One of my childhood goals was to live in a musical. Some people dream of useful things like curing cancer or taking over the world. I just wanted to learn a few dance moves and start singing on a whim.
A happy side-effect of having reasonable goals is that you can actually make them happen. I used to make up songs and sing them pretty much non-stop. My parents were saints to put up with that. And when I wasn’t making up my own songs, I ran around pretending I was Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Belle was smart, pretty, and not afraid of a pack of hungry wolves (well, only sort of afraid). She even spent a freakish amount of time reading and lived in a musical.
Anyway, back to the real story. Musicals always seemed like such a great way of life. You’re trudging along, dealing with whatever happens, and you suddenly burst into song. You can sing through anything–extreme happiness (which usually includes dancing and skipping), extreme tragedy, and everything in between. You don’t have to worry about people knowing your deepest darkest secrets that you just sang in the public square, because it’s like everyone knows that you have musical Tourette’s and can’t help blurting out whatever you’re thinking.
So that was the dream. Then yesterday, I sat down to watch Oklahoma! and realized that you would definitely need a fast forward option if you lived in a musical. Sometimes you don’t need to say the same thing over and over again in different keys. Okay, so you wish the cute prairie girl would go to the social with you. I get it. Moving on. And how is it that I never feel that way about The Sound of Music? What’s-her-name can sing about being 16 going on 17 as long as she wants to, and I don’t mind. And those brown paper packages tied up with string? Please sing some more about that!
Maybe the moral of the story is that Oklahoma! isn’t my favorite musical. Or it could be that I don’t really like surreys with fringe on top. Or (and this is the only option that’s remotely sad) maybe I got a taste of how guys feel when they watch chick flicks. “Would you get to the point and make something happen already?!”
Part 2 of the Oklahoma! viewing is tonight. Fingers crossed that I make it through the end and feel differently about it by then.
Have you had a day that wasn’t bad, but everything was just a bit off? I had one of those yesterday. It wasn’t upsetting so much as disconcerting.
After a slew of slightly off moments all day long, I went for a run. It was a good run. I ran through a sketchy part of town without anything remotely sketchy happening, and it felt like a solid close to the day. Then I got home and saw my adorable canine friend sitting on the couch. I felt guilty for not taking him on a walk earlier in the evening, so we immediately went out the door together. About eight blocks later, I remembered that I had taken him on a half-hour walk right before my run.
At moments like that, I think fond thoughts about Bridget Jones.
Bridget did everything wrong. She detested the good guy, loved the bad one, made stupid assumptions, couldn’t say the right thing to save her life, and was generally a mess. And somehow (thanks to the author powers that be), she ended up just peachy. I fully understand that real life and Chick Flick life do not and should not look the same. Despite that, I sometimes find myself sending up a mini-prayer that God will be as merciful to me as the authors in charge of Bridget’s fate were to her. My suaveness and super special skills wouldn’t have gotten me far yesterday.
Can’t handle too much seriousness around here, so how about a good old-fashioned Zoolander quote:
Derek Zoolander: What say we settle this on the runway… Han-Solo?
Hansel: Are you challenging me to a walk-off… Boo-Lander?
Watched that this weekend, and I have to say that seeing grown men have a gasoline fight never gets old. Also, grown men who have gasoline fights never seem to grow old. I need to polish up my ambi-turning skills so I can have a chance in my next walk-off.
One more for the road:
Derek Zoolander: Oh, I thought you were going to tell me what a bad eugoogalizor I am.
Derek Zoolander: A eugoogalizor, one who speaks at funerals. Or did you think I’d be too stupid to know what a eugoogoly was?
My last piece of wisdom from the weekend is that you shouldn’t make fun of people for saying things that might not sound super intelligent. Matilda totally let the eugoogalizor comment go. Good job, Matilda. Life lessons for all of us.
As I waited for the previews to end before When In Rome, I was thinking about why I like chick flicks so much. It certainly isn’t because I believe they’re realistic. I don’t even want some perfect-except-for-misunderstanding-x-about-him guy to see me from across the room and follow me around the world. It might be cute in movies, but it would be creepy in real life. No thanks. And I don’t expect to be completed by a relationship, even if it is a great one. I know that problems don’t usually resolve neatly in an hour and a half.
I think it’s exactly because I don’t believe in that stuff that I like to watch those movies. I can suspend reality and enjoy the romantic garbage as long as the movie is playing. I can pretend that “happily ever after” is a completely legitimate start for a relationship. And despite the fact that in real life my natural reaction to mush is usually laughter, I can watch the leading man in a movie say mushy things to the leading lady and I don’t cringe (much).
I think the same is true for any type of movie. You can watch action movies and for an hour and a half believe that you could in fact jump from a burning building to a moving get-away car with nothing more than a few scratches to show for it. There could be a little bit of James Bond or Jason Bourne in everyone. I’m not sure how the parallel would work for comedies… maybe if we tell enough hilarious jokes, everything will work out in the end despite the odds? And for drama, maybe if times were tough, I could make that heroic choice, too. Maybe people are basically good (definitely not what I believe, but that’s for another conversation). Lots of movies are based on real stories, after all… it could happen.
If asked, most of us would be able to tell fact from fiction in real life, but isn’t it more fun to pretend every once in a while? The trick is remembering to go back to the real deal when the movie is over. No jumping into moving cars for me, and no picking coins out of the “fountain of love” either. Sometimes I feed myself such a steady diet of garbage that it gets easier to forget exactly what is real and what’s important. So my goal isn’t necessarily to stop watching movies, but it is to think them through when I’ve finished watching and to feed myself some extra fact to go with all of the fiction. I’m pretty sure The Bachelor doesn’t count.
One of my college friends loves all kind of movies–thrillers, chick flicks, serious dramas, comedy, whatever. She will even go as far as to say that she likes movies whether they’re good or bad. Seeing movies with her was fantastic, because even if it was the stupidest movie pick I ever made, she would have a good time.
Since most people aren’t quite that relaxed about the movies they watch, I sometimes go to movies alone. I love the freedom of going to a movie knowing that it will probably be bad without feeling guilty that you’re forcing someone else to experience it, too. That comes into play frequently because of my love for chick flicks. I know they aren’t usually well-written, etc. There are certainly chick flicks that I don’t like, but for the most part, I forgive them for their low quality and enjoy the happy cheese.
Tonight’s jubilee is brought to you because I’m going to see When in Rome in a little over two hours. I read some reviews of it today, and none of them were good. In fact, they were all really terrible. I’m still excited about seeing it!