Thursday, March 6, 2014

20 Things I Learned From, and Because of, Annie

When I was in third grade, a terrible and wonderful thing happened to me. The movie Annie came into theaters. Some of you may be thinking to yourself, “And?” This will help. This is a picture of me from third grade. Yep, I had Annie hair. No, my hair wasn’t red. But my brother’s was. I loved the movie. But, I faced a lot of ridicule for having Annie hair. It didn’t help that I went around singing. Like ALL the time.
So, when I found out there was a new version coming out, I got very excited. I still am. I take a very Shakespearean view of movies and plays. No, not Elizabethan, Shakespearean.  That means a production is done set in the present time period and style. So, the idea of a modern version is very appealing. No, I am not thrilled with Cameron Diaz as Ms. Hannigan. Fergie or someone else that comes across more street savvy might have been a better choice. But, I digress.
I learned a lot from Annie. It was the first musical that I sunk my teeth into. I can still sing nearly every word. And, I still sit on the edge of my seat while she his hanging by the tips of her fingers until Punjab rescues her. I cry when she sings “Maybe.” I cry when he sings “Maybe.” I cry through the entire finale, until Carol Burnett rides in on the elephant.  Anyway, here are some of the things I learned.
1.       Children are cruel. Even the most well-meaning ones. I had the shorts, curly Annie hairstyle before the movie came out. It was the one I always had. Kids had always laughed at my hair. But, after the movie, it was worse. I hated my hair as a child. A lot of kids laughed because it was coincidence. They weren’t really making fun of me. But, somehow, I took it as mean. It helped me to develop a thicker skin. At least until I was an adult.

2.       It is perfectly acceptable to break out in song at any time. Yes. I still sing a lot. Not well, but, I sing. It makes me very happy. I occasionally break into “Sandy” when my dog walks in the room. If I had realized what he would end up looking like, that’s what I would have named him.

3.       A dog can make a huge difference in your life. (OK, so this is something I SHOULD have learned.)

4.       It’s OK to be a tomboy in a dress. Annie did it with grace and ease.

5.       You can win people over with a smile and a strut.

6.       Sometimes, the love of your life is right under your eyes. You just have to have some help to open them. Just ask Daddy Warbucks.

7.       Sometimes, you have to be VERY patient waiting for the love of your life to open their eyes, even though you are standing right in from of them. Ask Grace.

8.       Anything Tim Curry, Carol Burnett or Bernadette Peters are in will be a pleasure to watch. (Except for It. We just don’t acknowledge It.)

9.       Curly haired girls look great in red.

10.   That love doesn’t just come from blood. You chose your family.

11.   Never climb a ladder when followed by a bad guy.

12.   There is always going to be a grump (Pepper) and a baby (Molly) in every group.

13.   Singing and dancing always makes cleaning more fun.

14.   Life with a bunch of girls will drive you to drinking.

15.   There is very little in this world that is more important that feeling wanted. Be it by family, friends or in romance.

16.   Having your own indoor pool is the coolest thing EVER.

17.   A party is not a party without elephants.

18.   Having a sparkling, kick-ass personality is ok. This includes throwing a few punches on occasion.

19.   The sun’ll come out tomorrow. Seriously. Sometimes, you just have to hold on until the day passes.

      20. But, the BIGGEST thing I learned was to overcome my fears. For the talent show that year, I         went on stage with Shanna Phillips and sang “Tomorrow” in front of my schoolmates and their parents. I even wore the dress my mother made me from an Annie pattern. I was really proud of myself. Actually, it was one of my proudest moments.
So, if you haven’t watched Annie in a while, especially if you have kids. Do so. Now. I mean it. Get to it!

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