When my sister and I were eight we were forbidden to watch the cinematic masterpiece of Dirty Dancing. According to my mom, it contained "mature subjects" that were not appropriate for third graders. (I know, my Mom was a tyrant. I mean honestly, what's the big deal about dancing in a suggestive way, trivializing an abortion and lying to your parents about sleeping with a dance instructor? I think all third graders need to know these things. That and reading.)
Now, I was typically a very obedient child, but the phrase "mature subjects" intrigued me and I began a quest to see this forbidden movie. Fortunately, a couple of weeks later my friend announced she would be having a sleepover AND the main attraction would be Dirty Dancing. I swear those days leading up to our uncensored viewing of Patrick Swayze couldn't move fast enough. Finally, the big moment came, and I'll never forget sitting on the floor in my pajamas, clutching a coke and devilishly smiling during the entire movie. To be honest, I was a little confused about why Penny was so upset about being "knocked up," and then in so much pain when she came back from the doctor's. I'll admit the entire abortion aspect was over my head, but I did walk away wishing my name was Baby. (For those of you who haven't experienced this movie - stop reading and go rent it.)
Anyway, the reason I bring up this experience is because this movie has been a part of my life in so many ways. For example:
1. I wanted the soundtrack to this movie so bad I traded my innocent belief in Santa for my brother's promise that he could actually show me the tape cassettes in my parent's loft two weeks before Christmas. This nefarious deal led to my Mom threatening to take Christmas away after she found out we had seen our gifts AND a few sleepless nights for me as I grappled with the idea that Santa was a lie.
2. In fifth grade my sister and I and our two best friends won the coveted 50's Dance lip sync contest with "Be My Baby" - a hit from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
3. When I was a senior in high school our basketball team's mantra was, "NO ONE PUTS BABY IN A CORNER." (I wish this led to us winning a state championship, but it only ticked off our beloved black coach named Mr. White.)
4. One of the things on my "Do Before I Die" list is that Jorge (name has been changed to protect the privacy of my husband) and me will one day reenact the "Love is Strange" scene in Dirty Dancing. (As seen in picture above)
5. My senior year in college I took a Social Dance class. Much to my teacher's dismay, each class I found a way to either act out a scene from Dirty Dancing or quote directly from the movie. For example, whenever I approached my partner I would say, "This is my dance space and that is your dance space." (Well, actually I would say "This is your damn space" because I didn't find out it was "dance" until I was 25). Or whenever I was given the chance I would attempt to jump into my partner's arms and see if he would lift me above his head. Which he never did. Will if you're out there one attempt wouldn't have killed you.
So, no I don't regret stepping off the straight and narrow and watching Dirty Dancing. It changed my life...much like Baby did for Johnny.