A new concept in cruising was announced this week, the Golden Girls cruise!
Celebrity Infinity cruises announced a special cruise celebrating the sitcom will launch in winter of 2020. It includes a cheesecake party, of course. The cruise leaves from Miami, where the Rose, Blanche, Dorothy, and Sophia lived on the sitcom that aired from 1985 to 1992. The cruise features a bar crawl, a fancy-dress party, and a party at the “Rusty Anchor,” Blanche’s favorite place to meet men.
I suggest they also have a “Picture It” open mic lounge, where cruise passengers can step up to the mic and tell stories about the old country!
For some reason, there’s a nostalgia surrounding shows from the late eighties, and it’s not even nostalgia, I think most of the fans are younger people watching reruns. As such, may I suggest Designing Women if we’re booking vacations based on late eighties television?
Designing Women, set in Atlanta, ran from 1986 to 1993, and I’d book a Designing Women Cruise in a hot second.
Designing Women’s quartet of characters included Julia, Suzanne, Mary Jo, and Charlene. With special appearances by the batty Bernice and the true-blue Anthony. I loved these career women who ran an interior design business in a grand old home. They were witty, whip-smart, and demonstrated how to fight back against sexism, racism, homophobia, body shaming, ageism, and even blackface decades before the invention of the hashtag.
I aspired to be Dixie Carter’s Julia Sugarbaker, someone so good with a righteous rant, that it could kill a chauvinist dead on the spot. And important to those who rant these days, Julia’s rants were delivered in person, face to face, never anonymously behind a computer screen.
I loved that they dressed up for work even though the work, appeared to be, sitting around looking at fabric.
The Designing Women Cruise could include torch song Karaoke, ala Julia Sugarbaker. There could be a beauty pageant that embraces the beauty of every size, ala Suzanne Sugarbaker, maybe furniture shopping?
While researching this column I came across this quote from the show, in an episode entitled, “The Shoot Fat Women Don’t They?” This is the episode where Designing Women addressed the real-life weight gain of star, Delta Burke. Julia Sugarbaker comforts little sister, Suzanne after she’s mocked for her weight.
“In the end, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about you. You have to be exactly who and what you want to be. Most everyone is floating along on phony public relations. People who say being beautiful, or rich or thin makes them happy — people who are trying to make their marriages and their children seem better than they actually are…. and for what?! Appearances. Appearances don't count for diddly! In the end, all the really matter is what was true, and truly felt, and how we treated one another. And that's it.”
That is it. That bit of wisdom aired in 1989, decades before Facebook, it seems the perfect thing to remember in 2019. So sign me up for the Designing Women cruise. Sure, Atlanta is landlocked, maybe it needs to be a Designing Women bus tour, but you get the idea.
Originally published in Monroe News, February 2019
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