Wanted: Mary Tyler Moore!

It wasn’t until Sassafras pointed it out to me that I had to acknowledge my quasi-obsession with Mary Tyler Moore. I tend to drop everything when I catch a “Mary,” like a few weeks ago when I saw “Ordinary People.” Remember how she was such a cold bitch? She wholly deserved to get thrown out of the house by Donald Sutherland. I also loved her in “Just Between Friends,” when Ted Danson cheated on her with Christine Lahti, who went on to have a baby after he died while Mary skulked around the hospital nursery wearing leg warmers. But mostly I loved her in the “Mary Tyler Moore Show,” which I watched faithfully every Saturday night when I was growing up.

It is a testament to “Mare” and the whole show, really, that it wasn’t until I was much older that I realized one of the most important features of the program was that Mary was happily single – and not at all focused on getting married (unlike every show currently on the WE network).  But what I really remembered most fondly about the show was Mary’s clothes. They were fantastic! She liked to wear monotone sweaters and pants in white, gray or black. The form-fitting sweaters always had a skinny zipper up the back – they just don’t make those anymore!  (and let me also add that it was clear she wore excellent foundation garments. Now I am really paying attention to that kind of stuff.) Sometimes she had a jaunty scarf tied too tightly around her neck, but other than that, her outfits were ones I’d wear to work tomorrow. She also wore beautiful knits, often with a matching scarf in the same rich material (there was one coffee and black number I still think about). Gorgeous!

Everyone ages, though. As I was putting finishing touches on this post last night, I stopped to check out my DVR-ed episode of “Hot in Cleveland.” There was Mary in a cameo role with her former co-star, Betty White – not that I was sure right off the bat that it was my Mary. She looked sort of stretched out and her voice was unusually deep and had a very weird, crackly cadence. After my decades of devoted Mary-worship, she was suddenly interchangeable with Jill St. John, Stephanie Powers or any other `70s TV brunette. Honestly, it was chilling. Even Betty White looked a little scared. And she’s 89, for God’s sake!

Oh, Mary! No matter what you look like now, you really did turn the world on with your smile. Now it’s a sort of creepy smile, but you’re still my girl.

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