Tuesday, September 15, 2009

jean cutoffs and spaghetti arms

when i was 8, i went to this girl - Aubrey Hoover's - slumber party. i have no clue what happened to Aubrey Hoover, but she made some epic cinematic choices that evening that changed my little life forever.

so impacted was my impressionable self that night that i had to call my mom to come pick me up when it was time to go to sleep... because i was positive that if i closed my eyes, i was going to be impaled by broken glass and those eff'ing freaky black demon mo-fo's were going to come drag me to hell. although, even in third grade, i knew there was something magical going on with that pottery wheel...

obviously my mother was not pleased that the Hoover's had offered up Ghost without asking permission first, but she seemed appeased when i described the other movie we watched... you know, the one about "people dancing at summer camp."

so enthralled was i with Dirty Dancing that it topped my Christmas list that year (making it one of the first non-Disney movies i owned) and since it was about "people dancing at summer camp," it was deemed appropriate by Santa. why the title and the PG-13 rating didn't clue Santa in i'll never know, but by the time my mom realized that there was a whole lotta sex and grinding and illegally-performed abortions going on, i'd memorized all of the key lines and could do the Hungry Eyes Baby/Penny hand-mirroring sequence in my bathroom vanity.

my mom once told me during one of those long walking conversations that you never forget (ours around NYC one summer) that, had i become drug addicted with an illegitimate child during my teen years, she would have blamed herself for letting me watch Friends and Dirty Dancing. i would have been more worried about my Grease obsession - i mean, Sandy changed herself for a guy, started smoking, and wore pleather! what kind of example does that set?!

thankfully i turned out okay. and actually, twenty years after seeing Dirty Dancing and Ghost for the first time, i can say that Patrick Swayze's performances in those two films touched me - cheesy, yes, but i think a girl could do much worse in the romantic prototype department than Johnny Castle and Sam Wheat - men who were strong with tender moments; men who were flawed but loved their partners wholly; men who were respectable with glimpses of goofiness. never being one to pretend as if i "know" a celebrity based on what i read in People, i still always got the feeling that Swayze's real life mirrored those characters. if that's the case, Hollywood (and the world, i suppose) could use a few more like him.

so i will miss Patrick Swayze a great deal. very simply, i wish he'd had more time.


  1. I also saw Dirty Dancing for the first time while at a slumber party - my mom was rather peeved. I also completely missed the adult themes, in fact I didn't realize what the plot was about until recently when I watched it again.

    I never owned the movie to watch over and over... but I sure did have the cassette tape, and then the DVD and then the DVD with "More" songs from Dirty Dancing.

    He will be missed.

  2. very well said. i think the fact that you didn't hear tons of patrick swayze in the tabloids speaks volumes about his character, or the fact that he was married to the same lady for 30 some years. his fight against cancer is to be commended and i agree with you.. it's a shame he didn't have a bit more time.

  3. Today on E! News (please don't judge my main source of daily news) they had snippets of Swayze's last interview with Barbara Walters where he told her "Love - it's the one thing you can take with you when you die."

    Lame, I know, but he really seemed to believe it and I feel like he lived that way in his marriage too.


  4. PS was my teen heartthrob. What a hunk. Missed already.


  5. Oh how I love me some Patrick Swayze! Dirty Dancing is the only movie I can watch over and over and over and still not get sick of. It's just one of those makes my heart smile kind of movies. And to know that he had a longlasting real life real love relationship just makes him even more dreamy. What an outstanding man. He will be missed!

  6. i have a similar story... my first pg13 movie was dirty dancing at a sleepover. mom was p.o'ed to say the least!

  7. What a great post. He will truly be missed!

  8. Great post, lovely lady.

    On another note- I keep reading the title of your post in my blog reader and wanting spaghetti, but when I look in my pantry for my jar of spaghetti sauce (which is different than Husband's jars of spaghetti sauce, mind you, I have my own special kind) I realize I have none, and therefore can't make any spaghetti.



  9. I first saw Pretty Woman and Dirty Dancing at a sleepover, neither of which was I allowed to watch at home. Instantly obsessed! Wonder why my mama didn't want me watching movies about hookers with crack addled roomies, or a girl getting her v-card swiped by an older guy while on family vacation?

  10. What would our childlhoods have been like without Johnny and Baby. So sad.

  11. I used to do the Hungry Eyes dance using the vacuum as my Swayze stand-in. Classic!

    So many have left us too early this year, but out of those I am glad Patrick is finally at peace.

  12. Dirty Dancing is and always will be my favorite movie of all time. Who doesn't want to dance with Patrick Swayze, talk about a fantasy. He will be truely missed

  13. Wonderful post--I remember that whole night in third grade, Aubrey's house, the conversation walking in NYC. I think all girls can relate to those first movies that were "grown up" and the impressions they made on us.


happy little comments!