Once upon a time, there was a girl who really really liked movie musicals. And by “liked”, I mean “loved”. Hey, if I ruled the world, it would be perfectly normal to burst into a song and dance routine any time, any place.
This girl also had (and still has) a bad habit of talking too much when meeting new people. Which she is still trying to work on, but realized as well that “talking too much” is a genetic thing in her family and it may be too late to outgrow it.
So one day, the girl went off to college. All fresh-faced and 17 and nervous about having to make new friends. During an orientation weekend lunch, where they served bad burgers in a big tent, the girl sat down with others from her dorm. One girl started talking about “Phantom of the Opera”, which our girl was slightly obsessed with and so of course started to speak about excitedly and with too many words.
Down the table from her was another girl – we’ll call her Jennifer (okay, ALL my college friends are named Jennifer – get used to it.) Jennifer saw this girl babbling excitedly while using many MANY words and may have thought “Yikes.” But then Jennifer caught wind of the conversation, heard this girl talking and realized that the babbling girl knew her stuff. There were some smarts behind the babble. And so Jennifer decided to give the babbling but smart girl a shot.
Yes, this girl was me. Me with my babbling ways and love of musicals. Luckily, Jennifer was also a fan of the musical genre and so we became friends.
However, what sealed our friendship was a moment shared in an elevator. We stepped in on the ground floor, pushed “4”, the doors closed, and at the same time Jennifer and I started tap dancing in the elevator. We gasped at each other with “OMG! You know the movie? No one has ever heard of it!”
The movie in question – “Thoroughly Modern Millie” – which has become a stage version. But as of my freshman year of college, most people I knew didn’t know it. In the beginning of the movie, there’s a scene where new girl Mary Tyler Moore gets into the elevator with Millie (Julie Andrews) who explains the elevator only works if you tap dance in it because of two show girls practicing their routines in there. Of course, I picked up the strange habit of randomly tap dancing in elevators. Because I was a strange strange teenager.
So to get into an elevator and have someone else tap dance with me? Was an awesome moment where we knew that we were going to be good friends.
And this week, that particular Jennifer, with whom I’ve been friends with for 21 years now (holy crap!) is flying over to visit me! So in her honor, today I present the elevator scene from the movie musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie” – and may I suggest that the next time you find yourself in an elevator, do a little time step. It’s really quite fun.