I have been teased relentlessly for using “Murder She Wrote” reruns on TV in the background as white noise when doing household tasks. Angela Lansbury, already an Oscar and Tony award winning and Broadway performer as well as the famed voice of Mrs. Potts in Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast, and much more, took on the banal TV role of Jessica Fletcher, a murder novel writer. I used to watch the show back in the day. 8pm, Sunday Night, Kyrin and I would take turns ironing clothes and doing laundry and try to figure out “who done it!” It was a fun ritual. But the other day, after once again being teased about it, I asked myself why DID I feel pulled back to these dated, cheesy, predictable, ridiculously trite reruns? So I stopped and actually watched one episode. It quickly occurred to me that Jessica Fletcher had been an important role model.
Jessica Fletcher: An adult woman, single, (had been well married and a military wife) independent, did charity work, had friends of both genders (there were only two back then) traveled extensively, wrote books, laughed, spoke articulately, was often listened to and respected for her opinions and observations, was able to connect dots that others never saw or accounted for, solved problems, got in trouble and got out of trouble, understood the psychology of people, gardened, baked apparently delicious cookies, shopped for antiques, advised young people, mentored writers, taught at university, attended social events, kept a nice and tidy house, fished, was a community voice in her local politics, stood up for injustice, showed compassion, when challenged did not lose her cool but rather eloquently spoke her truth even in the face of disagreements, wasn’t afraid of power (hers or others) was often correct and when not she graciously admitted it, dressed well (for the time) rode a bike, jogged, and at the end of every episode, murder, or mayhem she encountered seemed to be refreshed, in good spirits, usually had a smile or laugh, and ready to face the next day.
Wow! In the 1980’s this was no small inspiring vision when I was a single mom with no education struggling just to keep food in the pantry!
Who have your role models been? Who are they now? Have they inspired you to be your most awesome self? What have they taught you?