I heard about it at school. My girlfriends talked about it all the time. I had the soundtrack, but I was not allowed to watch "Dirty Dancing." It was, after all, rated R. It was full of rebellion and sex and issues bigger than my naive brain could understand. I didn't even know what it was about, I just knew I hadn't seen it and probably never would.
That was until TNT bought the rights and showed it, edited, on cable. I was sixteen the first time I saw it, and I fell in love with Johnny just about as fast as Baby did. At first I thought I just loved it because it was "banned." Maybe because the word "dirty" was in the title. But then again, I'd seen more grotesque dancing at my school dances than I had on that movie.
I soon came to realize it was a timeless classic. It was a romantic story of the good-girl falling for the rebel guy. Only in this movie, the rebel guy turned out to be honest, hard-working, and trustworthy. Did I mention he was also hot? He was THE ultimate boyfriend.
Patrick is gone now, and it's almost like Johnny is gone, too, and Dirty Dancing is now just an old home movie. It's that bitter-sweet memory of the times we (never) had and the best boyfriend any girl could ask for.
Baby said it best when she looked at him with her big eyes and said, "Me? I'm scared of everything. I'm scared of what I saw, I'm scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all 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."
In a way, I think the sixteen year old girl in all of us feels that way about Johnny, about Patrick, about the movie itself, and will never really get over losing "our" Johnny.