They say you have to live with someone before you really know them.
If that’s true then Barbara Fletcher, 76, Nancy Fassett, 85, and Margaret Sugg, 87, really know each other.
The ladies, who have been dubbed ‘the real life Golden Girls‘ met at a group home in the Georgetown area of Washington D.C. in the late 1960s.
“We all got along pretty much from the beginning,” Sugg tells People magazine.
“It was built in that we all enjoyed the same things—cocktail parties, politics, movies and the theater,” adds Fletcher.
The three of them decided to live together for a couple of years, until one of them got a different job or got married.
“But none of that ever happened,” Fletcher tells People. “We’re still together.”
For the last 50 years, the trio have lived under one roof acting as each other’s best friends, family and biggest cheerleaders.
— People (@people) 16 January 2017
In 1975, the three women bought a five-bedroom home in Bethesda, MD. “The house had everything,” Sugg tells People, “a pool, a wet bar and space for a darkroom because we all loved photography.”
Fletcher, a former congressional staffer from North Carolina, explains it was a great party house. “We entertained a lot of congresspeople and senators,” adds Sugg, a former congressional staffer as well. “They used to call us the P Street girls.”
As the years went by the bond between the ladies only strengthened. They all dated, but with no children and no spouse they became like family—and became parts of each other’s families. “Everybody’s siblings are everybody else’s siblings,” Fletcher tells People. “Nancy’s sister is my sister and Margaret’s sister is my sister too.”
“It works out so well,” adds Fassett. “Our families love to visit us because we’re so much fun.”
In the 1990’s, all three women retired and starting traveling. They went to the vacation house they built in Duck, NC, to the timeshare they have in Aruba and they haven’t stopped since.
“We’re always thinking about where we go next!” Fletcher says.
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In 2014, the ladies decided to leave their home in Bethesda and move into Asbury Methodist Village, a retirement community in Gaithersburg, MD. But that hasn’t stopped them from being the life of the party.
“Our neighbors are really friendly and we feel like we’ve known them forever,” says Fletcher. “It feels like being in the south where people just pop in.”
— People (@people) 10 January 2017
And all those new friends and neighbors can’t seem to help asking one question in particular: How have you lived together for so long and not killed each other?
“I think that’s the thing we hear the most,” says Fletcher, “that people can’t believe we have managed to live together for this long and remain friends. We can’t explain it but we feel lucky that we have.”
“Having the friendship of these women and being able to rely on them all the time makes for a really happy experience,” she says.
*Cue the Golden Girls theme song.*