Now that I have children, I’m seeing a familiar face that takes me back to my childhood: Mr. Rogers.
He’s not on as frequently as he used to be, and he’s…just a little more creepy than I remember, but he still does the same thing upon entering his odd little domicile: takes off his jacket, dons a zippered sweater, and pops on a pair of canvas shoes.
Turns out that in real life, he was just as dedicated to a routine:
He weighs 143 pounds…. And so, every day, Mister Rogers refuses to do anything that would make his weight change—he neither drinks, nor smokes, nor eats flesh of any kind, nor goes to bed late at night, nor sleeps late in the morning, nor even watches television—and every morning, when he swims, he steps on a scale in his bathing suit and his bathing cap and his goggles, and the scale tells him he weighs 143 pounds. This has happened so many times that Mister Rogers has come to see that number as a gift, as a destiny fulfilled, because, as he says, ‘the number 143 means ‘I love you.’ It takes one letter to say ‘I’ and four letters to say ‘love’ and three letters to say ‘you.’ One hundred and forty-three. ‘I love you.’ Isn’t that wonderful?”