Miss Pop Rocks is the first to admit she has a tendency to be, well, a little sarcastic or facetious or downright mean-spirited sometimes when it comes to celebrities. But I really and truly do have a soft spot inside of this cold, cold heart for many of them, and one of the ones who melts me is Patrick Swayze.
Almost seven months ago when I started writing this blog, I kicked things off by suggesting a local school rename itself after this native son. And I was pretty much 100 percent serious. I wanted a Patrick Swayze High School then, and I want a Patrick Swayze High School now.
But now…Patrick Swayze is sick with pancreatic cancer. And that totally blows.
I really, really dig Patrick Swayze. And I don’t mean that in an ironic, kitschy way, the way some people dig Journey’s Greatest Hits album or reruns of “Mama’s Family.” I mean it sincerely. And you know how rarely Miss Pop Rocks gets sincere.
Why do I dig him so?
Perhaps it’s because, as a woman of a certain age, watching “Dirty Dancing” over and over and over again as a preteen helped build my expectations of what a Perfect Guy ought to be. (That Perfect Guy was basically a combination of Swayze’s Johnny Castle in “Dirty Dancing” and John Cusack’s Lloyd Dobler in “Say Anything.” I’ll let you guess which part of the Perfect Guy would teach me the Mambo.)
Perhaps it’s because he was gracious enough to make a special guest appearance on “Oprah” to surprise the couple who’d posted their “Dirty Dancing” wedding dance on YouTube.
Perhaps it’s because one of his very first roles was in another seminal movie of my youth – “The Outsiders” – where he played Darry Curtis, and the preteen girl in me realized what it felt like inside when a man took his shirt off (meow).
Perhaps it’s because he was man enough to dress up in drag in “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.”
Perhaps it’s because he made one of the all time cult classics, a little movie called “Road House.”
Perhaps it’s because he has never – not even once – gotten frustrated or annoyed at people referring (over and over and over) to his most famous line, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”
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Perhaps it’s because in “Ghost” he made pottery sexy.
For that and about a million other reasons – he’s always come across as a very self-deprecating, down-to-Earth, genuine guy; he’s been married to the same woman for over 30 years; he was in fucking “Red Dawn” for God’s sake – anyway, for those reasons and a ton more, I want to say sincerely that I know I join many Houstonians when I say I am praying and hoping for a speedy recovery.
I’m still dreaming of the day I can jump into his arms while wearing a breezy, flowy, early 60s evening dress and get lifted up into the stars.
Get better, Patrick. Please. – Jennifer Mathieu