By Daphne Biener
I want to hate Disney, I do. I happen to be good at it, having had years of practice while my girls flounced about in nauseatingly pink taffeta and waved their magic wands. Now thankfully, they have locked the princesses away in their respective towers and turned their attention towards high school. High School Musical that is.
Here’s my problem: It’s hard to be a self-respecting, Disney-hating, anti-establishment mama when I heart High School Musical.
If your kids haven’t aged into this one yet, let me enlighten you:
High School Musical is Disney’s answer to Grease – minus the sex, drugs and general malcontent that we crooned about alongside the T-birds and the Pink Ladies. It’s as if Danny,
I’ve been a die-hard Grease fan since I was eight. I remember looking around the theater at the teenagers and squirming in anticipation of all the bad that was going to be oh so good. I went with my parents, who thankfully seemed to have suspended whatever moral code I was being raised under, allowing me this wondrous glimpse of my bad-ass future teen self.
It was a snapshot of high school I could sing into my brush about. Bad girls with pregnancy scares and good girls throwing down pompoms and picking up cigarettes. The naughty, naughty boys, and oh those su-u-ummer ni-i-i-ights.
Not so the sweet teens of High School Musical. Think Twinkies dipped in honey. Sure they put each other in their rightful places at times, breaking into admonishing song when the basketball star admits to baking and the skater-dude confesses to wearing a suit and playing cello—
No, no, no; stick to the stuff you know
It is better by far to keep things as they are
Don’t mess with the flow, no no
Stick to the status quo
But don’t worry, it all works out in the end. The athletes support the geeks who in turn pull for the drama queens. It’s positively dreamy. As far as I can tell no one is lousy with virginity or feeling like a defective typewriter (you know, skipped a period.)
All of which leaves me itching for my standard, spirit-crushing commentary:
Evil Mama: You know, girls, high school isn’t anything like this.
Starry-eyed Children: Whatever do you mean, Mama?
Evil Mama, in check: Oh, never mind. Let’s sing the next one together, shall we?
I can’t get enough.
Which is why when Dave checked in last weekend before making plans to watch basketball with some friends, I had a ready answer:
“Tell me about it, stud,” said I, sexily crushing a carrot stick beneath a fuzzy sock.
We Pink Ladies already had plans. They involved popcorn, jumping around the living room and singing our saccharine hearts out.
It’s motherhood that did this to me. Suddenly my dreams are of mean girls everywhere evaporating, leaving behind sparkling schools where my beloved children float on the air of supportive friends and cafeteria sing-alongs. Everybody is happy. Everybody fits in. Everybody goes together like ra-ma la-ma la-ma kading a da ding de dong.
Or, as we say in the
Everyone is special in their own way
We make each other strong
We’re not the same
We’re different in a good way
Together’s where we belong
Pop out a couple of kids and look what happens: My chills stop multiplyin’ and I am losin’ control. Go ahead, make fun of me, Riz. I am hopelessly devoted to High School Musical.
You can read more of Daphne’s work here on the mama bird diaries or visit her site, Sestina Queen.