Saturday, January 31, 2004

Jets, Sharks, and 4-Year-Olds

If, by chance, you have two four-year-old daughters, do not let them manipulate you into watching "just the beginning...just the da-da-da-da-da part" of West Side Story. I mean, it's sort of hilarious the way they refer to the Jets and the Sharks as "teams," and you can't help but be touched by the way their innocence makes it impossible for them to fathom why a bunch of young men who dance so very nicely together can't be friends, but you also can't help but be annoyed by the endless barrage of questions. "Is that the Jet team? Or the Shark team? How can you tell? Why are they doing that? Where are they going? Which team is that guy on? Is that all the guys on his team? Where's the rest of his team? Where are they going? Why are they running? Are they fighting? Why is he mad?"

If you let them watch "just the beginning," they will then somehow convince you to let them watch, "the part with the girls in the shop." You will then select the "I Feel Pretty" scene from your prized Special Edition DVD and they will sit, enraptured. They will have very few questions because, thankfully, the scene is self-explanatory as long as you inform them ahead of time that Maria is very happy because she has a new "lovey-dovey."

But then, of course, they will want to know who the "lovey-dovey" is, so you will have to select the "At the Dance" scene. This will confuse them because Maria arrives at the dance with the unfailingly polite and well-mannered Chino (played by the obviously pinoy Jose De Vega), who is heartbreakingly dismissed when Maria espies her beloved Tony who is, um, much taller than Chino. You will then have to answer several questions about how it can happen that one girl can have two lovey-doveys.

This line of questioning will continue until it is time for them to go to bed. They will probably still be talking about it when they eat their yogurt in the morning. I'll let you know.

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