18 Mar 13

Ginger or Mary Ann?

Last night I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day properly — with good food, good drink, and most importantly, good company. The conversation drifted to the American education of my British spouse. He’s never seen Gilligan’s Island or Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, so we had to ruminate for quite a while on why these shows are so important to so many Americans. If you’re American and you don’t know the lyrics to the theme songs of these two TV shows, most people would find you very odd indeed. I proved this by rattling off the first half of lines from “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Island,” which the others were able to complete without hesitation.

Another question all Americans eventually consider is Gilligan and Ginger or Gilligan and Mary Ann. While I was explaining that this issue is a cause for heated debate at many a bar table, my neighbor Stan said he always settles it by saying “Ginger and Mary Ann.” Well played, sir. Well played.

If my husband is going to live here, he eventually needs to see some of these shows. So help me, dear readers. What were the best episodes of Gilligan’s Island? What were your favorite things about Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood? The American Education of my British Spouse has begun.