It’s All About the Chase
Illustration by Norma Jean Zahner

When Jessica, my stepdaughter, was 14-ish she was an Archie comic fan.  At her age I was more of a Scrooge McDuck and Baby Huey enthusiast.  While Jess was studiously learning about relationships with the likes of Archie and Veronica, my adolescent years were spent fantasizing skiing down a slope of gold in McDuck’s vault while identifying with the pudgy bumpkin, Huey.  

Whoa.

I just realized McDuck and Huey were both ducks.  No wonder my boyfriends were quack-a-doodle-doos.  No, wait, there weren’t any boyfriends.  Now I remember.

Happily, something finally clicked because by 40 I was in my second marriage to Jess’s dad.  Yep, look at me, a relationship maven.  I finally had it all figured out.

Then one day Jess and I were having a casual conversation.  I made some comment about how well she handled herself with the opposite sex.  She said she learned a lot by reading Archie comics.  I was taken aback, thinking Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica were more like soap opera characters for kids.  I was way too sophisticated to waste time on tripe like that.  That’s why I read classy, intellectual literature like Beetle Bailey, Woody Woodpecker, and Little LuLu.

But I knew enough about Archie to ask Jess this, “Why do you think Archie can’t see what a cool girl Betty is?  He’s always tripping over himself for Veronica.”

Jess looked at me, surprised.  She was polite, but I could tell she secretly thought I was the most clueless adult that ever wobbled down the road to romance.  Her reply was, “Donna, it’s all about the chase.”

“OMG.  You’re right!,”  I said, as a neon A-HA flashed on my forehead.  “It is all about the chase.  Betty is catchable.  Veronica is a tease.  Why wasn’t I informed about this sooner?”

Everything I ever wanted to know about relationships I learned from my stepdaughter.  And she learned it from Archie.  If you’d like your own Archie refresher course, Archie’s 75th Anniversary edition is currently on the newsstand.  Check out Archibald “Chick” Andrews’ romantic review.  It’s an informative crash course in Love 101.