14 September 2009

Goodbye, Johnny Castle.

When I was in the second grade, my friends and I would play a game we called "Roomies," a more mature variation of house. We would pick out our boyfriends/husbands--selected on a first-come, first-served basis--create a conflict ("Okay, now you just found out that your boyfriend is cheating, and. . ."), and then drama would ensue.

The most sought-after boyfriend/husband? Patrick Swayze. Yes, this was during the time when Dirty Dancing was at the height of its popularity, when it was on HBO approximately 17 times per day. It was around then that People chose him as the sexiest man alive, and my friends and I concurred. It was a bit of a fight to get Patrick as your man.

My friend Sloan, who in hindsight was a bit of a bitch, always managed to call him first. And in the event that I managed to call him first, she would tell me that I couldn't have him because she always had him. Why was I friends with that girl?

Sloan's bitchiness caused me to pick an alternate, a Mr. Tom Cruise. (Tom and I were actually an item up until a couple of years ago, when he really amped up the crazy, causing me to dump him.) While I realized that there were, indeed, other handsome fellows out there, Patrick Swayze always held a special place in my heart.

Johnny Castle was my real first crush. He was so sexy, and so vulnerable, and such a good dancer! When I was seven years old, most of the adult themes of Dirty Dancing--arguably the greatest film of ALL TIME--flew over my head. But I did know a few things: Johnny was SO hot, Baby was cool, Lisa and Robbie were stupid, Johnny wasn't the one who got Penny in trouble (even though I didn't completely grasp the enormity of "in trouble"), and dancing was awesome.

I wasn't actually allowed to watch Dirty Dancing. Pfffft. Yeah, okay. Like that would work. I think that during that period of my life I would only become friends with girls who had HBO, girls whose parents either didn't care what we watched, or were seldom home. I had to get my fix.

And get my fix I have. I've seen the movie approximately 752 times. I could recite it to you right now. I quote it almost daily. Dirty Dancing has become part of my psyche, though somehow I still lack the ability to dance. F-ing Baptist school!

Johnny Castle, in all his sexiness with jumping off stages and jumping over porch railings to beat up assholes, in his amazing singing, in the way he squinted his eyes and mouthed the words "and I owe it all to you" to Baby during the final dance number, was the first man I lusted after. He was like the wind, through my tree. . .

I, along every girl my age, will miss you Mr. Patrick Swayze.


  1. i couldn't have said it better myself.

  2. Hey, don't forget about me and girls my age! Patrick is even hotter than Moses!


  3. What a sweet tribute! They should've asked you to give his eulogy. I, too, love the squinty eye thing he does to Baby!

  4. Mandy:
    Came to your blog for your key lime cupcake recipe and came across your Patrick Swayze tribute. I, too, loved Patrick from his Dirty Dancing Days - also one of my favorite movies! Can't believe he's gone. Makes me cry every time I think about it. Maybe cupcakes will help. Can't believe how much we have in common (even though I am hundreds of years older than you!). (Aunt) Tina



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