Sunday, November 25, 2012

An Awkward Thanksgiving Family Moment

I was walking to dogs this morning and listening to Pandora.  Greased Lightning came on my ABBA station.  The movie Grease came out in June of 1978.  I was eight and my sister was nine.  That movie was the shit that year.  All of us learned every single dance move to every single song.  My sister, of course, was all about Sandy because she wanted to marry Danny Zuko plus she really liked Olivia Newton-John’s hair and shoes in the You’re the One that I Want dance.  For me, it was Rizzo.  I wanted to be just like her (sans false pregnancy and dating that guy with the serious acne issues, of course), but also I wanted to date her.  In my mind, I actually broke up with Kristy McNichol that year and stopped pretending to be a cross between Han Solo and the Six Million Dollar Man.  I transformed into Rizzo and, in the process, wore out tons of Double Bubble gum smacking it my parents, sister and friends in an attempt to look cool.  I also got a horrifying satin silver jacket with a (in hindsight ironic) rainbow stripe across the front and back that I figured was close enough to a Pink Ladies’ jacket. This shit was serious, I kid you not. 

We perfected all the dance moves.  We were as intense as Jennifer Beals in Flashdance.  We were maniacs for Grease. Eventually, my sister and I and all our friends could flawlessly on cue drop to one knee, stretch our right arms out ramrod straight, lift one eyebrow and slowly have that arm travel from west to east in perfect time to Greased Lightning.  That was our favorite dance number.  We did that dance everywhere…in the living room, at church socials, in the front yard, in the aisles at T.G. & Y., etc.  We carried my tape recorder everywhere with the Grease cassette tape inside.  We were determined to always be prepared. That Thanksgiving we broke out the Greased Lightning dance routine for the family.  We thought everyone was super impressed because my brothers kept asking us to do that dance again and again.  In hindsight, I realize they thought it was hilarious because we were completely oblivious to the lyrics in the that song.  Quest for Fire didn’t come out until 1981 and the awkward and archaic church sponsored sex education class our parents signed us up for didn’t happen until 1980, so our knowledge of sex was limited.  We thought a pussy wagon was Red Flyer wagon full of kittens pulled behind my Big Wheel and the chicks’ll cream probably had something to do with baby chickens and Dairy Queen.  We just knew the song was about a car and that we looked awesome when we danced. We were idiots…dancing idiots. 

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