Grease, the movie, was an institution in Casa de LittleAli.
(Don’t even talk to me if you are going to blather the merits of Grease 2, because Grease 2, you guys, is like The Godfather III. Everyone saw it because of the whole obligation thing, but once it was over, we all wished we could get those hours of our life back. That isn’t to say I don’t know all the words to that stupid reproduction song, but, I digress…)
Over the years there were a few that got watched and rewound and watched and rewound and watched and rewound until the VHS tape actually broke. Annie. Beaches. The Goonies. The Sound of Music. footloose. Ghostbusters. Dirty Dancing. The Never Ending Story. The Muppets Take Manhattan. Savannah Smiles. The Karate Kid. The Princess Bride. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Back to the Future. Three Amigos.
You guys…there are so many. Too many to keep going, at least not without losing all of you who weren’t born in the late 70s and who weren’t raised by their televisions.
I loved those movies. I loved them so hard. They are so much a part of my childhood. There are so much a part of who I am right now.
And now one of my most favorite parts about being a parent is passing the movie torch down to my three children. Things are a little different now, since there’s no rewinding involved and there are no horrible taped-off-tv recordings with old commercials. But, I take great, great pleasure when I plop the kids on the couch and watch their faces as they watch something I love for the very first time. You don’t even know.
So, when I decided it was time for Emily to watch Grease for the first time, it became AN EVENT. We got snacks and drinks and we may have even gotten dressed up in our favorite 50s outfits…I am not at liberty to say whether there were poodle skirts and saddle shoes involved. Emily was in love from the very first scene. (Well, first she needed to get past the fact that Danny Zuko was, yes, indeed, the same guy who played Edna Turnblad in Hairspray)
And then came the lines…that, I swear, I NEVER picked up on when I was a kid.
“Where are you goin’? To flog your log?”
“I feel like a defective typewriter. I skipped a period.”
“Think you’re P.G.?”
“But sloppy seconds ain’t my style.”
“Ok, so what do you guys think this is a gang bang?”
I had no idea what any of these things meant, and yet, I could recite them all back to you word-for-word, and I likely did. Probably in really inappropriate situations. I’m sure my parents were thrilled. So, now that my ten-year-old is watching this movie, I’m realizing that she has no clue what any of these things mean either. But it doesn’t matter to her. She loves the love story. She loves the costumes. She loves the music. OH HOW SHE LOVES THE MUSIC. She loves the dancing. She loves Rizzo and how she is kind of the anti-pink lady. She loves everything about it.
She doesn’t realize how dirty the movie actually is. But, thankfully, her play director does realize how dirty it actually is…because next Tuesday Emily will be singing “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” as she auditions for the role of Rizzo in a production of Grease. And yet, instead of singing…keep your filthy paws off my silky drawers, she is singing, well, something else…
But, oh, wait. WAIT. Because Greased Lightning is even better. There are no pussy wagons to be found. Or tits. Or chicks creaming.
I cannot wait to see this play.
And I am thanking my lucky stars that it’s NOT Grease 2.