The Third Third

Congrats, Diane Sawyer!

Congratulations to Diane Sawyer! And a huge Thank You to Katie Couric for paving the way for her. Maybe Diane won\'t have to suffer the indignity of the Hairstyle and/or Gravitas critiques as the *second* woman to host a prime time network news show. And good for all women over 60 who have paid their dues and earned their stripes. Indeed, Hooray for (From Weather Girl to Prime Time Anchor) Diane!! I am surprised by one thing, though -- which is my totally un-ambivalent enthusiasm for this news. She probably doesn\'t realize this, but, you see, Diane and I go Way Back. The weekend I returned home from visiting Wellesley College, hoping I might get admitted there the next year from my obscure small town high school, Diane was on TV singing her way through what I think I remember was a Junior Miss America pageant. There she was -- gorgeous, talented, and, when asked, she told the audience she was a student at Wellesley College. There I was -- a pimple-faced 16 year-old with rollers in her hair, very little talent and zero stage presence, pathetically watching TV on a Saturday night in Ohio. I sobbed, alarming my parents, who wondered what was wrong. \"They\'ll never take me!\" I cried, referring to Wellesley. Against all odds, however, \"they\" did. And there was Diane, two years ahead of me, still beautiful and brilliant and talented. My roommate was in an a capella singing group with her, but that\'s as close as we got. I was sufficiently intimidated by my *own* classmates; I was not up to meeting upperclassmen. Then I went on to Journalism School, graduated and became a local TV reporter in Columbus, Ohio, and she went on to . . . I had no idea. Until -- she showed up on the network news after what we journalists at the time considered the kiss of death -- a stint in the Nixon White House. I was home, married, and with kids by then, and I was envious and jealous; how did she pull that off? Her promotions -- and my kids -- just kept coming. And every time, I confess -- every, single time -- I felt a tinge of regret: what if *I* had pursued my career in television journalism full-throttle? Could I have gone where she has? Would I be hosting GMA and making millions? We\'ll never know. And now, finally, I realize it doesn\'t really matter. Diane Sawyer is, in many ways, my road not taken; and I, in some ways, am hers. But it\'s not a zero-sum game. It\'s not She Wins - I Lose. It is, more, The Choices We Make And How They All Work Out. And I am, finally, happy for us both. I want to chalk this up to maturity -- without sounding old. But I\'m also inspired. Here\'s Diane launching a grand, new professional adventure at age 63; I can, too! I just won\'t be in front of the camera and the critics; and that\'s a good thing.
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