I still love watching old episodes of the 1980s sitcom show The Golden Girls. I have the entire collection and I think I’ve watched them all straight through about three times (and that’s not counting the times I’ve watched them on TV). These funny ladies never fail to make me laugh (or cry).
Recently I was watching an episode from Season One entitled “Rose the Prude.” The B- plot story was about Dorothy and Sophia playing Gin Rummy. For 30 years, the two had played Gin Rummy and Dorothy had never beat Sophia once.
Dorothy gets mad after one of her losing games and tells Sophia that she’s not playing anymore. Sophia tells her she’ll be back because she’s too competitive.
Sophia keeps trying to coax Dorothy into playing but Dorothy sulks and Dorothy asks Sophia why she should play when Sophia is the only one to get any enjoyment out of playing cards.
Sophia responds by telling Dorothy that actually the cards bore her to tears. Dorothy acts surprised and then asks, “Well, then why do you play?” Sophia then tells Dorothy that she likes the talking that takes place during the games—that she and Dorothy had some of their best talks over a game of Gin Rummy and that it seemed that it was easier for them both to open up over a game of Gin Rummy. So Sophia in the end wasn’t really that into playing cards, she just enjoyed her time with Dorothy, her daughter. Kinda sweet when you think about it.
That whole little plot reminded me so much of when my boys were little. I would pick them up from pre-school or elementary school and ask them how their day went. “Fine” was usually the only answer I would get. Then I would ask, “What did you learn today?” “Nothing” was usually the answer I would get.
But after dinner, I would start their bath water, and it was then that all the details would emerge. They would get in that warm bath water with bubbles and bath toys and the talking would begin. My kids never minded baths and in fact seemed to WANT to get in the bathtub at night. During bath time, they relaxed and opened up about their day. Something about the warm water made them talkative. While playing with the floating bath boats or foam bath sponges, they would tell me all about their day, what they had learned, what happened at recess, on the playground, and in the lunchroom, etc.
I always found it amazing how the warm bath always made them eager to share their day with me. I would sit on the bath mat in front of the tub and listen as they told me everything. They told me funny things their friends said, relayed to me conversations with their teachers, classroom shenanigans, school subjects they had found easy that day and work that had been hard. I’ve told my husband that we had some of our best talks at bath-time.
I cherish those bath time talks. I also miss them.