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Change is Such Hard Work.

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The theme of this website is “the more things change…” I thought I’d return to my roots by sharing some thoughts on “change.”  This is not the kind of change you carry around in your pocket, but real, honest-to-goodness change, the type of change at which you have to work.

From poets, presidents, jokesters, songsters, hipsters, fashionistas, and others:

I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed.

—  George Carlin

Change is such hard work.

—  Billy Crystal

Fashion changes, but style endures.

—  Coco Chanel

Change. Not always a pretty sight. In fact, it could get pretty ugly.

—  The Narrator, The Wonder Years

If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?

—  W. Somerset Maugham

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

—  George Bernard Shaw

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

—  Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

We are the change we have been waiting for.

—  Barack Obama

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.

—  Woodrow Wilson

This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.

—  Taylor Swift

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

—  Charles Darwin

One day spent with someone you love can change everything.

—  Mitch Albom, For One More Day

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True Romance

The newlyweds (my parents) married at home in 1947. Aren’t they a good-looking couple?

Everyone loves a wedding.  Why else crash? They’re so much more fun than a parade or a circus, although sometimes they are a circus.

In 2000 a FOX television producer attending a relative’s wedding, presumably caught up in the excitement of the festivities, conceived of the game show Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?  In the two-hour special fifty willing brides-to-be competed in a beauty-pageant-style contest, answering questions about themselves and parading in swimsuits and evening wear, although not tap dancing or tossing a baton.  By the time the predetermined groom, Rick Rockwell, slipped a thirty-five thousand dollar, three-carat ring on the finger of the so-called lucky winner, Darva Conger, twenty-two million wedding guests were enthralled with the proceedings from the comfort of their living rooms.

Like so many spur-of-the moment unions it was a bust, Conger filing for an annulment as soon as she could, and critics assailed the show, never to be aired again, as a new low in television programming. However, the ratings spoke for themselves.

Over the past decade several so-called reality television series have been based on couples meeting, falling in love, and getting married on camera.  That’s certainly the premise behind The Bachelor and its many spin-offs. On the first season of The Bachelorette, Trista Rehn chose Ryan Sutter.  They married – and happily so – on a three-episode special for which they were paid a million dollars.

None of the other contestants has faired as well.

And, of course, there’s Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, whose relationship, beginning, middle and end, was filmed as part of the on-going Kardashian money-making machine. The event cost an estimated $10 million, but the couple netted $18 million in network and photo rights.  Well, we all know how that turned out.

But sometimes true romance is captured for a viewing audience. Bride and Groom, an old time radio show in the late forties, featured a real-life bride and groom. The couple told their love story:  how they met, where he proposed, and what she said when she accepted.  The ceremony was then held in private at the chapel on the grounds of the Chapman Park Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.  When the program moved to television in 1950, the ceremony took place in front of the camera.

For sharing, the newlyweds were showered with gifts – silverware, towels, and appliances, those sorts of things, to set up their household.  As a memento, they received a 16MM copy of their marriage.

The weekday show was so popular it ran for three years.  For many of the participants the run lasted a lifetime.

© 2012 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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A Love Triangle: She Said. She Said. She Said.

Photo by: marcberryreid

When Eddie Fisher left Debbie Reynolds, it was the biggest scandal since… well, it was one of the biggest scandals since the movie industry had moved to the West Coast.  It involved larger than life personalities of the fifties, a time when marriage was forever and children came first.

When the couple met in 1954, Fisher was a teen idol, rivaling Frank Sinatra in popularity.  Even his army stint in Korea didn’t dim his visibility.

Reynolds had made eleven movies, including Singin’ in the Rain with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor.  She danced, too.  Modern Screen put her at the top of their list of appealing young female stars, besting such lovelies as Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Doris Day, and Marilyn Monroe.

As a couple, gossip columnist Louella Parsons called them “America’s Sweethearts.”  Their engagement sold papers.  Their wedding made headlines. The movie they made together, Bundle of Joy, bombed, but the births of Carrie and then Todd were a symbol of their everlasting love.  Their separation was met with astonishment, all the more so because Eddie had taken up with Elizabeth Taylor, the widow of his best friend, movie producer Mike Todd.

The women couldn’t have been more different from each.  Elizabeth was the bad girl, exotic and sultry, like a wine glass of warmed cognac.  Debbie was the girl-next-door, familiar and friendly, like cold lemonade on a summer’s day.  When the press learned of the triangle, they both played their parts perfectly.

Meeting the media camped on her doorstep sometime after midnight once the news broke, Debbie said, “I’m still in love with my husband.  I’m deeply shocked over what has happened.”

Liz, said, “ I don’t feel that I’ve taken Eddie away from Debbie – because they weren’t getting along anyway.”

Debbie said, “Liz must have been misinformed about relations between Eddie and me.  We have never been happier than we have been in the last year.  I would even say ecstatically happy.”

To which Liz said, “I don’t go around breaking up marriages.  Besides, you couldn’t break up a happy marriage.”

After instructing her attorney to go ahead with a divorce, Debbie commented, “It seems unbelievable to say that you can live happily with a man and not know he doesn’t love you.  But that – as God is my witness – is the truth.”

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth: that’s hardly the way we think of Hollywood.  Nor is it the end of the story.

When both women had remarried, Debbie to Harry Karl, a shoe tycoon, and Elizabeth to Richard Burton, no description needed, they made up and became friends.  Upon Taylor’s death, Reynolds said, “No one else could equal Elizabeth’s beauty and sexuality… She was a symbol of stardom.  Her legacy will last.”

As far as Eddie, let’s just say he’s a better actor than we remember him, if we remember him at all.

© 2012 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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Not quite sure what Eddie Fisher sounds like?  Here he sings “I’m Always Hearing Wedding Bells”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ2ubf-2BXg