Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Dirty Dancing Lessons

The death of Patrick Swayze this week made me think about his most loved movie, Dirty Dancing.

Do you remember the abortion sub-text in the film?

The first time I watched Dirty Dancing I was still in grade school and I didn't catch on to that part of the plot. I didn't even know enough to know I was missing something. The film was great and I would watch it on HBO, or rent it from the video store, and then, eventually, I bought my own VHS copy of the movie.
Patrick Swayze with his “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” performance and Jennifer Grey with her “…I'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I'm with you.” performance made it one of my favorites. Dirty Dancing is a classic film.

It wasn’t until I watched the movie for the 100th time when I was in high school that the abortion part of the film jumped out at me, and all the sudden it became a whole new film. How could something so familiar be so new? How could I have repeatedly missed this layer of the film? It was a startling realization, which turned it into a significant moment in my life. At that moment I learned a very valuable lesson about life, and I call it My Dirty Dancing Lesson.

My Dirty Dancing Lessons:

  • Complete comprehension is not required for appreciation; we achieve appreciation and satisfaction based on our current level of comprehension
  • It's fun to revisit that which is familiar in search of new discoveries

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