Saturday, February 2, 2008

Here's the story, of a lovely lady

I was just under 5 years old when The Brady Bunch first aired. I probably don't remember life before the Brady Bunch. Friday nights were my favorite because we got to have popcorn and soda pop together as a family (I had 4 brothers) while watching The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family. I remember picking out which soda can I wanted that week when we bought groceries and then we'd save it for the popcorn night. (I usually chose Safeway's Sparkling Punch, if you're curious -- it was in a berry red can).

All of the characters were older than I was -- even Cindy and Bobby. That made them all even cooler than cool in my eyes. I never thought I needed to have blonde hair like Marcia, Jan, and Cindy, but I did want to have slumber parties like Marcia did, go to the pizza parlor, meet Davy Jones, and all that. I even asked my mom in her stressed out moments, "Why can't you talk to us in a calm voice like Mrs. Brady?"

When re-runs came out years later in high school, I watched them all. Even as a Senior in college, I found out that The Brady Bunch came on at 4:00 day and came back from classes just in time to watch it (while eating a flour tortilla pizza) every day.

Later on when I got married, I read in the paper (pre-internet days) that Greg Brady (I know he has a real name, but just in case you're not familiar with it) had written a book called, "Growing Up Brady." I went to the book store on the day it was released and bought it. It was so exciting to read all the behind the scenes stories and to have every episode chronicled. He mentioned that he had videos of every episode. I thought he was so lucky. You couldn't buy them in stores back then. (And yes, I do have them all on dvd now).

One day when my oldest daughter was a baby (in 1990), I'd watched the episode on TV of when the Brady's did the Snow White and the 7 Dwarves play. Near the end, Mike had to leave the set and run to the store with Sam to get an apple. Of all things, they'd forgotten the poisoned apple!
Later that day, I went to the grocery store there in Pasadena. As I was heading to the check-out stand, I saw Mike Brady (grey hair and much older, of course, but it was definitely HIM) going down another aisle. I couldn't believe my eyes! I tried to go slowly out to the car and was in no hurry to get my groceries put away. I saw him come out of the store and head to his car. So I drove past his car in the parking lot before I headed home and screamed with excitement as I did. My baby probably wondered what her mom was going crazy about (maybe she still wonders about that with my love for all things Brady), but it was fun. I screamed and I "woo hoo"d myself right out of that parking lot, thinking how amazing it was that I'd just seen him that morning run to the store in the show and then in real life, he was doing the same thing (but probably needed to get more than an apple, and not in tights!) For some reason, the thought didn't even occur to me to go up and talk to him. I didn't want to bother him or say dumb things like "I just saw you this morning!" -- so I kept all those thoughts to myself (and my baby).

Fast forward twelve years later and we were having our last baby, our 6th baby. I'd been hoping for another girl because I just loved having baby girls. Baby boys were fun too, but there's something priceless about dressing up a baby girl. And my first 2 were girls, then 2 boys, then a girl. So to keep the pattern going (Kindergarten math talk here), a girl would be in order. But the sonogram said it was a boy and from what I could tell, they were right. I decided that would be wonderful because my last girl was soooooooo all girl that I thought she should break the mold and be my baby girl forever. And this new little boy would make us a Brady family of 3 girls and 3 boys. We even made his middle name "Brady" kind of as a little treat to show him how fun it was for his mom to have her own Brady family.

So that's my story and I hope I'm a lovely lady. (My grandma always told me to act like a lady. I'm still working on that one :) ).

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