In addition to listening to Penny Marshall’s book recently, I also listened to one by Bob Newhart.
What’s interesting about both of those celebrities is that they grew up in relatively poor families in which several generations lived in one room, sometimes a converted dining room. Then, of course, they both went on to big success.
By the time she was my age, Marshall had been married twice (Rob Reiner was her second husband), had a daughter, had helmed a television show, was quite well-off financially, owned a beautiful home, and had many famous, A-list friends with whom she jetted around the world.
It’s enough to make a girl depressed.
Moving back to my former city is stirring up a lot of emotion in me, so that’s a part of my reaction. I’m leaving behind my modest apartment and all of my furniture, most of which is in sorry shape after several moves. I’ll be arriving at my 80-year-old mother’s house in much the same place I did upon graduation from college– jobless, furnitureless, childless, husbandless–the difference being that this time, there’s no longer hope for children and, it’s beginning to feel, for a husband.
It definitely feels odd, like the circle of life was not, in my case, completed.
One thing I tell myself is that Marshall’s and Newhart’s generation lived through unusually prosperous times. Unfortunately, I think my generation more closely resembles that of their parents.