Barbara & Bette ~ 2014
Bette & Barbara ~ 2017
Washington Post ~ recap of the interview
[Very humorous & insightful!]
I have always loved it that, when pressured by Barbara Walters to do so, Bette Midler refused to rate herself on a scale of 1 - 10. Instead Bette answered: "Oh, I think I'm about a 55. I don't know. I'm a happening girl."
Thanks Bette Midler for being so smart! And thanks to my son Sam for inadvertently reminding me of this anecdote (when discussing shoe sizes)! You just never know when a really great connection will present itself and remind you of something that happened 38 years ago!
I was recently texting Sam about ordering some slippers that he wanted for Christmas:
Kit: "10.5 ~ wife or medium?"
Kit: [upon immediately spotting my typo]: "Oops! Freudian slip -- should say WIDE!"
Sam: "I'm a 10.5 ~ medium.
And the color is 'Sarhara' -- tan with brown sole.
And my wife better be a 10.5!!!
Well, naturally, I relished the sudden opportunity to share with Sam the wit and wisdom of The Divine Miss M, who taught us that no matter how we look, we are off the scale!
In the same vein, Brian Andreas, equally wise and witty, reinforced the idea a decade later with his StoryPeople story about being a Princess. Much like being a "10," being a "Princess" is simply too limiting. Measuring our potential requires much broader categories than are typically available:
About his imaginary future wife, I wrote back to Sam: "She will be! At least! No joke! Back in 1980 when being a '10' was all the rage, Barbara Walters asked Bette Midler to rate herself on a scale of 1 - 10, and Bette said '55.' Barbara said 'No, really.' And Bette said, 'Really! I'm a happening girl!'"
Although I have recounted this exchange many times to many people as one of my all - time favorites, I had neither re - watched nor re - read the Midler - Walters interview since seeing the original in 1980. But after chatting with Sam, I decided to check out google for the archived material, and there it was! I have to brag (Bette would approve!) and say that I'm pretty impressed with myself for remembering Bette's response nearly word for word! Obviously, it was a very memorable insight from an impressive role model!
Thanks to my sister Peg and my friend Peggy for sharing:
Peg: "Bette Miller has always been my idol. I want to be just like her when I grow up."
Peggy Morris: "I remember that interview and was thrilled with her answer. She crushed it!
She was in concert here some years back and complained about ticket prices for her show. Bette told the audience about her fights with promoters. She lost that battle but promised she’d give us every darn dime’s worth of price. She did! 'Darn' was not the word Bette used!"