While still basking in the afterglow of seeing Grease on Friday night, I find myself not able to sleep. I feel the need to share, which is unlike me .I don’t typically post mainly because I don’t think anyone would want to hear what I have to say (and I am certainly not an expert on anything!)… but I have the most inspiring friend who started this website and I want to make her proud and purge myself at the same time.
So where is this need to share coming from? Well, I saw Grease at the Regent Theater in Arlington on Friday night with two dear childhood friends (of whom I consider the sisters I never had). I have to say I literally smiled for two hours straight! Grease was my all-time favorite childhood movie (we’ll get to the irony of that in a minute). I must have seen it 300 times growing up, not to mention the fact that I produced, directed and starred in many a neighborhood production of the show (just ask my friends how much fun they had acting and singing under my direction) I even dressed as Sandy for Halloween probably 6 years in a row (each year switching off whether I would be “Good Sandy” or “Bad Sandy”).
The movie was slated to be a “sing-a-long” which I know sounds rather campy and downright silly. But I have to say it was pure joy! The nostalgia of it all coupled with the fact that I was spending time with my “sisters” made for a fantastic night! A stand out of had to be the young girl, probably 7 or 8 years old – just the age when I started to LOVE Grease as a child, who sang her heart out, gasping and sighing every time she said “Danny Zuko” when he appeared onscreen (because she just couldn’t help herself). She also said “THAT’S GROSS” when she witnessed Rizzo and Kenicke French kissing (rather sloppily I might add). This was clearly the little girl I never had!
What is more remarkable about this evening, is that it has made me look inside myself. It has reminded me of a passion that I have for musical theater. It has gotten my creative juices going. So much so that I have been tossing around ideas of how I could develop a real production of Grease in our schools (or not, if the powers that be would not allow). It is amazing how much a simple thing like this has done to impassion me. Having been through a divorce and more recently the dissolution of a relationship, I feel as if I have lost myself a bit. Unearthing any piece of me that makes me happy is like finding a hidden gem.
Now – here is the irony I promised to comment on. Seeing the movie again as an adult and now a mom, I could not believe how amazingly inappropriate it is for children and teens. Here are just a few of the vices portrayed that come to mind: peer pressure, bullying, unprotected sex / teen pregnancy, conformity. It actually seemed as if the underlying message of the entire film is that you should change yourself for the sake of a relationship! Think about if – Danny becomes a jock for Sandy, and Sandy becomes a hussy for Danny. For these reasons, I can certainly understand why schools would not be rushing to put on a production of Grease. Moreover, anyone who has ever made the mistake of changing themselves in any way for the sake of a relationship knows that it is doomed.
Which brings us full circle to my reason for this post. Not that I ever really “changed myself” for the sake of a relationship, but I certainly fell into the trap of failing to acknowledge and feed the parts of myself that made me happy. This, of course, can slowly lead to the same ultimate end result – losing yourself in a relationship. So, Grease really did feed my soul. I Just hope I can hold on to this momentum.