Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Another Kiddo Kim Story? Splendid!

When I was a kid, my parents censored the types of media in our lives but only on a limited level.  We watched a LOT of movies at home because we didn't have cable or satellite until I was in high school.  That meant we were limited to the two channels we could pick up with the TV antenna.  We had a pretty big movie collection, but there was the section at the back of the faux woodgrain VHS tape drawers that held the movies we weren't allowed to watch. 
Yeah, remember these guys?

I even remember which movies they were: Animal House, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Stripes.  The nudity in these movies was apparently deemed too graphic for us.  (Mom, I know you read this.  Why wasn't Caddyshack included?  The nudity wasn't too graphic?)

They were even more lax when it came to music.  We regularly listened to the Meatloaf album Bat Out of Hell on the casette player in the car.  I'm pretty sure I knew all the words to "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by the time I was eight.  I loved that song - still do - but it didn't have anything to do with the lyrical content.  It's loud, and epic, and it's a duet, and there's a whole baseball section in the middle!  It wasn't until I was much older that I really started to understand the lyrics anyway.

Anyway, my favorite movies as a kid were Grease and Dirty Dancing.  I won't even go into the lyrics for "Greased Lightning."  But to this day, I still think the final scene in Dirty Dancing is one of the most triumphant scenes in all of film.  Seriously.  Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

This is what success looks like.

And yes, I do realize how ridiculous this sounds, but I stand by it.  As a kid, all I knew was that this was a love story with a lot of amazing dancing.  I had absolutely no understanding of Penny's plot line.  I mean, I guess I probably knew that she was pregnant.  But I'm pretty sure I thought she was still pregnant at the end of the movie until I was 17.  It was definitely a lightbulb moment when I figured out why anyone had a "dirty knife and a folding table."

I loved this movie so much that when Johnny and Baby would perfect the lift at the end, I would beg my dad to do the same with me.  Obviously this got progressively more difficult as I got older.  (Sidenote: I think that's one of the saddest moments of growing up - when you realize you're finally too big to just be tossed up into the air.  Especially when you're the oldest, and the other kids still have years of child throwing ahead of them.)  Then there was also the fact that my dad didn't love Dirty Dancing as much as I did, so he often found reasons to avoid watching it with me.  That's when I developed my solo Dirty Dancing lift technique.

We had a a really sturdy footstool that was the cornerstone of playtime in our living room.  It was used as a tunnel when we were really small, as a house or garage for dolls and cars, a sturdy wall for fort building, you name it.  Most importantly for me, it was also the Johnny to my Baby.  It was my lift partner.  If Dad wasn't around to do the lift with me, I would come running from one end of our house and gracefully flop onto the footstool arms outstretched, legs straight out behind me.  I had no shame in this either.  I didn't care who was around.  When my parents were out for the night, and our babysitter Laura let me stay up late to finish watching the movie, the only thing that changed was that I would try to run quieter so as not to wake up my little brother.

I don't think this spectacle was ever captured on film or video, so I made a helpful visual aid.  Other than the fact that I used a picture of me at twenty-seven instead of seven, I feel that this is pretty accurate.  Please feel free to compliment my photo shopping skills.  
This is full of win.  Trust me.
I really don't blame my parents at all for exposing me to those things as a kid.  Until a child is old enough to understand what any of it means, it doesn't really matter.  And once we were old enough to understand, my parents would have honestly answered any questions we had.  To this day, I still don't think much about Penny's plot or the lyrics to "Greased Lightning," so it's no big deal.  Understanding the lyrics to "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" however...  Yeah that was an adjustment.

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