Some of you may be aware of the news that Patrick Swayze has passed away. I'm sad that he died so soon and from cancer, which people who have seen someone die from will know is horrible for everyone involved.
I am a big fan of Dirty Dancing, which I think must be one of the all time favourite movies of women my age. Gee that sounds old. Anyway. What is it that made this movie such a hit? The tight pants? The handsome dancer ? The young girl who finds a romance for the summer with a handsome guy in tight pants who WANTS to dance with you -I mean her? -oh and he is a BAD boy too.
This movie reminds me of part of my childhood growing up somewhere similar to the hotel where Dirty Dancing is set. My parents worked in the hotel and all the staff lived on site. There were only a few kids living in the village and they were all my younger sister's age. So while she had plenty of friends to play with, there was nothing for me to do after school and on weekends. So my father quickly found jobs for me to do around the hotel including making toast, washing dirty glasses and various other chores the regular staff needed help with. This of course brought me into contact with a variety of "Johnny Castles" every day. Most of them were nice to me (don't want to get in trouble with the boss right?). Some of them I had crushes on. Luckily I was only 11 or 12 so of course, those crushes were nothing more than that. When I recall some of the people who I had a crush on I have to laugh at my naivety.
There was a guy who I worked with a lot who was very friendly to me who I liked for a while, called me "duckies" or something like that. Turns out he was gay, but how was my 12 year old self to know that?
I have fond memories of my Mum driving my sister and me along with 2 six foot Adonises to town (an hour or more away) so that us kids could be dropped of at a friends house whilst she and Adonises went to a hotel golf tournament. Of course I was too frightened to say anything during the entire ride but hey, being squished in the back seat had never been more pleasant.
I sometimes went to staff parties (not so dissimilar to the one in the movie) with my parents that were quite.. er.. "interesting". I was the girl holding the watermelon - not that were any watermelons for me to hold, if there had been that would have been great, at least I would have had something to do other than watch the party from the sidelines.
I would have to say that my parents were very lucky they were transferred somewhere else before I turned 13 where we led a "normal" life, ie. I didn't spend all my free time surrounded by people 10 years older than me and their potty mouths, rude jokes and chain smoking. Although 10 years later when I was working at a hotel in a different but similarly remote part of NZ and one of the older staff members liked to tell me how great it was that my room was next door to his, so he knew when I was showering - I was worldly enough to know that he was in fact just an old pervert, though I did make sure to lock my door at night. Ah the joys of living and working in the hospitality industry.
SO Patrick, in a tribute to you, here is the final scene from Dirty Dancing.