A few weeks ago, while reading my Facebook page, I saw a status by Marlo Thomas announcing an essay contest with the prize being two tickets to her Broadway play, Relatively Speaking. The essay had to be about a relative. I saw future announcements where Marlo said she was enjoying all the stories being sent in. I thought to myself, why not enter? I love Marlo Thomas, I haven’t been to a show in ages, I was planning to get tickets to Relatively Speaking…maybe I could win them?
In my “pet peeves” blog there were several stories about my mother. I could not think of a better relative to write an essay about anyway. When I realized I didn’t have to even start from scratch, but just copy and paste one of my stories on to the entry form the decision got a lot easier. But which story to choose? The Butterball Story, The Deportation Story, The Sore Loser Story, The Bookie Story….it got confusing. I picked the Butterball Story because it was close to Thanksgiving. Then I thought about it and at the last second I changed my mind. I entered the Sore Loser story instead. That one had gotten he most laughs from my readers.
A couple of weeks later, as I am reading the Facebook updates, I see one from Marlo Thomas announcing the winners of the essay contest. There, among the five of six names, was mine! I was excited and stunned at the same time. I didn’t expect to win, but now I was going to get to see Marlo Thomas on Broadway! In fact, I am going tonight!
I grew up watching a lot of television as a kid. What else was there to do? I always did my homework after school and watched television after dinner. Some shows made more of an impact than others. “That Girl” was one of those shows. For me, as an overly smothered teenager yearning to become an independent adult, I was inspired by “That Girl.” Ann Marie was determined to make it as an actress in a big city. She got her own apartment, went on auditions, had a boyfriend and stood up for herself. Unlike many shows today about single people in their 20‘s, and maybe because of the times and the censors, there was never the hint of anything risqué or questionable in the storyline. I wouldn’t say she was “prim and proper,” but her character was moral and decent and someone I could relate to. She was also very beautiful and lovable. I never missed a show.
After over 40 years of seeing Marlo Thomas for the first time on television, I am going to see her live in her Broadway show. I am sure I will be a little star struck. Marlo was a role model for young girls all those years ago. She was looked up to and admired. She made a huge impression on me that has lasted decades. Seeing her tonight, will bring be back to my childhood for a few precious moments. So much has changed since then, some good, some bad. But, my admiration and respect for Marlo Thomas and the person she is, has only grown over the years.