be a willingness "to earn one's supper."
5. Complete Privacy Is Lacking - A woman needs to accept that people will be interfacing with her when she's home. There does need to be a certain degree of mutual respect for privacy. But to be a contributing household member, an "openness" to others is vital.
Women living with housemates is becoming increasingly common. Although there are pros and cons, the benefits are tipping the scale for most. This is especially true on the American East and West Coasts and in Europe. The Golden Girl lifestyle now occupies prime time!
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