In the summer of 1964, I was 13 years old and the last thing I wanted to do was go see Mary Poppins. My younger sister, Mary Ellen, at age 10, wanted nothing more. I remember feeling so resentful at being forced to go with her. After all, I was a teenager all of three months at that point.
When we got to the theater in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the line to get in was formidably long, and I refused to stand in line. And so I was spared the ignominy of being a teenager at a children’s movie and I returned home and listened to my Beatle’s albums instead.
I confess that I felt conflicted because Mary Ellen was so disappointed. But, being the determined little thing she was, and still is, she managed to get to see the movie with someone else…not me a week or so later. I have always regretted that episode because I knew how much it meant to her, but, in my adolescent insecurity, I just couldn’t bring myself to go to a kid’s movie. I let her down.
Fast forward to last week. Mary Ellen and I went to see the latest Mary Poppins movie. This time she didn’t need to coax me. We laughed when we bought the tickets. “Two seniors for Mary Poppins.” Quite a different attitude from 1964.
We, of course, loved the film. Like Mary Poppins herself, it is “practically perfect in every way”. I read an interview with Emily Blunt and she said she remembered the original movie, calling it a “joy bomb”. Well, this movie is beyond that. Multiply joyful by a hundred. Call it a bliss bomb.
Trip a Little Light Fantastic was my favorite part of the movie. I loved it so much that I decided it will be my motto for 2019. My favorite lines:
“So when life is getting scary, be your own illuminary
Who can shine their light for all the world to see
As you trip a little light fantastic with me”
As we embark on this new year, I wish you twelve months of blissful brightness.
Happy New Year!