Farewell to Rhoda Morgenstern

My brother forwarded me an article from the Los Angeles Times this morning written by one of my favorite television critics: Mary McNamara.

The article was a tribute to the late actress Valerie Harper, but it was really a love letter to the iconic character that she played on television: Rhoda Morgenstern. If you are too young to remember the Mary Tyler Moore show, it is worth finding on Hulu and then coming back to read this tribute.

I had forgotten that Rhoda Morgenstern was probably my favorite character growing up.

She was what I loved best about the Mary Tyler Moore show.

She made me fall in love with New Yorkers before I ever even went to New York for the first time.

She was probably why my first friend in high school was the "new girl from New York."

She was probably why I developed my self-deprecating humor.

She was probably the reason I tried wearing a head scarf to the Renaissance Fair in the 6th grade… which looked totally dorky by the way.

She was probably the reason I gave my daughter Morgan the nickname: Morganstern.

I loved Rhoda…. and I love Mary McNamara for reminding me how much Rhoda unconsciously influenced my life. In fact, everyone I have ever met has asked me if I am from New York? Even New Yorkers.

The answer is no. I just sound like one.