12 October 2010
2 you can have a town, why don't you take it?
if we've dated or been friends or talked for long enough at a party, you are well aware this is a big freaking deal. you've probably been hearing about it for the last 10 years and just heaved a huge sigh of relief that the end of my endless ranting on this subject is suddenly in sight.
but before i put rantoline back in her box, a few farewell reflections...
it's no secret that i hold the belief that what you watch/read/do as a child has a mysteriously huge impact upon what you do/fear/believe as an adult.
my family held hands when we prayed over dinner. as a result, to this day, when eating outside the family forward, i experience an automatic impulse towards making physical contact with the person across the table before i eat my food.
on a more superficial note, sweet valley high #42 (with a little help from strangers with stickers) kept me off drugs for all of the 90s, and the millions of articles about 16-year-olds getting pregnant from "poignant glances" were more effective than seventeen magazine will ever know.
as children, we are impressionable, taking in things in a manner that is never so unconscious as when we are young. with age, we grow increasingly- sometimes painfully- self-aware.
it may seem like crazy talk to say that oline would not be in the city were it not for the mary tyler moore show, but i don't think it's that far-fetched.
mtm and dr. quinn were the most influential tv shows of my teenage years. as in, i loooooooooooooooooooved them with the fire of a billion suns. even when i reached an age where there were actually things to do on saturday nights and i stopped watching dr. quinn, it was a tremendous comfort knowing she was still out there, that she was still on tv.
it may have been coincidence that both shows featured female leads who went to cities far from their families to build lives considered wildly unorthodox in the times in which they lived. i do not think it is a coincidence that i am a girl living in a city far from my family trying to become a biographer, something the unorthodoxness of which often even floors me.
i won't attempt to convince you all to watch dq. that's a losing battle, i'm well aware. but i'm going to go out on a limb and say that if you are here, if you read me, you should watch mary tyler moore.
because if you're a girl in a city, a feminist, a hater of clowns, a fan of betty white, from minneapolis, working in an office, have been on a blind date, wear berets, are unmarried, throw legendarily bad parties, live far from home, are addicted to sleeping pills, love awards shows, loathe newscasters, like drinking, watch mad men/sex & the city/friends/the office/30 rock or appreciate the subtle distinction between the lyrics "you might just make it on your own" and "you're going to make it after all," then i promise- nay! i GUARANTEE- honey, there is something here for you.