Today at work the topic of discussion was crushes. Those silly little infatuations that create some humor and fantasy in your otherwise ho-hum life. Or at least, in the ho-hum moments of your life. Unless, of course, you have some kind of odd stockpile of information, pictures, videos, books, etc. featuring your crushes that is hidden in your cellar somewhere, of which you never speak or admit publicly, but when everyone is gone or sleeping you sneak down and lust and drool or do "other" things with said stockpile. Then maybe you want to get some help or enter some kind of twelve step program. But I digress. So, we were all chatting about things like who has crushes on whom, longest lasting crushes, oddest crushes. That kind of thing. And it turns out I'm kind of a freak of nature. According to my co-workers. They all have crushes on people based pretty much on what they look like. Apparently, my method is a bit unconventional.
It seems that almost all of my crushes throughout my life have started as words on a page. The exceptions here would be Shaun Cassidy and Donny Osmond. But I was, like, 5, and didn't know how to read yet. And they were so pretty. And sang such great songs, like "Puppy Love" and "Hey Deenie." Andin Shaun Cassidy's case solved mysteries and drove around in a totally rockin' van and walked on the beach with the sun setting in the background and wind blowing his perfectly feathered hair. But I digress again. My crushes have started out as words. Not humans.
I'm a big music fan. So I'll hear a song, and think the words are amazing. And I'll sort of "fall in love" with the person who wrote them. Usually without ever seeing what they look like. Then I seek out more songs by them and wind up loving them just as much as the first, and I think you see where this is going. Eventually I'll see what they look like, but by then I'm hooked, and probably already think they're adorable. Which is how a person winds up with crushes on people like Moby or Michael Stipe (who kind of look alike, now that I think about it....) or Pete Yorn or Don Henley.
Then there's the author category. I read a lot of books. And if I find myself liking multiple books by an author, I seem to sort of develop a kind of crush on them. Again, usually not having any idea what they look like, until I go looking for their website. And by then, again, I'm hooked. And this tends to remain true even after I see pictures, because they write those great books and are so witty in their blogs, how can I not love them? Which is how one winds up with crushes on people like Neil Gaiman or Neal Shusterman (They don't have to be named Neal/Neil, though.) or Henry Rollins or Henry David Thoreau (Who are oddly both named Henry, which, again has nothing to do with it. And let's face it, Thoreau will get his own post at some point here).
And then the oddest category - characters in books. Because again, I read a lot of books. Granted, lots of them are books intended for teens, as that is part of my occupation. But you'd be surprised how great those books can be. And some of those characters are so amazing, you can't help but fall in love. Like, the obvious example, Edward Cullen in "Twilight." (And if you haven't read that series yet, what is wrong with you?) I don't think I was 100 pages in before I wanted him to be my vampire boyfriend. He was written as the perfect tortured romantic male. And then they made the movie, and did you see that guy? I so want him to be my vampire boyfriend! (And he's totally not jail bait because the character is over 700 years old, and Rob Pattinson is in his 20s somewhere). Another example would be Sirius Black in the Harry Potter books (Who is an actual grown up.). Oh, I was head over heels fast for that fella! This goodhearted man, who's been wronged by the system, and just wants to protect his godson and save the world..... what's not to love. And then they cast Gary Oldman in the movies, and OH MY GOD! I think I actually started drooling in the theater. And Dustfinger in "Inkheart." (Again, a grown up.) The brooding, mysterious man from another world who wants more than anything to get home to his family. And then they made the movie and cast Paul Bettany as Dustfinger. Who then proceeded to take off his shirt and play with fire. (I'm just saying.) All those books were read long before there was ever talk of a movie.
Heck, even Captain Jack is all about the character. I can take or leave Johnny Depp. But I love me some Captain Jack. And someone had to write him before he existed.
Even Hubby basically began as a crush on paper! We got to know each other through email before we ever got to know each other in person. I hadn't even really seen him until we'd been "pen pals" for awhile. But I was hooked long before there was a visual. And I wound up married to him. Granted, he is freakishly good looking, but still, it was all about the person first. Really.
So maybe I'm a freak of nature. But I prefer to think of myself as evolved.
Of course, my girl crushes are all about looks, but that's a whole other post.