Feeling nostalgic a couple of weeks ago, I picked up a copy of Dirty Dancing and watched it while pinned to the couch by a sleeping toddler. Patrick Swayze was on of my admired hotties when I was a teen and I’ve been kind of in a funk about his death. Oddly. Strangely. Because I haven’t paid any attention to the guy or his movies since I was a young woman.
At any rate, the movie was pretty awful, though the dancing and music was a bit fun. I laughed my way through it, embarrassed that I had once adored the thing at all. Ah, the ignorance of youth. I recall my girlfriends and I sitting around weeping to a song from the movie, “She’s like the Wind,” when my boyfriend at the time (a runt of a guy about whom I was never even remotely serious but who had provided me with my first official make-out session) broke up with me. Oh, the drama.
So, there I am with a dozing Bodhi on my lap, chuckling and even hiding my face in shame during a few of the more awkward and poorly acted scenes, when it occurs to me, I’m never going to be a famous dancer. I’m too frickin’ old. Not that I ever even aspired to be a ballerina. But, suddenly I was terribly torn up about what I would never accomplish in my life because I am now OLD. I started making lists in my head: I’m never going to be a famous singer, or an actor, never going to have an affair with someone adorable and famous, never going to have a grand adventure . . .
What was this? A mid-life crisis? Seemingly, it’s irrational to mourn the loss of things I never wanted in the first place. Yet, here I was feeling morose because a crappy movie had reminded me that my youth had passed. I decided to drown in the feeling for a while and ordered a bunch more of Swayze’s movies. Then, I went on to read Swayze’s autobiography. I am not a biography reader, for the most part, and don’t follow the “stars” in People or tabloids. Heck, I don’t even watch television, so again, it was odd that I was even stirred to read about the guy. Yeah, he died youngish (57), yeah, it was sad. But it’s not like he was Gandhi or anything.
Anyway, here I am a few weeks down the road, doing what I do – being a mom, baking bread, taking care of the house, dreaming of this spring’s garden, planning my family’s future. And, you know what? Mostly, I’m fine with it. So what if I’m never remembered for anything other than loving my kids and being a good cook? I might not make headlines, but my work is valuable. Besides, there’s still time to become an author someday, right?