When I was twelve, there were some odd transitions happening at home so I spent a lot of time at my best friend Melanie’s house
. On one such weekend I remember laying on the floor of her tv room watching Dirty Dancing
over and over and over again. I wanted to be Baby
. I was swept up in the music, in the magic of it, in the Knight in Shining Armor that was Johnny
. Before that weekend, I hadn’t known a movie could swoop in and capture the heart of a girl…
Last week I was really sick. Wanting to entertain Gen, one evening, but not do anything but lay around in my virally infested misery, I decided to start cleaning off the Tivo and whatever gems of PG Rated goodness it had waiting for us. Apparently at some point over the past few weeks, ABC Family had aired an edited Dirty Dancing and my smart little Tivo had picked it up. Not being A) a fan of ABC Family, or B) one with any faith in what they call “family appropriate” programming- I was cautious. My mind replayed all of the reasons why I would not want my very impressionable and emotionally immature daughter to see this movie… And then a voice in the back of my head said “you saw this when you were twelve, at an impressionable and difficult time in your life…” And so, snuggled there on the couch, I introduced Genny to Baby and Johnny…
All specialness aside, she loved this movie way more than I thought she would.
One major thing I learned was that Genny’s knowledge of the word “dirty” exclusively means dirty… like DIRT-y. She had no clue that it meant anything else. She finally asked where the mess would come in, and I had to explain. Which led to my second realization: that movie’s “dirty” dancing, is pretty tame compared to a lot of todays typical dancing…
Anyway. As the beginning credits started, and Patrick Swayze’s name appeared, Gen gasped and said “oh my gosh, Patrick Swayze is in this?” I confirmed and she got even more excited. I silently wondered how she even knew who he was, but didn’t say anything. About half an hour into the movie she finally asked “When will Patrick Swayze be in the movie?”
That is him, Gen.
“Who? Johnny? Oh. Ohhh…”
Apparently when her Girl Scout troop was working on their Dancing badge, the leaders had talked about him. she had no idea what he looked like, but now she does. She knows EXACTLY what he looked like. EXACTLY what he sounded like.
She is head over heals in love with him, in fact.
She listens to the soundtrack, which was “boring” before, religiously. She’s Like the Wind, (which he of course sang) is her absolute favorite song. She sits at her vanity, fake microphone in hand, singing it every spare moment she has.
The other day we went out to lunch and to the museum for a girl’s day. Over salads, at the Cheesecake Factory, Gen looked at me seriously and said “I think for Christmas I’d like a poster of Patrick Swayze for my room.”