A Lesson from Dirty Dancing

I close my eyes  and  I can clearly hear Bill Medly’s sultry voice as the song begins singing “Now I’ve had the time of my life and I’ve never felt this way before’…..I LOVE this movie! Now you have the song stuck in your head too so don’t act like you don’t know  Dirty Dancing is an awesome movie!  For me it holds fond memories and it showed so many things.

This random outburst of my love for a movie (that may reveal my age) came from a fond memory.  When I was a kid (no son, I didn’t use an abacus) Friday Night was movie night! We soooo look forward to at the end of the week! My Dad come home from work and after his shower, reading his papers (the Norristown Times Herald AND the Philadelphia Inquirer) and getting something to eat, he would take us out to get  all of our favorite snacks (to share). Me = Dunkin’ Donuts, Lee = Pepperoni and Steph = a jar of olives. We would stop at the video store on Marshall Street where the owner knew our names (long before Blockbuster) and picked out our weekend entertainment. I see us getting our ‘floor blankets’ stretching them out on the living room floor with the VCR remote plugged in (nope, it wasn’t wireless yet), our snacks and our pillows. HEAVEN!!! I look back and think how simple life was but how much we appreciated what may seem like a small thing.

As  I was saying, there is a lot to see in Dirty Dancing.  There are more than dances, sexy moves, golf games…etc. Don’t think so? Look again, there are some life lessons that we can learn from the movie. First,  I noticed how the family looked so ‘perfect’ on the outside but struggled with the same drama as any other family. There was one sibling who was ‘it’ while the other “Baby” (Jennifer Grey) didn’t fit the mold, but in the end….she shined! Then the judgment and stereotype of the country club onlookers, yeah they were wrong in their snobby,look-down their nose assumptions. Oooh I get mad all over again thinking about how even her father (remember…Jerry Orbach before he was on Law & Order?) bans his daughter from any further association with “those people”. THOSE PEOPLE. Well, I repeat. At the end of the movie (I won’t spoil it) I dance right along with Patrick Swayze and Baby! It was fantastic!

I would watch that and wonder what it would be like to actually call myself the winner.  My sister (I won’t embarrass whichever one it was…) and I watched the movie as if we had never seen it before. Over and over I watched Patrick  Swayze spin ‘Baby’ around, I thought about how she came from a family with money and yet she still had the same wishes and desires of most girls.

Even as adults, under our brims we all have wishes and desires that go waaaaaay back to those days and get new ones every day. What do we do when they don’t come to fruition? What happens when they get stuck in the prayer pipe-line. What happens when like Baby, you don’t feel like you fit in and regardless of assumptions you still deal with ‘those people’?

Take a Dirty Dancing Lesson on Life, put on your dancing shoes and stay who you are no matter what obstacles come your way. Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) didn’t want Baby around because she didn’t belong….the family didn’t want her around the “those people” because she didn’t belong but in the end, Baby stayed true to herself and didn’t change to fit in. So dance, laugh, live and enjoy!  “Baby” didn’t fit the mold but she lived, laughed and loved and in the end….she shined from Under Her Brim.ba207db8f332e0333d73cac9283545d6


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