omg omg omg omg omg

Can I just say this, you guys?  Dirty Dancing has once again gone mainstream.  Dirty Dancing.  I can hardly stand it.

How many of you have seen that un-freaking-believable United Healthcare commercial with the couple in the kitchen?  Every time I’ve watched it I’ve laughed so hard I think I’ve tinkled a bit.  Every single time it’s on.  In case you haven’t seen it yet — please, for the love of all things holy, watch this:

United Healthcare: Our Song Commercial

I can’t even.  The cha-cha step at 0:18.  The head-snap hair-flip at 0:21.  It’s like she channeled Baby and her sass-tastic dance moves.  I LOVE IT.

All right then, if you didn’t laugh hysterically at how on point that commercial is, you:

a) weren’t this movie’s target demographic (i.e. teenage girls) in 1987,

b) have no sense of satiric humor, or

c) are dead inside.

Okay, just kidding about that last one.  Sort of.  I mean, even BrightSide laughed at this commercial and hit rewind so I could see it.  Of course, he also knows what I’m about to share with all of you: I am what can only be described as a Dirty Dancing (the movie, not the verb) freak.

In August of 1987 this rather iconic movie was released.  Now, I’m sure older people thought it sucked (and by “older” I mean the people who’d moved beyond sappy romance/fight-the-power/girl-coming-of-age movies), but this flick was tailor-made for me.

Girl falls in love with someone who is completely off limits?  Check.  Girl demands to grow into her independence and individuality while everyone around her prizes the “pretty girl?”  Check.  Sneaking around, going to wild parties, and making crappy decisions while your parents are distracted? Check, check, check.

I was 16 years old when Dirty Dancing hit the screens and, as the gods were smiling on me that year, I worked in a movie theater.  I’m not exaggerating when I say I probably saw various parts of that movie more than a hundred times…we were allowed to eat popcorn in the theaters on our breaks, and I lost track of the number of times I consumed my body weight in that orange-ish popcorn while Johnny and Baby lived through the summer of 1963, over and over again.

Okay, for real now — if you’re not an ’80s peep, another crazy fan of Dirty Dancing, or amused by my freakish knowledge of and attachment to this movie then this post will probably bore you to tears.  My apologies.  Visit again later.

For the rest of us…

This commercial brought back All The Memories.  The jitters when you meet a boy you like.  The lengths you’ll go to for that person.  The fierce intensity of every single emotion at Baby’s age.  Love. Fear.  Kindness.  Anger.  Passion.  How they all explode out of you without warning.

I remember how I cried every time Johnny and Baby had to say goodbye to each other, and how I’d cry again when he came back for her and they did the lift in the last dance of the season.  Even when I watch it now.  Every single time.

I mean, what the hell?!  This isn’t a Hallmark moment, I’ve seen it a trillion times, how can it keep affecting me this way?

Okay, enough with the emotions and such!  Let’s do some Dirty Dancing trivia instead.

Some timeless quotes and the extraordinarily deep messages they shared with the youth of 1987:

  • “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”  – Johnny
    • Do not let other people make you small, even your family.  But if they do, a big strong man will come along to save you.  (I think the writers may have missed an opportunity here.)
  • “We’re supposed to do the show in two days, you won’t show me the lifts, I’m not sure of the turns, I’m doing all this to save your ass, what I really want to do is drop you on it!”  – Baby
    • Speak your mind, ask for what you need, and know when it’s time to say go to hell.
  • “Now, you’ll hurt me if you don’t trust me, all right?”  – Johnny
    • Give it your all.  MORE than your all.  Give 110%.  It’s when you flinch and give 90% that things go wrong.
  • “Where is my beige iridescent lipstick?”  – Lisa (Baby’s big sister)
    • A girl can never have too many lipsticks.  Or, the world can change around you while you’re busy looking for a neutral lip color.  Most likely the latter.

And, five interesting things you might not know about Dirty Dancing.  I learned about them here:

  • Initial test audiences despised the film.  (HUH?!  Well, who made up their test audience?  If it wasn’t teenage girls then they totally botched that job!  I thought these movie people were supposed to be smart.)
  • The title came first.  (The chicken or the egg?  The answer is “Dirty Dancing.”)
  • They had to paint the leaves green since the movie was shot out of season.  (An atrocity that would never be tolerated by today’s environmental watchdogs.  Boy, they must have been real slackers in 1987.)
  • The lake scene was shot in a 40-degree lake.  (OMG.  I won’t even dip my toe in the pool unless I’m burning up.  I’m not sure there’s a dollar amount that could have gotten me into that frigid water over and over.)
  • Patrick Swayze detested one of the most famous lines in the movie — “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”  (Okay, as much as it pains me to say it, this does come off as cheesy.  I guess they needed a transition line while Johnny pulled her away from the table, and “Hey babe, let’s grind” wasn’t gonna cut it.)

So, that’s my 80s recap for the Dirty Dancing crowd.  If you made it this far then thanks for hanging with me…you must have a bit of Dirty Dancing freak in you, too.

Now go watch that commercial again.

But maybe you should tinkle first.  Just in case.

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