This hat on my head? The head of mine that was four years old? It's a Kermit birthday hat.
I so wish I had that hat today.
I do not think there is a name for a Muppet fan.
If there was a name for a Muppet fan, I would be he. Or she, if we're bucking gender normative language.
This isn't the only picture we have of me loving on the Muppets when I was little. Somewhere in the archives are pictures of my darling stuffed Cookie Monster, long since passed on, and my beloved Muppet Show poster.
I watched the Muppet Show. Weekly. I wasn't born when the Muppets appeared on the first season of Saturday Night Live. Sesame Street. Often. The Muppet Movies. All but two. Fraggle Rock. Not my favorite, but still lovable. In high school I somehow managed to convince my best friend to see Muppet Treasure Island with me. Every year at Christmas I watch the Muppet Christmas Carol. The Labyrinth. Not a Muppet movie, but Jim Henson puppets, indeed.
What is it about them? I don't know. But something about them whispers back to me about innocence and imagination and childhood.
Shoes doesn't understand. Last night he said, "I never got what it was all about. It just felt like a bunch of Puppets shouting at me. Why where they shouting at me? And why didn't Oscar the Grouch ever tell those kids to quit bothering him. Didn't they know he was homeless and hungry and didn't want to count to 5 every day?"
I'm trying super hard to not make that a deal breaker.
Moving right along ... (footloose and fancy free ...)
This has been the longest introduction ever to simply let you know that Sister Cheryl and I saw the Muppet Movie on Friday and it was not fantastic. No. It was not fantastic, and am I just crazy, or were Fozzie's eyebrows graying just a touch? It was not the magic I remembered from my childhood, but at 33 years old, sitting in theater, watching it on the big screen, I had a flashback to the very exciting day when my mom took me to see The Great Muppet Caper in the theater when I was 6. (We're going to catch those crooks red-handed ... What color are their hands now?) (Just for posterity's sake, the Great Muppet Caper was released in 1981. I was 3. I lived on a military base, which sometimes show movies at weird times. Hence, I was 6.)
My own darling, accepting Muppet puppet friends, bigger than life. And with that memory came a slew of its warm memory friends, reminding me of a time where I believed in imagination and good. It reminded me of a time when I had no reason to not believe that childhood was a time of growth and love and happiness. And because of that, of that in and of itself, the movie, though not fantastic, was pure magic.
Sister Cheryl later said she did get choked up when they sang The Rainbow Connection. I outright cried. This did not surprise Shoes at all, who reminded me I cry at everything.
I do indeed.
But try to remember the first time you saw this and see if there's not something there for you ...