What I learned about love from High School Musical

Dear Daughter,

A couple years ago, you were slightly obsessed with the High School Musical movies and their corresponding merchandise. For months, Troy and Gabriella’s perfect faces smiled back at me from your lunch box, backpack and nearly every t-shirt you owned. That phase didn’t last long, though. Soon enough, you moved on to Camp Rock, the Jonas Brothers, Wizards of Waverly Place… whichever Disney franchise was hot at the moment.

I actually didn’t mind when you watched the High School Musical movies every night of the week. They are fun, wholesome films that teach some valuable lessons, I think. And one of those lessons is that every girl should settle for nothing less than a Troy Bolton.

Troy Bolton is the star of the film, and the star of his school. He’s incredibly handsome, has a gazillion friends and is the basketball team’s MVP. Oh, and he can sing and dance, too. He pretty much has it all. But that’s not what makes him a catch.

In the first High School Musical, Troy meets Gabriella, a super-smart new girl who challenges him to befriend people outside of the popular group he hangs with. He and Gabriella become a couple in that first film, and in the sequel, they’re crazy in love. In the third and final film, they further their commitment to each other, despite the fact that they’ll be going to different colleges.

One theme remains throughout all three films: Troy absolutely adores Gabriella. It’s obvious just by the way he looks at her, but it’s also because he makes her a priority. When he gets offered a summer job, he won’t take it until the company offers Gabriella one too. When he receives acceptance letters from a few different universities, he chooses the one closest to Gabriella. When she moves to California early for a pre-college course, he drives all the way there from Albuquerque to show her that he’s still in this relationship for good. Aside from the grand gestures, he calls her, takes her on unique dates, and checks in on her midday to see how she’s doing. Plus, you can see from Troy’s body language alone that Gabriella is his world.

Daughter, when it comes time for you to start dating, it is my hope that you will find a Troy Bolton. He doesn’t have to be the most popular or best-looking like Troy is, but he should adore you the way Troy does Gabriella. He should make you a priority in his life, he should gaze at you with love and adoration, he should want to become a better person because of you.

One can argue that High School Musical is just a fairy tale, and in many ways it is. But there truly are lots of Troy Boltons out there. They may be more difficult to find than the average, run-of-the-mill punk, but they are out there and are waiting for a good girl to love. My hope is that you won’t settle until you find one.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jeanine
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 16:08:28

    I love it! I am still holding out for my Troy Bolton 🙂 And that is perfectly okay. It is a testament to Daughter that it is possible to endure the wait, and actually quite fun. So, agreed. Boo to the run-of-the-mill punks. Oh, and always introduce the men that you are dating to your mother. She has a few years on ya and she will be able to help decipher the good from the bad of the long lines of men who will want to court you.


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