Ohmigod, I've got such an Awesome Crush on Zac Efron. Not in some creepy Mary Kay Letourneau way, but in an isn't-he-a-nice-young-man kind of way. In fact, I have an Awesome Crush on the entire cast of Disney's "High School Musical" and so do most of my mom-friends.
If we really want to annoy our daughters, we gently stroke the High School Musical messenger bag on the Limited, Too rounder, and say, a little too loudly, "Ohmigod, could Corbin Bleu BE any cuter?"
In fact, we love "High School Musical" so much that we were more excited about the just-aired sequel than our kids.
"Ohmigod, can you believe we almost didn't TiVO it?" said one mom-friend before making the dreaded "L" shape for "loser" in the air above her forehead.
"Nobody does that anymore, Mom," huffed her mortified 9-year-old.
"Sure they don't, honey," the mom said brightly. "I believe you NOT!"
I'm not sure this has ever happened before. How to describe? Well, it's as if it's 1964 and your parents are standing in front of the TV screaming and crying because the Beatles are on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and you're a tween who's yawning and asking them to let you know when the ventriloquist with the singing monkey comes on.
Don't get me wrong; kids like "HSM," even the boy-kids. But moms love "HSM," maybe because it's a little bit "Grease," a little bit "Footloose" and a whole lot of retro goodness.
It makes us feel young and hopeful. It makes us feel as if we're soar-ing, fly-ing, there's not a star in heaven that we can't reach. ... Oh, sorry. Where was I?
I'm fairly certain that even Disney, which has its corporate finger on the pulse of tweens to the point that they must surely feel lightheaded, didn't expect this.
Middle-aged parents jogging with "Stick to the Status Quo" and "Bop to the Top" on their iPods? How did THAT happen?
Maybe this is my generation's overdue optimism kicking in. Face it, we grew up listening to Jethro Tull describe homeless pedophile "Aqualung" as a creature with "snot running down his nose, greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes." Compare and contrast to the ebullient "HSM" lyrics: "We're all in this together, and it shows, when we stand, hand in hand, making our dreams come true."
Sure, it's simple-minded fluff, but every now and then, when you've had a bad day at work, a fight with your best friend and you've got at least eight hours of laundry to do, a little fluff makes a soft landing at the end of the day.
Rock on, Wildcats!