fonzie, chachi, or potsie

What is really “cool” to your family?

I’m pretty sure we all remember the show I’m talking about. It was a television sitcom that presented an idealized version of American life in late 1950s and early 1960s. Lots of it had to do with family, relationships, and identity. Everyone had their favorite character.

Mine was “The Fonz”…

the fonzFonzie usually exhibited a confident demeanor during times of challenge, stress, or annoyance. Fonzie was adored by all of the chicks and respected by his peers. He dressed like an outlaw and walked with a characteristic sangfroid (I looked it up too).  He really seemed to have his stuff together. Fonzie was so “cool” that he could actually make mechanical objects function with a single punch.

Aurther Fonzerelli was the easy pick if you were looking for a roll model as a boy. It was a pleasing picture of what you assume being a man was supposed to look like. He didn’t even have to respond in sentences. All he had to say was “AAAAAYYYYYY” and we got it!

Then there was Chachi…

chachiUnlike his cousin Fonzie, Chachi was searching for his place in the universe that seemed to revolve around his cousin Arthur. He starts off mimicking The Fonz and taking on similar characteristics. The look, the walk, the attitude.

There was always something, at least to me, that looked a bit unnatural about the way he tried to portray his version of “cool“. He seemed to be too obvious in his attempts. Chachi Arcola seemed to stumble when it came to acting out his desired role with conviction. It looked like, at times,  he was lying to himself.

 Now Potsie…


He was seen as not being very bright, somewhat gullible, socially clumsy, and in modern hindsight, very “square”. He was frequently called a nerd by friends and acquaintances. He could be considered handsome but his lack of confidence worked against him. He had some talent that could have propelled him into a different light if he would just simply apply himself a bit.

I have never known anyone that has claimed to want to be like Potsie Webber when they grew up. They don’t hate him, they just don’t respect him for some reason.

I will alert you that, in life, we should choose our role models wisely.

As you look deeper into The Fonz, you see that as he hides behind his thumbs, he slowly robs himself of his humanity. He starts to separate himself from the feelings and relationships that help us to grow in his journey. He separated himself from others so much that there were few that were left to fellowship with him because they felt inferior. He came to feel so desperate and alone that he started to perform ridiculous stunts tojump the shark replace the feeling of bravery the life provides all by itself. (nice shorts Fonz!)

As it turns out, Fonzie didn’t punch the jukebox to turn it on and off. He wasn’t so in-tune with the mechanics of it that, with a simple tap, he could alter its inner working. You see, Fonzie hit the jukebox because he was frustrated with having to follow the rules in getting the machine to work in accordance with the way it was designed.

(Think of a man trying to get a wife or a child to respond the way he wants without understanding what spins their record…)

I’m not sure how long that jukebox would continue to work, under those conditions, before it breaks? I’m not sure how long a wife would stay, in those conditions, before she leaves? I’m not sure how long a child would cope, in those conditions, before he rebelled?

Let’s jump to Potsie…

Potsie may never hurt a fly, but his lack of commitment to anything substantial continued to hurt his momentum. As a spouse it is important not to coast! Get involved and do your part as a husband and a father. ralphYou are a supposed to be aggressive. You are supposed to be attentive. So, stop fooling around with Ralph Malph and figure out your Family Life purpose. Some people say that you shouldn’t be concerned with what others think about you, but If you put it in the context of the opinion of your family, THAT IS A LIE!

Listen to what you are hearing from your family and do something about it!

Finally, Chachi…

Chachi had a little help in choosing the right path. Her name was Joanie! Joanie didn’t appreciate some of Chachi’s actions; however, Chachi was smart enough to realize it. Additionally, he was determined enough to do something about it. Even though Joanie would admit that there were a few Fonz-like qualities that got her engine running, she was looking for someone more “custom built” for her.

Too bad she couldn’t splice them all together. Imagine if she could just take parts from each of these characters in the attempt to make her “Mr. Right“. She could take Fonzie’s confidenceand hair care techniques, Potsie’s singing abilityand his perfect teeth, and Chachi’s understanding and fore-site into a woman’s heart…


Just find a guy that will listen to understand, instead of to respond. A guy that caresenough to consider alternatives. A guy that wanted to be moulded. A guy like Chachi!

who loves chachiNow that I am a bit further along in loves journey, I look back and realize that I was impacted more from Chachi than The Fonz. It has become apparent that it is more important for me to realize that I don’t have it all together and that I needed a partner that would inspire me to be a more balanced individual. Someone worth improving for. Someone that can award me the prize I am looking for as a symbol of my commitment.

That prize is LOVE! And, like Chachi, you can have it! It isn’t always the easy route, but you can be assured that Chachi had the right idea, ’cause after it was all said and done….



One Response to fonzie, chachi, or potsie

  1. Mom says:

    You continue to inspire me with your insights. I must have done something right in my life to be blessed with a son like you!!!!
    Way to go Chachi!

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