Under The Big Top and in the mom-car the last few days an old song was heard which prompted a few questions from my darling son who could not possibly understand the impact a 70’s sitcom with a upbeat, simple theme song could have
How could he?
But for his mama this show did leave it’s mark. Oh to have that perfect shoulder length flip, drive that mustang and have that apartment — of course there would be a giant L on the wall. When that show first aired in 1970, and through the next seven years, it opened the eyes and sparked the imaginations of many young girls and women probably more than the actual leaders of the Women’s Liberation Movement whom we might have seen on the CBS Evening News with good old Walter Cronkite.
Never mind, son.
Here was a beautiful, single woman who was a career girl and not a career girl in the acceptable career girl type of jobs. She drove a cool car, lived in an even cooler apartment, always fashionably dressed and, while she certainly had her fair share of love and infatuations, she didn’t seem to need a man in her life to take care of her. At least that was how I saw it then and recall it now.
Daniel still doesn’t see the point.
He couldn’t. He’s a boy. He’s a boy born in this century where it is a given that women in his life do have choices — not just that choice — girls and young women now can imagine being almost anything when they grow up…wives…mommies…teachers…nurses…artists…business owners…scientists…politicians…almost anything with hard work, education and opportunity. When I was a girl, the sky was so much more limited. As a young girl, what could be more aspirational than your own sofa bed and bubble bath, with girlfriends popping in and out, boasting hilarious problems and even funnier bell-bottoms? When I was a young girl, going to college and getting a good job was expected, but it was a means to an end — to fall in love, to marry, to have babies, to take care of the babies and the home. The Mary Tyler Moore Show showed that there was more out there. Yes, I grew up and followed a traditional female career path, I did marry and did have a few babies too. But I continued to work in my chosen field. I raised my daughters to know that wherever their talents, education, hard work and a little luck takes them it is possible for them to make it, after all.
Maybe one of them can also master the iconic beret toss. I never could.