Over at Asylum, the lads have a great "Where Are They Now" piece on 80s crushes. While the post is extensive in scope and detail (yes, it is crazy that Phoebe Cates is married to Kevin Kline, it was assumed that he was gay), there is one name and one name alone that I was looking for: Winnie Cooper AKA Danica McKellar.
First and foremost,
Winnie Cooper Danica McKellar loves mathematics. Since The Wonder Years went off the air, Danica McKellar has not had the easiest transition from kid star to grownfolk actress. It's tough, not everyone gets to be Drew Barrymore. But she did have a fallback plan: Mathematics. She coauthored a theorem (the Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem) and solo authored books aimed to make math seem cool (though hopefully not sexy) for tween girls*. And according to StarPulse, she married some Kevin Arnold named Mike Verta this past Sunday (March 22) in La Jolla, California.
End of an era? Perhaps, but I've never had much interest in Danica McKellar. I'm not terribly interested in Winnie Cooper for that matter. I'm interested in the idea of Winnie Cooper.
Winnie Cooper is a lot of things to a lot of people. She's the hot girl next door. She's the first kiss and first love. She's the one who got away. She's feminine capriciousness. She's a boon companion. She's the idealized woman. And to a few diehard romantics who choose to totally dismiss the series finale's epilogue, she's the idea that there may just be such thing as a soul mate.
Unless he's led an incredibly strange and mind-boggling not-American life, every dude has a Winnie Cooper, given some meaning of the term. If you're dating said guy, find which lens he sees Winnie Cooper through and adjust accordingly. For instance, if he thinks she's the prototype of female whimsy, you ought to prove how accountable you are. If he thinks it's possible for a guy and a gal to be platonic, bosom buddies, befriend the Paul Pfeiffer out of that gal and use her knowledge for your benefit.
Whatever the case, feel free to disregard the Wayne Arnold out of everything he says if a guy refers to you as "his Winnie Cooper" in a pickup line. That guy has issues and may be Brian Benben from Dream On. And if he calls you his "Mini Cooper," he may have just had a stroke (not of genius).
*Note: Making math cool is a tall order, I have an engineering degree and even I think math is only OK.