May 7, 2009

I'm convinced: Johnny Castle cursed my love life.

I'm a child of the 80s so I grew up on this movie. Along with every other starry-eyed, optimistic, love-filled girl my age, (and I'm sure some boys), Dirty Dancing was my favorite movie.

My parents never bought VHS tapes when I was a kid but we were fully stocked with blank tapes and took full advantage of that record button on the VCR; scrambling to pop a tape in when a good movie started and then threatening the lives of anyone in the household should they even THINK about touching the clicker for at LEAST two hours. This particular VHS tape got a lot of air time. My friends and I reenacted the dance scenes. Or tried to. Who didn't try the lifts every summer in the pool? To this day I tear up when "She's Like the Wind" starts to play and Johnny pulls away, gravel flying. I still get giddy with goosebumps when he comes back and him and Baby show Kellerman's how it's done. Then I smile when Dr. Houseman apologizes to Johnny. OK, enough. We all know this is a timeless classic.

Then it hit me this weekend when my favorite station on TV, ABC Family, (don't judge) aired Dirty Dancing. I still have a huge crush on Johnny Castle. And he, my friends, is the culprit.

Johnny is the root of all my bad boy tendencies. I'm convinced. Growing up, Prince Charming did nothing for this girl. But Johnny, oh Johnny. He fights for Baby and even for Penny. Nobody talks smack about his girls and we all know nobody puts Baby in a corner. He breaks car windows with poles when he can't find his keys and drives too fast in the rain. He has interesting stories of how unfortunate he was as a kid and how he works so hard just to make ends meet. He's got depth. And he can move, oh man can he move. His body isn't so bad either.

Falling for Johnny Castle at the tender age of 7 or 8 really set me up for a lifetime of disappointment when it comes to guys and love. All throughout life the good guys have always bored me. They never held my attention for very long. I've always enjoyed a guy who's a little rough around the edges, who's got a story to tell and is willing to fight for me..sometimes literally. I can't help it, I like it. I need a little bit of edge to keep me interested. And you know who I blame? Johnny Castle.

But the problem is, Johnny is a bad boy with a good heart. He fights the bad guys for the right reasons. He wants to do good and he knows how to be respectful when he needs to be. Most importantly, he recognizes a good thing when he sees it and he isn't afraid. He doesn't let his ego get in his own way. And whelp, bad boys like him just don't exist in the real world.

Bad boys in the real world are just bad.

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