He’s the kind of kid that a girl’s mother would point out. “See him? Wait twenty years and he’ll knock the socks off any jock in the city! That’s the kind of guy who’s going to do well in whatever he chooses to do, and by golly—when he’s got a little gray in his hair, he will be so handsome that every woman at your twentieth high school reunion will wonder why they didn’t beg him to go out with them when they had the chance!” Mothers know these things.
The problem is that Elly sees Anthony as being a scrappy go-getter who'll do well in life because people on television who look like him are just that. What she doesn't realize and never actually will because the man is too blasted ashamed of his past to really talk about it is that he's a damaged, two-for-flinching sort who gravitated towards her and her family because they represent not rocking the boat and not kicking him out on a whim like he fears his father would do. A charitable reading of his biography suggests that he and Therese got behind a marriage neither of them actually wanted because it was too dangerous for both of them to really stand up to their parents. Therese made more of a go of it than he did but his passivity wore her down. He's comfortable in his little niche working for Gordon because, like Liz and her family, Gordon represents the stability Anthony craves more than life itself. He might not live the most spectacular life but a quiet life with no jolts or surprises is to him a life without regret. As for his being handsome, Elly's standards are sort of low because she married John so, yeah, Anthony will look pretty good. He'll have a great reunion. I just wish I could say the same for his wife.