Richie’s old girlfriend from three years ago – Arlene Nestrock – returns from New York. Richie recalls the only reason she agreed to go out with him back then was he had a television set.
Three years on and now Arlene is after something else from Richie – his ring. In 1950’s language that means ‘going steady’. However Richie believes ‘going steady‘ is ‘like being married but without all the fringe benefits’.
Richie can’t bring himself to break up with Arlene. He consults Fonzie for advice, mentioning he will be attending dinner the next night at Arlene’s house to meet her parents. Richie is advised to put on his best Fonzie impersonation.
At the dinner, Richie wears a leather jacket, slouches like a pro and talks about his dreams of owning a motorbike and taking Arlene cross-country. He sprinkles his speech with plenty of ‘Aaay’s‘ and masters the detached ‘vacant stare’.
Richie thinks the plan has worked when Arlene tells him the next day her father has instructed her never to have anything to do with him again. Things backfire however when Arlene’s attachment to Richie grows even stronger, Romeo and Juliet style.
Richie chooses a movie theatre to announce to Arlene he wants to break up. Arlene takes it hard, retreating to the women’s bathroom, where Richie follows her. Inside, she calls Richie “an insincere creep, like all boys” and returns his ring.
Richie returns home and confesses to Howard and Marion he thinks he has really hurt this girl. Howard consoles Richie, saying “Every break-up seems like the end of the world but you always manage to get over it.”
Things conclude with Marion saying – “I remember going with a fella once. For months, I tried to break up with him. He pleaded with me. He said he couldn’t live without me. No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake him”.
Riche: “What finally happened?”
Marion: “I married him. You learn to love a person who hangs in there.”
This episode took it’s name from a 1958 hit song sung by Connie Francis (now aged 84).
Connie Francis is widely recognized as the “First Lady of Rock & Roll,”. She is estimated to have sold more than 100 million records. She was also the first woman in history to reach No. 1 on the BILLBOARD HOT 100 chart.
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