There is something innocently sweet about an eyelash when it has lost its roots. I hate when I have to pick off all the strands of hair that I've left on my pillowcase after a good night's sleep, but I can't begrudge the delicate arc of a lost eyelash. They're funny like that; even when they're not surrounding your eyes, they make a statement.

I just watched Dirty Dancing for the first time. I know, I'm almost twenty-one and, guess what, I've never even seen Grease, which is probably a crime against humanity or at least against culture. I don't think I can really recommend the movie, to be quite honest, and there are a lot of tangents I could go down, but I think one of the significant reasons why that movie works is because it has a lot of hope. Sure, it's a fairly standard bildungsroman, with Baby as the wide-eyed idealist pitted against the jaded but alluring society of the camp staff with their gritty tragedies and local horrors that can't be cushioned against like Vietnam and war. She is quickly drawn in by her attraction to Johnny and the rest is history, except it kind of isn't because movies aren't like real life and instead of letting herself be changed completely by the prevailing sentiments, she maintains her optimism and manages to not only be changed but also to change others.

It is easy to feel tired when everyone around you is something else entirely. I have a dear friend who is so unlike anyone I've ever known. She is tenacious, determined, funny, and intelligent, and she stands out because she is swimming against the current instead of letting it take her where it will. Sometimes she doesn't get it right, and she's humble enough to know when, so that mostly she tells me about her failures. But I like knowing that she's alive being stubbornly who she is (and she would probably hate that I'm describing her that way). She's like my Baby because she gives me hope.

You see, an eyelash is an eyelash wherever it is. It's not entirely out of place on my pillowcase, but if I found it on, say, a brick: its rough surroundings would only highlight its delicacy. Baby means something because she is who she is wherever she is. My friend means something because she doesn't want to change in any of the easy ways, so she's willing to tough it out and be who she is no matter what. And they all make me feel like I can do it too, because I lied about Dirty Dancing being a bildungsroman. The world doesn't change Baby- Baby changes her world.

1 comment:

  1. You know, I've never watched Dirty Dancing either. Although I have watched Grease, so I guess that makes it equal.