Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pratt & McClain "The Theme to Happy Days"

Many, many years ago, probably around high school/college age, when I was being asked incessantly, "What are you going to study?" "What's your major?" "What are you going to do for work?" I started to retrofit an answer.

I didn't think so much about what job I wanted to have, as much as I began thinking about how a job would integrate into an already existing vision of myself. What kind of job would fit that?

What kind of job would provide some structure, but some creativity? More importantly, in what job could talk like I talk, and dress like I dress?

Yeah, being a t-shirt and jeans guy, the dressing thing was really important to me. I just wasn't going to do a job where I had to put on a tie every day. In a suit, I looked so unlike myself, I might as well put on a pirate costume.

PJ in Suit = Halloween (and is as scary).

I can't tell you for sure that this aversion to natty attire is genetic. But I would bet that there are a few high school friends who can attest to the fact that my Dad, a high school math teacher, wasn't pulling off the plaid pants and v-neck sweater, as well as he thought he might be.

For sure, the refusal to dress up was present in childhood. Mom, I'm sure, remembers more than a couple of epic battles to get me dressed for the holidays.

And if you need proof, please enjoy this photo, recently unearthed during a fruitful trip into the depths of my garage.

The picture is from my sister Amy's Christening at St. Louis' Catholic Church in Newburyport.

My Mom had picked out a little jacket and clip-on tie that she'd tried to forcibly put on me a couple of times. I think it was probably when I whipped the jacket into the hallway, she just shouted, "Fine!!! Wear whatever the Hell you want!!!"

In the picture, clockwise, is Uncle Joe (Godfather), rocking the mustache; my Mom, holding my baby sister; Father Brian; Aunt Joan (Godmother); my sister Julie, who gladly wore her cute white sweater and pink shirt with ribbons in her hair; and me.

I was 8. There was no one cooler than The Fonz. And HE certainly didn't wear a clip-on tie. No, he wore t-shirts. If I was ever going to be as cool as The Fonz, I'd better start dressing like him, was my logic.

Thank you to the good folks at Polaroid for making it possible for this moment to preserved throughout time.

Happy Days, indeed.

If you had the theme song on 45, well, you still probably don't remember the B side, "Cruisin' With The Fonz."

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