Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I , too, carried a watermelon

I , too, carried a watermelon
Originally uploaded by Crystl.
This is one of the reasons I love flickr. One of my contacts posted a picture of herself, holding a watermelon. She explained how, every time she does this, she is reminded of a scene from Dirty Dancing. There is now a group called “I carried a watermelon".
Now, it's not just finding out that others are reminded of this scene each time they lug around this summer staple. The movie holds other memories for me.
I was raised Nazarene. Nazarenes are fond of boycotts. When I was six or seven, the church began a boycott on movies. All movies, even G rated Disney features, were to be avoided. The reasoning had something to do with monies trickling down to the porn industry, or some such. This boycott meant that I didn't see any popular movies in the theater; instead, I had to wait for them to air on television, a few years later. There were occasional exceptions.
My sister, Kim, and I were visiting with my mother's friend and her daughters. Non Nazarenes. When they suggested we watch some movies they rented, Kim and I waited with baited breath, as our mother decided to go ahead and let us watch. The first movie was Gremlins. I was in a blissful state. Sinning! With my mother's approval!
I knew the second movie wasn't going to be as lighthearted as Gremlins. They put the tape into the VCR with a brief pause. We were told not to be fooled by the intro-it was a good movie. I braced myself and watched my mother from the corner of my eye.
I think I stopped breathing for a moment. The people on the screen were dancing (dancing also a no no in the Nazarene church). Dirty dancing. I have to admit I was relieved when the writhing bodies were replaced by "Baby" in the backseat of her parent's car.
I vacillated between wondering what my mother must be thinking and being drawn into the story. I think the movie had a greater impact on me than it should have. I related to Baby, we had the same squinty eyes, nose, and mess of curls on our heads. I also related to her awkwardness, and struggle to define herself. Now, I don't own the DVD and watch it over and over again. (Though, I'm pretty sure I have the soundtrack around here somewhere) Nor do I think it's one of those movies everyone should see. I do, however, like finding other people that have a soft spot for cheesy eighties movies. Where’s your watermelon?


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