In the last month I’ve written two blog posts that seem to have come together this week. The first was a post about the death of celebrities and how it might impact on you; the second was about choosing one point of time in your own life that you could imagine living in forever. In the latter post I talked about how I’d felt like Mary Tyler Moore when I went to live in Manchester in the 1970s. What I didn’t realise as I published that post was that she had just died.
Listening to a tribute to her on the radio I realised that maybe my memory had been a bit flawed – maybe I had not realised that I wanted to be more like her than I realised. I had forgotten a lot about her show but her character was in fact a single professional woman living alone. Writers have said that it is impossible to overstate her influence on television dramas and sitcoms as she was the first lead female character to be recovering from a broken engagement as well as being a career woman. As one writer says “without Mary Richards [her screen name] there is no Rachel Green… no Carrie Bradshaw… no Hannah Horvath.” Here was someone who was “going to make it after all” as the theme song called at the start of each show.
Maybe Mary Tyler Moore was more influential than I had realised – not only was I swinging around the streets of Manchester metaphorically throwing my hat in the air, but perhaps I was also following her example by leaving behind my first love, my family and my comfort zone to go off to train as an accountant. So thanks, Mary – good job! I might not be where I am today without your example.