Everything I Need to Know, I Learned From Mary Poppins

You guys totally think I am obsessed with birthdays by now, huh? Well, I am. I love knowing birthdays – all of them – people I know, people I do not know, everyone’s zodiac signs, etc. It is like the one thing I am good at: I have an encyclopedic knowledge of all things birthday. That being said, today is THE Julie Andrews‘ birthday. Isn’t Julie Andrews the greatest thing since, like… anything? She is queen of the world, in my opinion. It was a real close call for me to pick between writing about Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. Ultimately, Mary won because she has a freakin’ huge magic bag, and I mean, I’m jealous of it.

EINTKILF Mary Poppins

1. A spoonful of sugar, DUH.
And I am pretty sure besides literally helping the medicine go down, Mary is referring to using chocolate to help you through breakups and bad days and such. Yeah, yeah, what a freakin’ girly cliche, but it is not my fault that dark chocolate is what I crave on a bad day! It is not because I am a woman, it is because I am a human being! Sometimes guys, all you need is a spoonful of sugar.

2. Well-begun is half done.
Orrrrr…as The Simpsons say, “If nobody sees it, then nobody gets mad! It’s the American way!” I like The Simpsons song way better, no offense, Mary. If I followed the movie’s advice, I would have to actually put away my laundry instead of keeping it overflowingly shoved in my hamper all of the time. Way too much work, you guys. I’m a Simpson.

3. You don’t have to date every (super duper cute) person you know.
I was reading up on the history of the movie and book, and I heard that when P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, finally relented the rights of her story to Walt Disney and company, she insisted that there was absolutely no implication of a romance between Bert (Dick Van Dyke) and Mary Poppins, hence the reason the song “Jolly Holiday” is basically Mary friend-zoning Bert like crazy.

 Oh my gosh, did you guys watch those Disney sing-a-long videos when you were kids? Those were my favorite things ever, and likely the reason I know every single word to every single Disney song pretty much of all time. What a life I lead!

4. Practically perfect in every way.
I have a dear girlfriend that says this all the time, and you know? There is such a lesson here. What if our scales all read “practically perfect” instead of 185 pounds? Mary Poppins measures herself with a tape measure and comes out “practically perfect,” instead of a boring 5’6 or something unimportant at the end of the day. (I would also love to be able to measure other people by their greatest flaws. Where can I get one of those tape measures IRL?)

“Practically perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking.”

Yeah, and that. Who needs emotions? Who needs those dumb feelings, anyway. I’m practically perfect.

5. “Find the fun everywhere, and it makes work fun.”
I vowed to not talk very much about work when I first started writing this column because I thought of that Starbucks barista who was fired over his youtube song. That being said, I work for Starbucks. It is my job, but you know how much fun I have at work? So much fun. Sure, maybe some people will say, “you’re a 25 year old college graduate and you’re still working at Starbucks?” Yes, I am, because do you get to talk to a trillion people every day, make enough money to survive, work alongside your great friends and jogging buddies and get hella free coffee? I mean, it’s certainly not my dream forever-job, but it is fun and until I am Ryan Gosling’s private sponge bather, I’m happy.

 And when I was a little girl, I used to pretend I had to wash the dishes to escape the evil witch’s castle. Like, there was absolutely no prince in my fantasies, it was literally me and a pile of dishes. What an imagination. Make it fun, and then it is no longer work. When I run (and I hate running, but I do it), I make it fun with karaoke fantasies. Every song that comes up on my playlist, I have a story and performance behind it in my mind. You know–“Rolling in the Deep” is me on a huge stage with a gigantic Lea Michele-like voice singing it to my ex-boyfriend who left me for a model, but then by the end of the song, everyone is cheering for me and he is crying and the model leaves him. Oh, and sometimes I list all of the Best Pictures from the Academy Awards starting at 1990, and then going through Best Actor, Best Actress, etc. Both fun, both I don’t recommend for anyone.

6. Have confidence in your actions, especially if you are magic.
Mr. Banks: Will you be good enough to explain all this?
Mary Poppins: First of all, I would like to make one thing quite clear.
Mr. Banks: Yes?
Mary Poppins: I never explain anything.

I can almost guarantee Mary Poppins is a Leo.

7. There’s nothing like a good laugh.
There is nothing more adorable and entertaining than when Jane and Michael meet Uncle Albert and they all engage in a huge laugh-fest. This scene is so contagious that I always laugh when I watch it, especially when they try to think of something sad and Uncle Albert ends up making a joke and they all crack up again. Who knew dead cat jokes could be so funny? “I try, really I do, but everything always ends up so hilarious!” Oh, Uncle Albert. Best fictional man alive.

I also love how quickly Uncle Albert starts to cry when the kids leave. Like, seriously what an emotional guy. Gotta love ’em.

8. Never judge things by their appearances.
Because ugly dogs are still cuddly, perfect companions. Because sometimes good men are just bad dressers. Because green tea lattes look disgusting, but are actually delicious.

9. Women are equal, and fierce.
You GO, Mary Poppins! You know, this is why I get irritated when people are so anti-Disney movies because I get it, I get that there are a million and five outdated and inappropriate opinions/references/lifestyles in (especially older) Disney movies, but look at Mrs. Banks and Mary Poppins! They are rockstars–fighting for the women’s suffrage movement and totally teaching kids to be responsible and inventive and magical and fun and smart and

witty and rad. This movie just proves that women do it all. Go girl.

10. Other things: dads can seriously be the worst; respect your elders; if you are going to play rough, you have to learn to take your medicine; Dick Van Dyke is the most adorable creature of like ever; don’t make “pie crust promises”; and!

“Although we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they’re rather stupid.”

I will amen to that. Happy birthday, Julie!