Sunday, March 3, 2013

one day at a time

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Valerie Bertinelli used to be my best friend. I'd sit on the couch once a week with my feathered hair and my divorced mom and my sister and watch Valerie with her feathered hair and her divorced mom and her sister as they struggled like us through the Brave New World of divorce in the 70s. We laughed. We cried. They were so much like us and somehow it seemed we were learning from each other. Like, I didn't know what a "super" was before watching the show, but eventually we got our own young, cheeky Schneider-like guy hanging around, "fixing things," too, eyeing my mom's Ann Romano swingy haircut, as Valerie, er, Barbara, and I looked on. Then, while the rest of the teenaged world was in love with David Lee Roth, I watched in awe when Valerie pushed him aside to marry our favorite guy in the band, the always smiling Eddie Van Halen. Right then, I just knew we were soul mates. As the older sister, I knew I was supposed to be like the Phillips girl, leaving little Amy to run free in her mind with perfect Valerie, but Julie was always in trouble, both on and off the show, even recently acknowledging an "affair" with her dad. I actually wondered when that story broke what Bonnie Franklin thought about, knowing deep down that if she was the real Mama, she and Schneider would have protected Julie somehow and put Papa in his place, jail. I thought of the old gang again, in a it-takes-a-village sort of way, after learning Bonnie Franklin died, and that, in some way, one day at a time, she helped three people on the other side of the screen turn out ok.

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