Relationship Goals I Learned From “Grease”

It is an inarguably fact—and I say this with zero sarcasm—that Grease is the single most important musical of our time, perhaps even the greatest artistic contribution in the history of the planet. If I had a dollar for every time I blasted “Summer Nights” walking around Brooklyn I could actually afford my apartment. It’s why I approach Fox’s Grease Live! production with equal parts excitement and skepticism. On one hand, it’ll probably be better than whatever half-assed variant your high school put on back in 2008. On the other hand, there’s no way it could hold a candle to the 1978 film. I will say this, though: no matter what, I’m stoked to see the Danny and Sandy relationship come to life again, because they are total #relationshipgoals.

Well, ok, Rizzo and Kenickie are my real OTP, but Danny and Sandy are a close second. If millions of couples’ Halloween costumes have proved anything, it’s that the T-Bird ringleader and the prim new girl are an iconicduo, and you can’t say that about every relationship. So I’m just going to get to it. Here is everything Grease taught me about love, the hand jive, and trying to win back the one that you want.

Historically speaking, boys and girls have different ways of recounting their romantic endeavors.

Having a vacation fling is definitely gossip-worthy, and Sandy and Danny are more than willing to share their story with their eager-eared peers. There’s one small, tiny, baby problem: the stories don’t exactly match up. As a cliched testament to everyone’s gender, Danny embellishes on the more physical aspects of the relationships while Sandy talks about what a gallant gentleman he was. I say “embellish” here because I really doubt Sandy—painfully earnest, too-pure-to-be-pink Sandy who thinks hand-holding is a salacious tidbit—was “friendly down in the sand.” So you know, be aware of that next time hold hands with any boy ever.

It should be noted, however, that machismo is often a front to hide sentimentality. 

I’m sorry that patriarchal forces and the alluring street cred of being a greaser makes it this way, but it’s true. We can credit 5% of Danny’s aloof jerkiness towards Sandy as a societal issue, one that forces him to uphold his reputation as the bad boy leader of the T-birds. We can credit the other 95% to him just being a jerk, omg. Either way, you can’t entirely fault the guy because you know deep down that he holds those summer niiiiiiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHTTTTTSSSS close to his heart, you know? Guys suck for the most part, but you can’t entirely discount that they have feelings deep down.

The best way to win someone over is to copy the awful hobbies that their new boyfriend is into… badly.

After initial misunderstandings, Danny tries to win Sandy back by getting into athletics, like her jock superstar boyfriend Tom Chrisum. Cute, right? The only problem is that Danny very hilariously sucks at sports. I mean, he sucks at least during the time we see him working out (because allegedly he earns a letterman sweater towards the end)…and somehow it works in getting Sandy back. He literally falls over a hurdle and she finally caves like, “oh well, lol E for effort, amirite?” Weird.

Probably don’t get tricked into hand jiving with someone you used to hook up with because your current S.O. might interpret that badly.

It’s a common problem for today’s youths, I’m sure.

When someone gives you their ring it means they really respect you.

Or it means that they think it’ll give them access to squeeze some boobs and mack it with you in their car. If it’s the latter, NO. You follow Sandy’s lead and let a guy squeeze your boobs when you’re ready.

Love is all about changing who you are completely.

I’ve said this on other parts of the Internet before, but Sandy’s end-of-the-movie-transformation bums me out. Like, allegedly Danny got better at sports in the efforts to woo her, whereas Sandy perms her hair, wears leggings as pants and takes up a habit that could potentially give her lung cancer to grab his attention. Idk, guys, idk. Then again, you could argue that she was pretty unhappy being Sandra Dee and maybe this “tell me about it, stud” attitude is her new, evolved self. In which case, I will offer this:

Love is all about compromising and, hopefully, becoming a better version of you in the process.

Through his love for Sandy, Danny was able to shed some of his cool guy pretenses and become an ever-so-slightly nuanced character. Through her love for Danny, Sandy was able to summon her inner confidence and embrace red lipstick, which is always a good look. Identity is an important thing, yet what’s more important to remember is that identity—especially the one you have in high school—is also malleable. If you think someone’s worth changing for, worth fighting for, then there’s nothing wrong with shedding off a negative layer of skin and seeing what happens. Best case scenario, you’ll take off in your flying car towards a happy future together.

(Image via Paramount Pictures)

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