R.I.P. Ann Romano

one day at a timeIf there is one TV show which resembles my family, it would definitely be “One Day at a Time”. The story of a divorced mom raising two daughters hit close to home. I grew up with my Mom, and sister. Like Ann Romano, our Mom could be dramatic and overprotective. However, we shared a unique closeness, one which those on the outside wanted to be a part of. In regards to “One Day at a Time”, it became a long-running top 10 show. It was groundbreaking in its realistic portrayal of the challenges a single parent faces, as well as the feelings the children have living with just their Mother.

The storylines were easy to relate to. Julie ran away from home with her boyfriend, while Barbara dropped out of college. Both would later marry, and Julie would make Ann a grandmother. Ann went through various jobs and boyfriends, while always being adament about holding on to her independence and newfound identity. Ann, portrayed by Bonnie Franklin, was a small, cute strawberry blonde who proudly displayed her petite figure in turtlenecks and jeans. Julie was the tall, rebellious, older daughter. How I wanted to wear her Dorothy Hamill wedge, then her shag, but getting haircuts was a no-no with Mom. While Mackenzie Phillips played Julie Cooper, Valerie Bertinelli was Barbara, the one with the long, gorgeous hair and button nose. She was the “good” daughter, the one who waited to have sex, and seemed to disappoint Ann the least.

In our family, I was more like Barbara. I often bent over backwards to please Mom, although I did fail. My sister was somewhat like Julie, but there was some of Barbara in her, too. Julie was the daughter who wanted to make her own decisions and mistakes, which she and Ann fought about passionately. My sister has always been the same way. She embraced adulthood with an ease and tenacity I never did. While she ran towards it, I ran from it. It was hard for Mom to see her living her life without her input, and they did quarrel about it. Meanwhile, she and I fought about my lack of direction and hard headedness. How is she like Barbara? When Julie ran away in season two, it was Barbara who had to comfort Ann, and help her through it. My little sister has that maternal nature, and used it with Mom.

When we found out about Bonnie Franklin’s passing, we became inundated with memories of both the show, and our own lives. Her accurate, brilliant portrayal of Ann Romano changed the television landscape, and gave us an extra place to call home. Both will continue to live on.


~ by kmnnz on March 6, 2013.

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