Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yep, I'm taking on a "Blogging 'A' to 'Z'" challenge. But the good news: Potsie's up first.

So about this “Blogging ‘A’ to ‘Z’” challenge, I thought I’d take it on in May for a couple of reasons:

1.  I don’t touch the blog nearly enough anymore, and
2. We have some pretty cool things going on, family-wise, in May.

So let’s get started (a little early, even).  This first “challenge” post has nothing to do with my family, but it may resonate with some of you other old people.

“A” is for Anson Williams.

Some of you might remember Anson as Warren “Potsie” Weber from “Happy Days,” a sitcom from the ‘70s that was set in the ‘50s.  Although the show was hugely popular at the time, I really don’t know why. It was really not that funny when I was a kid, and it hasn’t held up well at all.  But it was wholesome, and in the days of Watergate and Alice Cooper, people liked that.

In the midst of a show I was a little “meh” about overall, I loved Potsie.  He wasn’t the lead character (that would have been Richie Cunningham, played by the now-famous director Ron Howard, who is also the real-life dad of the red-haired vampire who was preying on Bella in many of the “Twilight” installments. But I digress.). He wasn’t the cool character; that would have been Henry Winkler’s bad-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold, Fonzie.

But Potsie was nerdy and nice, and in the later episodes, he became somewhat popular when he demonstrated a quite-adequate singing voice.  Potsie was the guy in the middle. I saw my preteen self as a girl in the middle.  It was a match made in angst-ridden heaven.

I wasn’t popular, but I wasn’t unpopular.  I was smart, and a lot of people respected that, but I also didn’t look like Olivia Newton-John, and at the time, I would have traded all the intelligence in the world for that.

So I somehow imagined I would meet all the Happy Days guys one day, and Potsie would like me.  (Yes, I was 11 and he was probably 25 in real life. I clearly wasn’t thinking things through.)  I dreamed that although Richie and Fonzie wouldn’t give me a second look, good-hearted Potsie would somehow see past my braces and frizzy hair and be smitten by my semi-eidetic memory. 

And to woo me, he could sing to me.  (He seemed to sing only boring Elvis songs, but I’d learn to live with it, and maybe teach him some cool Osmonds or Jackson Five music.)

Sadly, I never met Potsie, but I somehow landed a guy who’s a little closer to a Fonzie – a guy who did see past the frizzy hair, and even the glasses I still wear.  And although he’s a little irritated by the semi-eidetic memory, he makes me feel like one of the popular girls.

Hope all’s well with Anson Williams these days.  If I were to meet him, I’d thank him for giving a preteen girl hope that even though sixth-grade boys could be pretty mean, a few of them might just grow up to be OK.

Never been exposed to the dulcet tones of Potsie Weber, you say? Watch and listen.

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