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: