A couple weeks ago Annalyn went to theater camp. Because we need more drama in our house.
Melodrama and emotional theatrics aside, she loved the camp. Singing and dancing all day with new friends who love to sing and dance all day was just about all the fun my little actor could take. At the end of the week, the kids performed a musical revue for their families. (They called it a play, but I’ve been in many plays and this was not it. It was songs with a few awkward lines in between.)
In order to be prepared for her big performance, Annalyn needed to practice her line, her duet and her group songs all week long. ALL WEEK LONG. Over and over, until all three of us (Annalyn, Adrienne and I) had them memorized. Well, saying the baby could sing an entire song is an exaggeration (remember: we are dramatic over here), but she sure did love dancing to the repeated tunes.
And, I’m not going to lie, so did I.
I was initially annoyed that my seven-year-old’s class was singing songs from High School Musical and other Disney teen movies. Prior to this summer Annalyn only watched animated Disney movies (and don’t even get me started on the obnoxious, non-cartoon kids shows on TV). But since she was singing songs from these movies (the first and second High School Musicals, Teen Beach Movie, and Lemonade Mouth), I decided we should watch them together.
I’d like to tell you they were awful — and one of them **cough, cough** Teen Beach Movie **cough, cough** WAS — but honestly? I enjoyed them nearly as much as Annalyn. Not always for the same reasons (like I did while watching Jurassic World last weekend, I kept wondering, “Is this SUPPOSED to be funny? Because it is hilarious!”), but we did both like watching them.
As a matter of fact, I’d decided to read a book while she watched High School Musical 2, but I didn’t pick it up once. Aside from the few minutes when I dozed off (come on! Can you blame me??), I watched that silly show just as intently as my daughter. Especially when the kids sang the song from theater camp: Fabulous.
The song is silly, sure. And the character of Sharpay? SUPER ANNOYING. (Although she has prompted Annalyn and me to have some good conversations about attitude and friendship.) And, really, the majority of the song is just ridiculous.
“Fetch me my Jimmy Choo flip-flops. Where is my pink Prada tote?
I need my Tiffany hairband, and then I can go for a float.”
Right. Ridiculous. But maybe it’s a matter of being brainwashed, after blaring – and singing along to – the song for five days straight. Or maybe watching four teen movies in two weeks was just too much for my precarious, post-baby reasoning skills.
Whatever the reason, at some point I started hearing the lyrics differently.
“I need something inspiring to help me get along
I need a little fabulous, is that so wrong?”
At first it was just stuck in my head like a glittery Disney earworm. But then I found myself thinking, “IS that so wrong? Maybe we DO need a little fabulous!”
Then, as we watched High School Musical 2 and Troy (Zac Efron) literally leapt through a field doing a happy dance, my eyes eventually stopped rolling and I had another thought. I thought, “Why is it so laughable for a guy to be so happy that he leaps through fields and bursts into song?”
Yes, I see your point. It is possible I’ve fallen under the spell of Too Many Musicals. But what if I haven’t?
IS THERE something wrong with needing a little fabulous? IS THERE something wrong with actually letting our happiness spill out, even if it means a song and a dance? IS THERE something wrong with choosing joy, even if we look a little foolish?
I say no.
When I cleared my Christmas decorations off the top of my piano several months ago, I decided to unpack some of my books. See, when we put our house on the market last year (and the year before that), we decluttered a LOT. That cleaning spree included packing up anything unnecessary – like my books. And when we moved furniture to make room for a baby, it meant going one step further and storing our bookshelf, too.
As much as I love reading, as important as words and the books that hold them are to me, this actually hit me as a physical loss. I MISSED my books!
So in early February, when YES my holiday things should have been long gone, I moved them out and replaced them with a stack of books. I may not have room for a full bookshelf right now, but I can display some of my favorites on top of my piano. That simple move has made me SO HAPPY. Just the sight of those books makes me smile.
And when I added a wooden dolphin and framed photo to my makeshift shelf? Well, my heart pulled a Grinch and grew three sizes! To me, de-staging my house felt FABULOUS. It eased my frustration that nobody wants to buy our house and we’re stuck here, possibly FOR-EV-ER. It reminded me that I like my cute little house (sometimes) because it’s my place, my HOME.
It was fabulous. Just like bright pink toenail polish, red paint on my dining room wall, photos of my family making goofy faces, pretty tissue boxes that cost more than the plain ones, matching towels folded just the right way, t-shirts with nerdy puns, new lip gloss, or sparkly earrings.
It’s just like my daughter’s collection of glittery hairbands and mismatched socks, and it’s just like the bloggers I see sharing What They Wore each week or urging each other to Do Your Makeup. It’s not about what other people think of you or how society says you should look (blergh.). It’s simply that sometimes a little bit of pretty can go a long way toward how we feel about ourselves.
(Or, in my books’ case, sometimes a little bit of pretty can go a long way toward how we feel about our homes.)
Little things. Frivolous things. THINGS THAT MAKE ME SMILE. And sometimes? Those things my heart calls fabulous are also things that inspire me – to take better care of my house or my body, to write something encouraging or helpful, to smile at the three people who I love most (and drive me the most crazy).
So I say, it’s not so wrong to need a little fabulous.
As for the part where we all choose joy and celebrate loudly (hopefully by leaping in fields and singing Disney tunes), I’m going to save that for later.
But today, if you’re longing for some fabulous? Don’t let that – or anyone – make you feel silly or frivolous. Swipe on another layer of that bright red lipstick, straighten the zebra print pillows on your couch, and grab your monogrammed bottle with the fruit-infused water. If something inspiring is going to help you get along, go for it! Be fabulous.
Do you need a little fabulous today?
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