I love The Brady Bunch. I always have. Something about that family was always so cool to me. I don’t know if it was the bitchin clothes, or the fact that their family vacations were to the same places my family went (although when my family went to the Grand Canyon it ended in tragedy. And when my family went to Hawaii Vincent Price wasn’t waiting for us in a cave) but I loved them. I, like many other little girls wanted to be Marcia Brady. But unlike other little girls, I kind of also wanted to be Greg, Bobby and Cindy. Not to mention bouts of wanting to have the quick wit of Alice or Mrs. Brady’s amazing hair.
When I was about 12 years old my fascination with the Brady clan turned into what I now call my “Brady Theory”. It dawned on me, even as a prepubescent teen, that there was much more to the Brady Bunch than mere comedy and awesome singing. It seemed that the Brady’s represented a spectrum of human emotions – mood if you will. So, as a 12 year old girl, I sat down and wrote: The Brady Theory. I wish I had kept it, but it is lost forever. So, because of a half drunken conversation in a bar last night with my pals – I will attempt to recreate for you all – The Brady Theory.
The Theory is simple. It states: For every mood that you have, there is a corresponding Brady that represents it. Simple? Maybe. The following will (hopefully) illustrate the many facets and complexities of The Brady’s and of the Brady Theory. I will go from top left and move across as the picture dictates.
Marcia Brady: Ahh Marcia Brady. Girls envy her, and boys want to date her. I named my first car after her because it was just so cool. When you are having a “Marcia” kind of a day, or you are in a “Marcia” mood, you are feeling confident and all around awesome. Your hair looks fantastic and you feel and smell good. You basically feel like the Prom Queen. I get a “Marcia” feeling when I sing Karaoke and kill a song. Nothing can stop me! And why should it? I am freaking Marcia Brady. I AM amazing. But be careful. There is a dark side to the Marcia. You can become spiteful and mean at times and forget about the little people in your life – like your sister Jan. (“If boys don’t like you Jan, don’t blame me…”) You can get that new job and sabotage it by giving away to much free ice cream. So, be careful of over confidence.
Carol Brady: This is one can do lady with some can do hair. I love Carol Brady. Not only does she not let a silly thing like divorce get her down, but she takes on the world with three little girls! Carol is the problem solver. You need answers to life’s little (and not so little) questions – you want to ask Carol Brady. Carol doesn’t let the world get her down, and judging from the pants suits she wore, she doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her either. For me, having a “Carol” day is when I am faced with a huge challenge and I rise to the occasion. Like when Mrs. Brady was supposed to sing on Christmas morning… but lost her voice. Did that stop her? HECK NO! She freakin sang! Carol has faith in herself, and in others. She always let her kids make their own decisions rather than tell them what to do. Carol Brady loves you.
Greg Brady: Or should I say Johnny Bravo!? Was there ever a cooler alter ego than Greg’s Johnny Bravo? I think not. And that’s just how Greg Brady was. Greg was never satisfied with the status quo. He knew he could do anything, and do it better… even than himself. Greg always reached higher. A “Greg” mood is a difficult thing to explain because of the many layers of Greg Brady. He’s the perfect over achiever, but at the same time there is a bit of rebellion in him. For me, I feel most like Greg when I am getting ready to go out and feeling unstoppable. I feel like an another person – or a SUPER ME – if you will. I feel like the world is out there just waiting for me to grab it by the balls and say, “Hey world! Watch out. I’ma commer.”
Peter Brady: If you ask anyone who their favorite Brady is, I bet none of them say Peter. And that’s basically how it is to feel like a Peter. Sure, Jan gets all of the attention for being the middle child, but attention is attention. Try being Peter. You get NO attention. The REAL middle child is poor Peter. He tried and tried to make his way in that wacky bunch, but he was not as cute or talented as his siblings. His one moment of true glory and notoriety came when he had to go through puberty PUBLICLY, and sing about it in a song with his family. How fucking embarrassing. The one time anyone really takes notice of Pete Brady is when his voice is changing. Awesome. My “Peter Brady” days come when I do stupid things like argue a point til I am red in the face, only to find out I am wrong. Or when I trip down the stairs in front of a large group of people who laugh. Sure, Greg would know how to handle that, but not Peter. But, Peter is also a prankster with a heart of gold and a good sense of humor. Cause, hell – ya gotta give the kid something.
Alice (Nelson): Quite arguably my favorite character on the show. Alice had moxie. She had sass. And, most days I have a little bit of Alice workin’ in me. Alice was helpful and kind and never really let anything get her upset. Except for Sam. Alice had some real insecurities when it came to men, and when it came to Sam in particular. But in true Alice fashion, she plugged ahead. And that’s Alice. When you are in an “Alice” mood you are basically a happy go lucky person. Little things like a bus being late, or the store not having something you wanted won’t bother you in the least. You will just go with the flow and have a smile on your face. The darker side of Alice is her obsession with her love life, or lack there of. She tends to over compensate with work, which can be very dangerous. So, if you are feeling like “Alice” just be careful not to stalk any butchers.
Jan Brady: Jan really gets a bad rap. People only remember her as the jealous younger sister of the glamorous Marcia. But Jan was more complex than that. There was a lot going on underneath that hair of gold. Jan wanted to be pretty, and popular and smart and, well, she wanted to have friends. But, she lived in the shadow of her big sister and that can be difficult. She tried wearing a wig and creating an imaginary boyfriend (the iconic George Glass) bit these little tricks just left her feeling worse than ever. But, it’s Marcia’s little bracelet that knocks down the house of cards! Jan just tried to be something she was not. And that something was cool. Jan never really embraced her differentness. If she had, she might have been even more popular than her big sis. Feeling Jan is no fun, and its a hard slump to pull out of. Seek help if you feel like Jan.
Cindy Brady: Those curls! That lisp! How could you not adore the littlest Brady? Cindy had cuteness all wrapped up and delivered. For Christmas, all she wanted Santa to bring was her mommy’s voice back. She learned the hard way that it was wrong to tattle on your friends. Cindy is the embodiment of childhood. I have a lot of “Cindy” days. I play on the swings ad laugh till I cry. I have a stuffed animal that I take with me and sleep with. (Ala Kitty Carry-all) “Cindy” days are easy to identify. When you feel like you are full of joy, just like a little kid – you are having a Cindy day. I hope that you have as many as I do because they are awesome.
Mike Brady: The head of the Brady household, and the sole bread winner of the family is Mike Brady. That is a lot of responsibility for one dude. Six kids, a wife, a house keeper and a dog. How does he do it all and remain so cool, calm and collected? I don’t know, but he does. He always had a pocket full of wisdom like, “Exact words are hard to live by…” I don’t know what that means, but its enough to get any kid to sit there and think about it. The thing to take away from Mr. Brady is tone. It’s all in the tone. You can say ANYTHING and if you have the right tone people will think you know what you are talking about. I have most of my Mr. Brady days and moments during job interviews or other times I have to BS a lot. He is a serious mentor to those who have to talk their way into or out of something. I also use him as a role model for cocktail parties – for both style and format.
Bobby Brady: Bobby Brady is the precocious little brat of the Brady family. He gets into lots of trouble. He gets picked to be the safety monitor at school and becomes very unpopular due to his Nazi like reign of terror. He sells big brother Greg a bottle of hair tonic that turns his hair orange… right at graduation! Oh Bobby… But, he is also the day dreamer. He wishes to be like the famous outlaw Jesse James and dreams about being a gambling pool shark. I have most of my “Bobby” moments when I am sitting at work wishing I was elsewhere. Also moments when I dream about being “discovered” at a karaoke bar and someone gives me a record deal. Very Bobby Brady. Bobby is a good guy, but he’s not going anywhere. Not really. Sorry Bobby.
So, that’s about it. I hope this little tutorial gave you something to think about. Or at least amused you for the time it took to read it.
Pork chops and applesauce.