I remember being approximately seven-years-old when I first saw Mary Richards hang her large, gold “M” in her new apartment on the first episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (I was watching it on Nick-at-Nite, not, like, on it's original air date, duh: I'm super young!). Her apartment was a fabulous studio with shag carpet, an enclosed kitchen, a tiny balcony and what appeared to be the world’s largest walk-in closest (which also seemed to house her bathroom).
For many years I've thought about what kind of apartment I would have when I finally managed to afford to live on my own. I knew that there would definitely NOT be shag carpet (duh) and there would definitely be laundry and parking on the premises. And if I managed to finagle a balcony into the deal, so much the better.
Alas, things have changed since the 70’s.
I would like to show you the differences here.
Example one: Mary Richard’s first apartment:
|Good friend over to hang out whilst hostess does needlepoint|
Now, I make approximately the equivalent of what Mary was pulling down at the News Room as an associate producer at WJM over 40 years ago. Let’s forget for a second inflation and that her job was much more important and high-powered than mine. Not to mention the fact that she quickly became "best friends" with all of the people at the office (Ted, Lou, Murray, Gordy and even Sue Ann).
Let’s also forget, for a minute, that Mary lived beneath Rhoda Morgenstern, who was perhaps THE BEST NEIGHBOR OF ALL TIME. I mean, how sweet would it be to have the funniest, goofiest and realist gal pal of all time living right upstairs? (And we’ll just as tactfully forget the fact that Phyllis and Lars lived downstairs.)
But my life isn't like this at all! The more I look at apartments, the more convinced I am that it would be in my best interest to move to Minneapolis. In the 70’s. (My flux capacitor still isn't working...is anyone else's?)
And there’s an additional problem: I have a large, purple “L” that I’d like to hang in my new apartment (should I ever find the proper abode). But think about it: how do you hang an “L”? There’s nothing for it to hang from, so I guess I’m going to have to bore holes in the wall and have it rest on screws. (Tacky.)
Examples 2 through 4: here are some photos of the apartments I've found:
|You can't even get the photos upright? Really?|
So, alas, my life isn't like Mary Richard's life...at all. Sigh. And that makes me sad. I can't hang my "L," I don't have a wise-cracking sidekick upstairs, hell, I don't even have a balcony/shag carpet/a really important job. In addition, this whack-job of a potential landlord can't even post photos of his (or her) available apartment in an upright fashion (literally and figuratively).
I still love MTM and everything she stands for (powerful, single woman who doesn't need a man to make her feel worthwhile and who doesn't need a bedroom to make her apartment feel like home), but she kind of set the bar a little too high, didn't she?
Fuck you, Mary Tyler Moore. (Aw man, I can't drop the f-bomb on Mary Tyler Moore. It's been tormenting me all day.) Darn you, Mary Tyler Moore (shake fist at sky). That feels much better.
*"Love Is All Around" The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song by Paul Williams.