"You know Oklahoma!?" Josh asked me last night.
"Where the wind comes sweeping down the plains? Yeah."
"Well, you know that scene between Jud Fry and, uh, the other guy, the hero."
"Yeah, Curly. Well, you know that scene-"
"Wait, how do you know Jud Fry's whole name?"
"It's in that song." He starts singing, "Poor Jud is dead, poor Jud Fry is dead."
"Wait a minute. You know songs from Oklahoma!?"
Josh does not like musicals. We've talked about it several times - how he hates musicals, can't stand to watch them. He doesn't even comment anymore about how I'll occasionally burst into a showtune, should I be reminded of it somehow. He's acknowledged that I will someday make him watch all the musicals I own, but I haven't yet, because I know he won't like them. The whole musical thing is covered ground in our relationship. Except for the fact that at no time, did he ever mention that he knows all the songs from Oklahoma!.
"Well, I mean, I've seen it. I can remember the songs and stuff."
I start testing him out.
"Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry..."
"When I take you out in the surrey."
"I'm just a girl who cain't say no..."
"I'm in a terrible fix."
"Ever'thin's up to date in Kansas City..."
"They gone about as fer as they can go. They went and built a skyscraper seven stories high. 'Bout as high as a building oughta grow."
I look at him, amazed. I do not know this man.
"That doesn't mean I like musicals. I don't even like Oklahoma!. They're silly and there's no continuity, the way people burst into these songs that don't have that much to do with anything."
I agree with him. There are truly great musicals, with beautiful writing and depth, with real stories that the music only complements. Fiddler on the Roof is a wonderful movie of any genre, period. My Fair Lady has incredible dialogue, because you can't go wrong with Shaw. Oklahoma! is mostly just cheese. It's not deep or clever or anything, just people dancing and singing, and many musical movies are mostly the same. But I grew up watching those movies. The other eight-year-olds knew that capital T rhymed with P, but did they know that it stood for "pool"? I thought "Some Enchanged Evening" was the most romantic song ever written and spent middle school Social Studies classes dreaming of crowded rooms full of handsome strangers. I had a crush on Gene Kelly, and I was heartbroken when he died.
"They're like Godzilla movies," I tell him. I bet you did not see that coming. No doubt you think I have lost my mind. Luckily, Josh understands me when I say nonsense like that.
Josh watched a lot of Godzilla movies when he was growing up. And now, also. I watch them with him. They're not good movies. They're silly, with crappy special effects, heavy-handed messages, ridiculous plots, and very strange dubbed dialogue that I can only hope makes sense in Japan. He loves them. And so if he gets a kick out of a guy in a monster suit, stomping around models of Tokyo, I can enjoy men in matching, brightly-colored shirts dancing on a spinning log.
Of course, now that his secret is out, don't think I'm going to let him forget it.