The Girl with the Pet Dragon

Photo by: Oolong

Betty White doesn’t really have a pet dragon, but I bet she would if she could.  She adores animals –fast or slow, tame or wild, or on the land or in the water. She considered Koko the gorilla her friend, and she fell in love with a great white whale named Beethoven.  She has a collection of stuffed animals, too.

Betty’s love affair with all creatures big and small are just some of the many anecdotes she recounts in her book, If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t), published in 2011.  She was eighty-nine years old when she wrote her latest memoir long hand and starring in the hit television comedy Hot in Cleveland.  It’s a wonder she found the time – or the energy.

There are no surprises here, but some great stories.

Okay, I was surprised to learn that Ms. White joined The Mary Tyler Moore Show as the Happy Homemaker, Sue Ann Niven, in its fourth season, and at most she appeared in less than half of the twenty-two episodes produced each year.  I distinctly remember her entering the newsroom to look for Lou or rub Murray’s bald spot at least once every program.

With Betty playing against type, her husband Allen Ludden was frequently asked, “How close to Sue Ann is Betty?”  To which he replied, “They’re really the same character – except Betty can’t cook.”

I wasn’t surprised that Ludden was the love of her life, and she believes that he is always with her.

Betty admits she occasionally meets someone she might like to know better, but she has always preferred men who are older than she is.  At her age, they’re very hard to come by.

As far as getting older, Ms. White points out that it helps to be in sound health and have a good sense of humor, while best friends are a joy all life through.  They gathered around on her televised 90th birthday party to wish her well.

During the special, some very good-looking young men swept her off her feet in a song and dance number.  Although no cougar, she is young-at-heart and handled the situation with the spirit of a twenty-something.

She has no comment on getting a tattoo.

© 2012 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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