Thursday, August 2, 2007

Grease Lightening!

I am SO freakin' excited to write this post. I almost went downstairs to write it last night at 11:30p, I was so excited. Last night, Grease was on VH1. It is on about 50 times a year nowadays and I always skip it mostly because I know if I start it, I won't be able to stop - like that stupid plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies I made on Sunday night - ah Weight Watchers here I come (Saturday at 9:15a thank you very much...)

I LOVE THIS MOVIE. As I watched it and, yes, sang along to the movie, I was thinking how much this movie has been a part of my life. It ranks right up there with Breakfast Club and The Wizard of Oz. Part of this thought process started back about two weeks ago when I told Kevin one my favorite things to do with my dad (oh and there were many...) was to go to Walgreen's on Saturday mornings with him. He would get whatever it was he went for but I think mostly we went to get out of the house and just look at all the stuff. Walgreen's was like my parent's generation's "five and dime" though I am quite certain there was nothing for five or ten cents to be had there. Kevin said "I cannot wait to create those kinds of memories with Matthew." And I could not agree more.

One of my earliest memories was seeing the commercials for Grease. Back in the day, it was only on once a year (well that I knew of - we did not have cable) on the main channels (ABC, CBS or NBC). I remember being SO excited. I would make popcorn or brownies and sit down to watch it early just in case it started at a different time so I would not miss a moment of it. And I sat through the entire thing right down to the last note and credit. I was seven the first time I saw it and never missed a year of Grease until I was well into my 20s!

I remember going to my friend, Monica Spencer's house. We would watch the movie separately. After watching it, she had the record so we would all gather and Monica, her sister Ann, another neighbor, Lara, and I would act the scenes out in their parlor (they were from the South, y'all). I remember singing (horribly I am sure) 'Hopelessly Devoted' at the top of my lungs. We would fight over who was Sandy and who had to be Rizzo. No doubt someone had to be Danny. (please note we also did this to Xanadu as well... OMG, am I dating myself???) I loved Danny - I wanted to marry Danny. I wanted to be Sandy so badly I could taste it. I thought that high school was gonna be all about singing and dancing and all that. Who knew?!

Monica's family was VERY Catholic and they belonged to the Holy Family Church around the corner from our houses. Every year the church had a huge fair and they did all kind of hokey things like a children's play. I was too "shy" to be in it but the year they did Grease I was SO jealous because Monica and Ann tried out and got parts. Damn them (or me for being shy!) I also think I was too scared to try out because I was Catholic but never went to church and holy hell how horrible that I did not regularly attend church!

I also attended a Catholic school... don't ask. In grade eight, there was always a going away show put on by the 8th graders. We sang the 'I'll be yours in spring time" song from Grease 2 - that was after much debate over whether we should do songs from Grease or Grease 2. It was decided Grease was too over done. Grease is way better but I must say that Grease 2 has it charms - that song being one of them! I was all about singing Grease Lightening but I was over-ruled. I think I was Spring because that is the line I most remember from the song!

In high school, my girlfriends and I obsessively watched Grease. I think we wore the VHS tape out from watching it so much and I believe (correct me if I am wrong Jennifer) that we knew all the dance move and words to the songs AND it was sort of part of group in terms of the little notes we put in the yearbook, etc upon graduating. I suppose there could have been worse things to obsess over! Sometimes looking back I think HS is hard enough and it was nice to have such a beloved movie to transition me from childhood to young adulthood - a bridge between the two if you will. I could still be 8 even though I was getting a driver's permit and probably going out drinking for the first time. Hmm, I am quite certain there were times at Sheri's house we both drank and watched that movie (Jen, do you remember Purple Passion?! UGH, how toxic was that stuff, anyway??!!)

I watched it in college as well. As a swim team and covertly so no one would know how much I liked this movie. I mean a 21 year old watching it!? WTH, I should have been out and about being all 21, you know!

I can still sing most of the words from memory and I can basically say all of the lines before they happen. I know every scene by heart - every outfit, every stupid moment and cheesy line. Watching Grease is like putting on an old shirt - it fits and it is comfy and I love it still! My favorite scene is still the last one when Sandy gets all done up and Danny is all jock like. I also see the movie differently now. I see things I never noticed before like the baby pool she floats the paper in while singing Hopelessly Devoted - I always thought it was a pond or a well...

That movie was magical to me and I can only hope for Matthew that he will have those kinds of memories that will last a life time. That include people that you love and care about (like going to Walgreen's with my dad or singing and dancing with childhood friends in their parlor) Those magical moments that seem so dreamy and childlike now. That we all yearn for especially when life seems to be getting too rough. At 33 years old, I am starting to realize that growing up seems to stunt our inner child but really where does happiness come from but within - those child like thoughts and memories. I was never more happy then when I was a kid, then when we made those trips to Walgreen's (or McDonald's for egg McMuffin's before horse back riding), then when I was sang and danced without abandon to Grease Lightening in the neighbor's parlor.

Go Grease Lightening go!


Tessie said...

I LOVE Grease, too, and I REALLY love The Breakfast Club. I seriously think I knew every word to that movie at one point in my life.

jennifer said...

Well you shouldn't be shocked to learn that I have passed on my love for Grease to my niece who just two weeks ago at Liam's birthday party upon her departure said something about drive-ins & I (a tad drunk) burst into Stranded at a Drive-in...and about 4 more people (including my sister) joined in singing the entire song at the top of their lungs...with no music playing. I lovelovelove that movie still. I can still see us dancing before swim meets, using the record player, watching it loaded at Sheri's & yes, quoting it in our Senior Quotes.

Grease, it's got groove, it's got meaning.