Mary Poppins is a tease.
Has anyone else been thinking this? I mean, come on. Poor Bert. He’s the perfect guy and Mary steps all over him. He’s just trying to live an honest life with his one-man band, playing street corners and occasionally hitting up the night life at the rooftop clubs. All he wants is for Mary to notice him, but she takes his love for granted. Ms. Poppins’ blatant disregard for Bert’s feelings can be seen during their impromptu sidewalk chalk date when Bert expresses his adoration for her:
Bert says wonderfully romantic things to Mary–things any girl in her right mind would die for. He declares that Mary makes his heart feel light and the sun shine bright. All of creation blooms at the sound of her very name. When he holds her hand his heart nearly bursts from his chest! He’s in love and he doesn’t care who knows it! Bert is a true gentleman: he doesn’t pressure her to go to a bar and get wasted; instead he takes Mary out to a tea party in a magical chalk world and they ride ponies at the carnival and pet the animals at the petting zoo. He even choreographs a dance for her with penguins in cute matching outfits. What more could a girl ask for?
But no. Mary Poppins has Bert in the ultimate friend-zone. For someone who is practically perfect in every way she can certainly be a bit dense sometimes. Aside from the fact that Bert has no realistic prospects and they would most likely be dependent on the British government to support their future family, he is the perfect boyfriend. But, instead of giving him a chance, Mary shamelessly leads him on, calling him a true gentleman, a diamond in the rough, and an all-around “good guy” without any intention of dating him. She’s not even impressed when he takes her up to his chimney and shows her his sensitive side. On the rooftop he puts in a last-ditch effort to win her love by explaining that he may be on the bottom-most rung of life’s ladder, but he his proud of his trade and is a leader in his community (PLUS: the boy can dance!). Wake up, Mary! Love is a-knockin’!
But no. Mary is not impressed. She flys away on her dingy old parasol, leaving him to wallow in his self-pity and soot. Ouch! Bert should have realized that playing the nice-guy card wouldn’t get him very far with Mary. Maybe he should have ditched the kids and the penguins and taken Mary to the pub instead. Maybe he should have taken advantage of her cheery disposition like many of the men in the world do. Maybe he should have given up his dreams of stardom and joined Mr. Bank’s bank so he could support Mary’s frivolous lifestyle. Or maybe Mary should have just realized that she could do far worse than Bert. I guess Mary is like all other girls out there: she won’t realize what she has until she loses it. And Bert moves on.