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Today, the original Single Girl died.  I was sick at home, and so I started downloading and watching The Mary Tyler Moore show, which aired the Fall I went into seventh grade.

I started to well up when I saw her driving to Minneapolis to start a new life on her own. The music, the girl tossing her hat into the air.  The perpetual hope that you could do it, if you tried.  I didn’t want to be like her.  I was 12.  But now, I wish I had learned the art of being sweet.

On the very first episode, Mary is trying to get a job as a secretary, and because she is so cute, they give her the job as an associate producer.  The next several episodes are periodically peppered with comments about her caboose, her single hood, her lack of a husband.

And.  I started crying.  I don’t know why, but I think it might have something to do with the fact that since this aired in 1970, some things have changed, but many have not.  No, you can’t ask if someone is married in an interview.  No, your boss cannot come over drunk to your house, though Lou Grant is such a lovable person, you almost forgive him.  Roe v. Wade wouldn’t come into being for 2.5 years.

One comment after another, she bounces back.  When the leering TV Anchor makes sexist comments, Mary keeps coming back.  When she breaks up with her boyfriend, he says, “Take care of yourself”, and she replies, “I think I just did.”

Mary was single throughout the whole series.  She tackled the issues of the day, which actually mirror many of THIS day.  And, perhaps that’s why I cried.  Because even though we’ve come so far, we still have so far to go.  Another 40 years?  I certainly hope not.

 

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