Five of my favorite guests passed through New York last month, and I got to hang out and dine with each of them. Rare fun. Too often, even terrific TV interviews leave the feeling of a psychic one-night stand - when it's over, it's over. Happily, LIFE(Part2) is forever.
All-time fave Mary Ann Becklenberg was in town to do a spot for Good Morning America's website. She invited me along and I ended up on the podcast with its health correspondent, Meg Oliver. As you remember, Mary Ann, the star of Show #11, was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimers at 61. She was a hospice social worker at the time, a passionate and sophisticated advocate for her clients. Her devoted co-workers covered for her lapses - she missed meetings, forgot information. Her LP2 interview, at 64, was riveting and heart-breaking - yet also inspiring. Her message was simple and went beyond her affliction- Treat yourself gently and concentrate on what you have, not what you've lost. Mary Ann and I had a good time at lunch after the GMA gig (she's still quick and funny); we promised each other to do it again even if she didn't remember. Her wonderful husband was along, and Mary Ann agreed when I dubbed him Saint John.
A few days later, at a risqué Harvard Club panel on Relationships, Dr. Marianne Legato (Show #5), Dr. Robert Schwalbe, (#8), and Suzanne Braun Levine (#1) mesmerized that over-educated audience with their hard-won experience. The hottest topics were how to deal with the children that a new partner brings along and that old standard, infidelity. Married for more than 40 years, Suzanne became an LP2 icon with her observation that "the first thirty-seven years were the hardest." On this night, when Suzanne described her husband's extended trips without her, Marianne jumped in to say that she'd never trust a man out by himself. Marianne is a single mom who was married long ago for ten years; she's had many satisfying relationships since, thank you, she said.
Robert, who mostly treats men, advised all not to jump into bed before establishing an intimate relationship. Dr. Jane Adams (#2, #5 ) an expert on intergenerational matters (she wrote the book I'm Still Your Mother) was in the audience to lend support and ask a few excellent questions.
I had a wonderful time at both events, lots of talk, food, and a reprise of my favorite television show.