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I am so sad that we lost Mary Tyler Moore. She is iconic in so many ways: career woman, single woman, independent woman. We’ve seen that all covered on TV with her death a few days ago. Woman’s role model supreme – of that there is no doubt at all. Every word is true. She was all of that, every single statement.

So, I got to feeling jealous. Where’s the guy’s iconic TV dude? Who do I get to emulate? As I reviewed the possibilities, there are many I reject.

All those goofballs dads don’t fit. Ed on MARRIED WITH CHILDREN, any doofus fat guy with a pretty wife, Fred Sanford – all of whom added together give us Fred Flintstone. No thanks.

And I can’t quite relate to guys who are TV cops, doctors and lawyers. They are all a different breed of cat than I am. It is seldom that such shows got into family life, so I mostly walk away from these men as role models. (EXCEPTION: Tom Selleck in BLUE BLOODS might work out, but this is late in his career. Mary Tyler Moore did it twice in two different series, and no, I certainly don’t relate to Tom’s MAGNUM PI.)

So, do I go back to the fathers of the 1950s? FATHER KNOWS BEST and Jim Anderson? Ward Cleaver on LEAVE IT TO BEAVER? Too many differences between then and now, no matter how you slice it, dice it, or dress it up in a suit on a Saturday morning.

Maybe Ben Cartwright from BONANZA and guys like that. Father figure. Working man. Respected in his community. Could be, but again, the time period isn’t quite right. I don’t ride my horse into downtown Brainerd very often.

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And then it hit me. There is no reason at all that the life of Mary Richards and Laura Petrie can’t apply to me. With Mary Richards, I get an example of someone who pursues a career, is very capable, and knows how to get the job done, how to enjoy success, and how to speak up when things aren’t quite what they should be.

With Laura Petrie, I get someone who is a wonderful spouse, committed to a partner, shares home duties, makes mistakes, gets caught at it, and is forgiven . . . and forgives when the other spouse dorks it up too much.

So, ladies, I hope you will pardon me if I see some value in following the ways of Mary Tyler Moore; both her TV characters and her life.

Whether real or fictional, I hope we get more Marys over time … and more guys into that kind of ilk, too.

 

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