Archie waffles for 7 decades but finally does the right thing: makes a decision.
Since time immemorial (like the 1940s) guys have argued about the superiority of certain female archetypes; namely: are you a Betty man or a Veronica man.
The question goes much deeper than blonde vs. brunette, rich girl vs. girl-next-door or even steadfast vs. capricious. The tale of the tape breaks down thusly: in this corner Elizabeth "Betty" Cooper: kind-hearted, bubbly, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, athletic girl who excels at anything that remotely involves home economics; and in the other corner Veronica Lodge, the raven-haired daughter of Senator Lodge is vain, busty, attention-starved and spectacularly wealthy. In addition to constantly vying for the affection of one Archibald "Archie" Andrews, the two young ladies are BFFs.
The "Betty And Veronica Syndrome" has been explored from almost every angle possible, complementary friends competing for the affection of one lucky person (think Jack and Sawyer scrapping for Kate's affection, "Two Princes" from the Spin Doctors and more or less every episode of Gilmore Girls and Smallville). Though the players change, the crux is always the same: one person is paralyzed by indecision regarding his/ her ultimate choice for a mate.
The decision becomes mired even more deeply in the muck when you take into account that you're not really comparing differences but similarities. It's no coincidence that except for hair color, Betty and Veronica are almost identical. They are both highly outgoing, personable and, despite having predilections that would sometimes suggest otherwise, incredibly competent (both have been known to fix Archie's hoopty from time to time).
The chooser, for his part, is presented with a fake Sophie's Choice. His (or her) ego won't let him see anything but the bleakest future for the option not taken. But, in fact, his dithering actually does more damage to all three parties. Alas, unless they choose to relocate the gang from Riverdale to Juniper Creek, Utah, choose he must. The unlucky gal will probably have a fine time dating and ultimately popping out some rugrats (different cartoon) with Jughead, Reggie or some heretofore unknown suitor.
Young Archie Andrews has struggled with this decision for the better part of seven decades. Per the New York Times (by our awesome contributor Dave Itzkoff), Archie finally decided that Veronica was the one and actually proposed to the brunette temptress (note: the engagement issue is the first of six in the story arc and sometimes comic books do goofy things like resurrect Superman or wind up where they started by some series of coincidences; whatever the case, some hi-larious hi-jinks will likely be on tap).
While Betty or Veronica is a matter of taste (as is Mary Ann vs. Ginger and AC Slater vs. Zach Morris), the important thing is that finally this guy has decided to decide and it doesn't take Malcolm Gladwell to tell you that almost 70 years of waffling didn't help him make a better choice. Though I've never been a fan of Archie and the Gang, I think my ginge-tinged homeboy made the right decision, if push came to shove, Veronica could become bland and bleach her hair blonde, Betty would have to win the lottery and gain a personality, much taller odds.
Do you think Archie made the right choice?
Image: Archie Comics