Sunday, February 13, 2005

"Nobody puts Baby..." Aw, forget it.

Ack! When did this become such a downer blog?! Gross! Must repair immediately!

I'm home now -- rested, laundered, ironed (!!!) and in a much better mindset in general. I'm watching Dirty Dancing, which can make just about any problem seem mundane (it's a biting social commentary, after all, when you strip away all the stellar acting, timeless catch-phrases, and classic soundtrack.)

I remember begging to watch Dirty Dancing when I was 5 or 6, and, after much needling, actually getting to. I was, of course, sent out of the room for all those steamy love scenes ("have you had many women?") I wouldn't have known what was going on, but oh well. I'm sure that my toddler self didn't fully appreciate the core of the film: the rich-poor dichotomy, or the courage it took for Baby to tell her father she was doin' it with the dance instructor.

If there's one thing I did understand, though,it was this: I was born to reinact that lift.

My aunt had one of those old brown-on-brown-plaid chairs with wooden arms just wide enough and flat enough for a 5-year-old to stand on. It was as close to a log over a ravine as I was going to get. Perfect. So -- without any warning -- I climbed up there, found a semblence of balance, yelled out "LIFT!" and flung myself, chest first, at the nearest adult. It happened to be my mom. Lucky her.

Lucky me, actually. She caught me (barely), and, in doing so, branded herself as my lift partner for the rest of the night. I don't know how many lifts we did, but I do remember asking before bed (all that dancing eventually had me all tuckered out, I'm sure) if we could continue the routine the next morning. The answer was decidedly no. Alas.

When I saw the movie again as a teenager, I understood more, but more was lost, too. The lift doesn't seem so awesome when it's set in the midst of abortion, shame, and that horrible "Hula Baby" rendition. Actually, though, I suppose understanding all the sociopolitical underpinnings of the movie makes the innocence of the lift all the more meaningful.

Ah, stark contrast. You make Dirty Dancing so... meta.