Thursday, November 24, 2011

Muppets and Macy's

On the saddest, loneliest, hardest days of my life, I've always drawn some measure of comfort from this moment right here.

I'm curled up on the couch at my parents' house. My stomach is moderately full of cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate, and I am watching the Macy's Day Parade. I wouldn't miss this for all the world with a fence around it. My dad has disemboweled the Thanksgiving paper and is combing through the ads for things the rest of us can get him for Christmas. The Bug (that's my little brother, dear reader) is playing with his iPod and fretting restlessly around the room. We've got gorgeous homemade, home-grown pies ready downstairs, and the turkey (made in a brand-new style, as is ironically traditional) is waiting in the fridge. The huge yellow bowl is half full of cranberries, marshmallows, and sugar, which have been soaking together all night. I'm in a t-shirt that I can get dirty, and my hair is tied back out of the way.

First there are the musical numbers from the new shows on Broadway this year. Dan Radcliffe appears to be having a grand old time in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and the Spiderman musical seems just as deliciously atrocious as everyone has been saying. The Rockettes' kicks are not one inch lower than they've been every Thanksgiving of my entire life. And the cast of Sesame Street is still there, waving at the crowd as they've doing since my parents were children.

We watched a lot of old Sesame Street clips last night, as well as all of Labyrinth. We were in a Muppet mood. We hit the opening matinee show of The Muppets, which I highly recommend to anyone who was a kid at some point in the last forty years. All of those endearing, skewonky, familiar personalities--the irrepressible Gonzo, the unflappable Rowlf, Fozzie outgoing and insecure, Beaker courting disaster at every turn, Scooter calmly keeping all the chaos under control, Miss Piggy plowing through the storyline with that If-you're-not-getting-behind-me-then-get-out-of-my-way attitude, and of course wonderful, familiar, reassuring Kermit. Who doesn't love and trust Kermit? Who doesn't feel safer and calmer when he's around? I've been known to sing along to things in theaters, very quietly and privately, but when he started singing Rainbow Connection I just couldn't help myself.

Rainbow Connection is my song, and it may very well be your song too. Rainbow Connection assures us that there is such a thing as magic, somewhere just out of reach. Rainbow Connection is all about faith. It's a poetic and musical masterpiece in a simple little tune for frog and banjo (played left-handed).

So I watched Muppets. I smiled, I laughed, I danced in my chair. I remembered how great it is to be a kid at heart. I highly recommend it, and intend to get the soundtrack. Go see it when you can. Life is good as long as there are Muppets. And Thanksgiving. And the Macy's parade. And Broadway musicals. And Sesame Street. And cinnamon rolls. And marching bands. And little siblings. And soft gray winter skies. And old movies. And dads who decide that what they really need for Christmas is a panini press. Sounds like I have a lot to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

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