Life Stories – I ❤️ MTM

When I graduated from college in 1970, it was the first time I could really watch television. We got our first TV in the late 1950s but at that time there was very little on it for an almost-teenager. There was Howdy Doody and the Musketeers for younger kids, but those really didn’t appeal to me. Dad certainly enjoyed his westerns, and we seldom missed an episode of Bonanza or Gunsmoke. I remember a little about the Ed Sullivan show, particularly when he had the Beatles on for the first time. I was an avid reader in those days so the Hardy Boys and Steinbeck and Jack London took up most of my leisure time. Television just wasn’t interesting.

When I went to college in 1965, there was literally NO time for TV. I worked forty-hours a week along with all the class and study time. That left enough time for about four hours sleep, but that was about it. I did sometimes get a quick glimpse into the TV room while I was doing my laundry in the next door. Rowan and Martin were quite the rage back then.

Finally, in the fall of 1970 I bought my first TV. Compared to today it was a clunker. The CBS trio of Newhart, Mary Tyler Moore and Mash consumed my Saturday nights. Back then there were no video recorders, so everything had to be watched live. But, that was ok as I just wasn’t a “dater” back them, or ever for that matter. Saturday nights were about TV, pizza, and my dog Sam. 🥸

Like high school and college years I never dated much as I just couldn’t figure out what women wanted. It would be years later that I found out my problems in this area and several others had a name. They were called Aspie traits.

Back on the topic of TV, I got almost everything I knew about the female of the species from watching MTM (Mary Tyler More) or maybe I should say Mary Richards. I have been a dreamer all my life, so it was not unexpected to be dreaming of marrying someone like her some day.

Naively speaking I was in love with Mary, at least in my dreamworld. She was about six years older than me, but that was alright. (Skipping quickly forward for a second, in 1986 I ended up getting married to someone who was seven years older.) Go figure…

Ok, fast-forward fifty years. I just got Hulu streaming and found that they have the complete series of MTM and of course, I had to revisit Mary. I am about halfway through the second season. From where I stand fifty years later I have come to realize that Mary was just not my type. 😉 She was a perky, popular, cheerleader type, and an absolute clothes hound. I don’t think a scene went by without her being in at least one never-before-worn outfit.

It ends up that I am really more of a “Rhoda” person than a “Mary” person. I guess I have matured quite a bit in my old age. But, I still enjoy watching MTM once in a while. It shows me how far life has come since those days. And, that is a good thing…

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