Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dirty Dancing

This is what I remember:

I am seven years old and my friend, Valeria, is seven and a half years old in the summer of 1988. Dirty Dancing has aired on HBO, at least once, and someone's parents have taped it for us. We are sitting on the tile floor of her playroom, watching the movie over and over again. We love the dancing. We are fascinated by the fact that the two main characters have sex during the day--we didn't know people did that. We love Jennifer Gray. We love Patrick Swayze. We are two young girls who are fascinated by this movie and we are able to recite lines of dialogue verbatim by the end of the summer.

Winter comes and they play "The Time of Your Life" at the Old Bridge Ice Skating rink, where Valeria and I both take lessons. I skate around and around the rink to it, so much so that it's the one song I always associate with ice skating, despite the many songs they played. I skate and I sing as I skate, and I am pretty much the proverbial dorky little kid as I practice my crossovers.

And now I am twenty-eight years old, and Valeria and I have fallen out of touch, although our mothers are still good friends. I find out that Patrick Swayze is dead from Twitter, and I run downstairs to tell my husband who is making dinner. He gives me a hug and tells me he understands, although he really doesn't--I remain firmly convinced that little boys in the 80s did not experience the movie in the same way as little girls.

I no longer ice skate regularly and that long-ago video tape has been missing for years. But I have Netflix and I have this:


RKCharron said...

My sister and her friends felt the same way about the movie, though they were a couple years older than you when you saw it.
Dirty Dancing is an iconic movie.
Patrick Swayze will be missed.
Thank you for sharing your story.
All the best,

CKHB said...

No way... I also associate Dirty Dancing with ice skating, because the DJ at our rink would sometimes put the soundtrack on repeat and just leave the booth. I guess they played it during the winter of 1987-1988, when I was in 9th grade. I saw the movie on an airplane (otherwise I never would have seen it, because I almost never saw movies in the theater, and we didn't have HBO), and then I skated to the soundtrack with the boy who would grow up to be my husband...

Wendy said...

Isn't it so sad? I remember the movie coming out so well. I was Baby's age and so impressed that a seventeen year old could land Johnny Castle.

I named my son after Johnny and I don't think I'd have ever written any kind of romance without Dirty Dancing or paranormal romance without Sam Wheat.

The worlds a sadder place today.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Sigh. I know exactly how you feel. I'm already planning on listening to "She's like the wind" on my way to work today.

Athena's Little Helper said...

I'm right there with you. It's like the end of an era. I found out while I was on a playlist website and somebody started playing "Unchained Melody" from Ghost. Out of all the famous deaths this year, that's the first time I've cried.

Lisa Iriarte said...

I share your sentiment.

I was a little older when I first saw the film. I saw it in the theaters, though. My mother was not going to let me see it.

Then, I started having medical problems. The doctor thought I might have leukemia and ordered blood tests. It would take a couple of hours to get the rushed results back. I knew something was really wrong with me, but not how serious they suspected it was. My mother knew, though. While we waited, I asked if we could see a movie. I asked to see Dirty Dancing and she agreed.

Under the circumstances, I'm surprised she could concentrate on any of the film, but she really enjoyed it, and I loved it.

The test results came back, and I did NOT have leukemia. I had a different blood disorder which was serious, but not THAT serious, and I have since made a full recovery.

Still, I thank Dirty Dancing, Patrick and Jennifer, for taking our minds off something really scary for a couple of hours when we really needed them.

Craven said...

Call Valeria. It's the perfect time.

Malia Sutton said...

Thanks for posting this.

Travis Erwin said...

We boys were much more into Red Dawn and Roadhouse.

Liz Kreger said...

Patrick Swayze will be missed. His battle with cancer was both inspirational and impressive.

I saw Dirty Dancing when it first came out and adored it. I think I'll have to plug in "Ghost" tonight.

Chris Redding said...

I was in college when I saw that movie. My BF at the time was somewhere else, but he happened to watch it. When he saw me the next time he said it made him think of me.
It has always beenone of my fave movies.