Tuesday, February 04, 2014
If you've never watched an episode of Burns and Allen, you should.
Everyone remembers Lucy. But Gracie has all the comic timing, along with a bit more polish, a bit more charm, and, can I say? grace. Yet she's virtually forgotten.
We've lately been enjoying Burns and Allen nightly, as we go through 8 seasons of silly comedy that ran on TV from 1950 to 1958. Sadly, we are about half way through the last season.
As I watched Gracie and her friend Blanche's antics week after week, I started to notice something. Gracie was my age, in her 50's, with a tiny waist and clothes that showed it. I also noticed something else: the other 50-something women in the show were overwhelmingly slim. Oh yes, there were a few portly matrons, usually associated with wealth in some way, but all the other 50-something women, not to mention the younger women on the show, looked fit, trim, and well-dressed.
Something else. Gracie never sits down, is never idle. And when the subject of diet comes up, people are avoiding starch, not fat, and watching portion sizes.
Week after week of watching Gracie started to affect my self-perception. If Gracie and her friends, in their 50's, could be fit, trim, and dress to show it, maybe that could be normal rather than the exception.
Watching Gracie didn't change my behavior, but it did give me a different benchmark for 'normal', which is ironic if you watch the show.
The whole gag around Gracie is how *not* normal she is. She would certainly be an exception today on many levels, some society would embrace, some not. If you can suspend your judgement of 50's chauvinism, and embrace the silly fun, you may just find yourself wanting to channel a little Gracie, too.