How I Finally Got to See Dirty Dancing

  1. When I was in 5th grade living in Raleigh, NC my 6th grade neighbor Leslie had a Dirty Dancing poster on her wall. I thought she was the coolest and knew I HAD to see it.
  2. I begged my mom incessantly but she said I wasn't old enough. I tried crying. Bargaining. But she wouldn't relent.
  3. I asked her if I could have a Dirty Dancing t-shirt for my 11th birthday. (Whether this was a thing you could get or something I imagined existed, I'm not sure). She said I couldn't wear a shirt that said "Dirty Dancing."
  4. At my 11th birthday party we had a t-shirt making station set up. I made a purple puffy paint "Dirty Dancing" t-shirt for myself and eyed my mom, daring her to tell me I couldn't wear it. I think she figured the pathetic, smeared puffy paint style outweighed the words, so she didn't argue.
  5. There was a freak snow storm a few weeks later and school was closed. It turned into a blizzard. School was closed for three days.
  6. During those three days I made every argument I could think of for watching Dirty Dancing. Also I was home with my mom and my little sister who unknowingly helped wear her down just by being another bored kid in the house and fighting with me.
  7. She finally said I could watch it!!!!
  8. She drove through the snow to the video store and brought back a large plastic case holding the VHS of Dirty Dancing.
  9. We put it on.
  10. During the scene when Baby shows up at Johnny's (shack?) and slow dances seductively with him, she walks slowly around him and puts her hand on his butt. I said, "Why is she touching his butt?"
  11. My mom answered, "To be funny." I accepted this.
  12. I loved the movie more than I even thought I would.
  13. I bought the soundtrack cassette tape with my allowance and practiced the last dance (Time of My Life) alone in my bedroom, including Baby's little hair tosses and romantic gazes as if Johnny Castle were my invisible dance partner.
  14. I pounded the pavement of White Oak Road, walking up and down the block while "Hungry Eyes" blasted in my ears from my Walkman. I strutted, tossed my hair, and looked intensely at everything I passed (trees, dogs, old Mrs. Hoag) as if they could hear the music, too; as if they got it.