Monday, November 05, 2007

Where I see myself in an iconic icon of iconry

I saw the Hairspray movie this weekend at the cheap theater. I love the cheap theater, because you get the big-screen experience (well, you get the “bigger then my tv” screen experience, although probably about the size of the tv that my brother in law will someday own, so whatever) at rental prices, and if the movie is only ok you really only feel like you’ve been cheated out of the hours of your life, rather then the life hours and also the cost of a week’s worth of groceries. And since I never get to see movies (because as I mentioned before my friends who are supposed to be the people with whom I see movies decided that it was a higher priority to have kids. WHATEVER!!) I even more love the cheap theater because it makes it that much easier to get my parents (who have kids but who don’t have to stay home because of them anymore and who really should get out of the house more often and do fun things because isn’t that the GOAL when you have kids? To get to that point where you don’t have to plan your life around their tendency to start fires and make crank phone calls?) to go see movies with me.

Taking a breath.

So I went with the parents and the favorite aunt to see Hairspray for the low, low, bargain-basement cost of $2 plus popcorn. And a soda that I smuggled into the theater in my pocket. Which never did warm up ever again. (the pocket, not the soda) Now, I know I saw the first version of this story like 20 years ago but it left a very specific impact on me, which reads something like this: fat girls can be cool, rich girls are bitches, if you wear your hair too big you’ll go to special ed and that mother is awfully dude-ish. In my memory the integration part was so tiny as to have poofed from my recollection entirely. So I was pretty surprised with how much it was the point of this movie, with dance numbers and star-crossed loves dedicated to it and everything. But the thing I most kept thinking was this:

I’d have been that fat, pushy, idealistic girl. I totally would have.

I know we all want to believe that we’d fight the good fight and stand up for the underdog and [insert music-swelling, heart-expanding good deed here], but then it seems like many folks don’t actually do it when push comes to shove. Which would probably make them the smart ones. But you can totally ask all of my embarrassed friends who have, on multiple occasions, tried to wander away as if a total stranger while I rail on, in public, about some injustice, such as someone littering right there in public or some kids picking on a smaller kid or someone smoking where people could be trying to breath. I’ve had dude friends convinced that I was about to get them killed as I challenge a group of testosterone-infused would-be gang members on a subway train, and no amount of “Hey, I would never have let them hit you!” from me made them feel any better. Something about how it wouldn’t have been up to me, which is a concept complete foreign to me, because I’m pretty sure that EVERYTHING is up to me! That would be the cornerstone of having the universe revolve around oneself, right?

So I watched all these scenes in the Hairspray movie where the pudgy little go-getter with a heart of gold pushed everyone around with sugar-coated naiveté and a very nasal-but-loud singing voice and I thought “That’s me, baby!”

And I understood once again how I could be celebrating my 11th year of re-virginity. Why don’t you people smack me around more often??

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