Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Phyllis Diller

Phyllis Diller died yesterday at the age of 95.  I loved Phyllis Diller.  This is one of those celebrity deaths that hits me hard.  I LOVED PHYLLIS DILLER!

I remember the first time I saw her on the old Groucho Marx TV show in the Fifties.  I knew she would be famous.  She just had IT.

Over the years whenever Phyllis was on TV I would stop whatever I was doing and just stayed glued to the TV and drink in everything she said.  I LOVED PHYLLIS DILLER!

I think why her death hits me particularly hard is that I also learned something from Phyllis Diller.  Some years ago I read somewhere where she dropped all her friends who were using her and bringing her down. I was surprised when I first heard this because I always considered Phyllis Diller such a good hearted person and why would anyone take her friendship for granted and USE her and drag her down to their level?

The more I thought about it the more I became aware of what I was in denial about myself and some of my so-called "friends."  I began to evaluate my life and friends and came to the realization that I also had "friends" who were only friends for what they could use me for and were dragging me down into their negative world.  Phyllis said she dropped ALL OF THOSE FRIENDS.  She said it was hard but once she did she saw the sunlight again and how wonderful life could be without that negativity.  She said she knew she wasn't perfect but if anyone was going to be her friend they would have to accept her as she is otherwise she did not want them in her life.  Know what folks?  Over the years I have also adopted that attitude and my life is so much better.

Instead of worrying about not offending this friend by expressing my opinion or not letting myself being manipulated by another friend just to keep their friendship, I went my own way.  Those who like me the way I am are welcome in my life.  Those who do not, then I wish them well but I don't want them in my life.

I have spent the best part of my life trying to please others, many times at a great cost to myself.  That is my nature.  Even the job I have now, in the hospitality business, I am pleasing others.  There is a difference, I am paid to do that.  However, in my private life I live my life the way I want to.  I am a generous, pleasant, and amicable person.  I remember something a former friend responded to me once when I asked him "Do you think I am easily taken advantage of?  A fool for trying to please everyone?"  He gave a sly smile in my direction and slowly nodded his head in the affirmative.  End of that friendship.

Since I took Phyllis's advice all those years ago I can say my life has been much happier and more fulfilling.  My only regret is that I never had a chance to thank Phyllis in person.

Rest in peace dear lady.


Mark said...

Loved her to pieces!
She will be missed.

Jeff said...

She will be missed. The last time I saw her she was on Rosanne's Nuts. She was wonderful. The bit was her drinking Vodka and out drinking Rosanne. They were good friends.

Ron said...


I always smiled whenever I saw her.


Ron said...


I missed that one. Outdrinking Rosanne? I bet that was hilarious.


anne marie in philly said...

well, I didn't know she was discovered by bob hope! I loved her laugh and her diatribes on "fang". and the sparkly outfits; OMB, she outdid michael jackson!

Ron said...

Anne Marie,

Oh yes, Bob Hope discovered her.


Stan said...

I loved her. Remember first seeing her on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. R.I.P.

Ron said...

She was always one of my favorites Stan.

Harpers Keeper said...

Thanks for sharing these clips. I enjoyed her so much when I was growing up. I remember seeing at least one of her films. And she had an unfortunately short-lived tv series in the mid-60's. I have a friend who in the second half of her ligfe is pursuing a career in stand-up comedy. She posted a nice note about Ms. Diller's passing on Facebook acknowledging her role as a pioneer for women in comedy. I am sorry to say I have not seen her recently but my memories of her will always be fond ones.