When I was in the seventh grade, my best friend, Cari, was completely boy crazy. She would plaster the walls in her room with pictures snipped from the pages of Tiger Beat; Ricky Schroder, Jason Bateman, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, and many, many more. Every week or two, she would tear the pictures down and replace them with whatever boy caught her fancy next. Sometimes they were celebrities and sometimes they were real, live boys from school.
My obsessions never went as far as Cari’s. My biggest crush at the time was probably on her. Not in the romantic sense, but she was the “it” girl who everyone adored. She was pretty, fun, independent, and the most “worldly” person I knew at the time. Not only was she boy crazy, but everyone was crazy about her. Definitely someone I wanted to be around.
My kids aren’t interested in crushworthy celebrities yet. I never really understood having crushes on celebs. It’s not like I was ever going to meet them. Although, I read somewhere that Katie Holmes had a Tom Cruise poster hanging in her bedroom when she was a kid, and she actually did marry him, so you never know. Sure, I gasped along with the rest of the women in the audience when Brad Pitt first appeared by the side of the road in Thelma and Louise, but is that a crush? Or just a really, really hot guy? A crush should have the potential of something more happening … and that didn’t seem very likely with Mr. Pitt.
The one celebrity crush I have had for as long as I can remember is … drumroll please ... Bill Murray. I realize this is a somewhat unconventional choice, but I have always found him really appealing. It started with Meatballs and Stripes, then Ghostbusters and now Rushmore and Lost in Translation. Yes, I realize that I am probably not going to meet him either, but someday I could be sitting next to him in a hotel bar in a foreign land and striking up a conversation. Hey, a girl can dream, right?
I can remember in elementary school having a full length poster on the back of my bedroom door of Shawn Cassidy and thinking Chachi on Happy Days was really cute. I think my biggest crush came a few years later with the release of the 1983 movie “The Outsiders”. C. Thomas Howell was so cute and on the cover of all the teen magazines – come to think of it, the entire cast of that movie was really something for a tween/teen girl… Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez… wow. I remember I wrote a fan letter to C. Thomas Howell and even got a response back! I wonder if celebrities even get fan mail anymore with now that there are Twitter and Facebook?!
In spite of the fact that I am now I married woman in my 40s, I still have crushes. I still think it can be fun to oooh and aaah over a celebrity. (I now subscribe to People magazine instead of Tiger Beat and Teen Beat.) The last couple of crushes I had were American Idol sensations Lee Dewyze and James Durbin. Both adorable and both seem like really down to earth likeable guys following their bliss.
The biggest difference with my celebrity crushes now versus then is the personality of the celebrity plays a much bigger role in the crush now that I am older. This leads me to why I am not ashamed to admit that just this past week I developed Bieber Fever in spite of the fact I could be this kids mother! Why you ask? Well if you have been following the news lately you may have seen how social media was able to connect Justin to a sweet little six-year-old from Merrimac Massachusetts Avalanna Routh, also known as Mrs. Bieber. My aunt is a para-professional and was Routh’s classroom aid; I have heard many stories about how amazing and strong this little girl is. (Routh suffers from ATRT an extremely rare form of brain cancer.) In less than a week the social media campaign to Get Avalanna to meet Justin Bieber worked and the Biebs flew Avalanna and her family to New York where they ate cupcakes, played Candyland and just enjoyed each other’s company for two hours. Awesome move Biebs, simply awesome. You have a new fan for life! Never say never!
Tasha Schlake Festel
I had Duran Duran buttons on my jean jacket but it was really Simon LeBon who made me swoon. I used to slow dance with my Rick Springfield album cover and wished I was old enough at age eght to watch General Hospital and drink in Dr. Noah Drake. I had a little thing for Adam Ant too, and I found Richard Greico totally yummy, though I’m sure I didn’t call him that when I was 14 and he was on 21 Jump Street. Kirk Cameron? Yes, please! George Michael? Sure, I’ll take 2. How ‘bout a side of Bruce Willis’ David Addison? You betcha. Charlie Sheen from his Major League days? Winning!
It’s funny to be writing about past crushes, as I sit here in Pennsylvania, in my old bedroom at my parents’ house, on school vacation. I look at the walls that held my Michael Jackson poster and pages torn out of Tiger Beat magazine. The holes from the tacks have long since been spackled and the paint, comforter and furniture are choices of adults, not a hormonal ‘tween, but here I sit, smiling, letting those old feelings wash over me. It makes me giggle like I did in junior high. I don’t remember being “boy crazy” back then, but my friends and family may tell a different story.
Fast forward 30 years from my Rick Springfield crush to today and I have many more crushes than I did back then, though I no longer dance with album covers and daydream about going to NYC with my parents, rounding the corner to collide with Kirk Cameron, gazing deeply into his eyes and finding true love. Now I dance with my iPod and daydream about going in to Boston alone, rounding the corner to collide with Ben Affleck (from The Town), gazing deeply into his eyes and finding true love. Things really have changed.
Much more than Ben from The Town (and really, other than in that movie, he doesn’t do much for me), I love Daniel Craig and Clive Owen. While I had been aware of him for a while, I fell for Daniel Craig when he played James Bond in Casino Royale. He was so totally badass! But somehow sensitive. Troubled, in fact. I’m a sucker for that stuff. And then there was the scene where he came out of the ocean and wow! Well, I was hooked. Clive Owen got me in Closer and then sealed the deal with Children of Men. He was just a little bit insane and unbalanced. Oddly attractive. I should probably seek counseling for that. Counseling or not, I like that they’re both older than me, scruffy, not too pretty and a bit surly.
The boys who appeal to the other side of me couldn’t be more different than those guys. I’m talking about Zac Effron, Corbin Bleu, Jerry Trainor. They are all stars from my 8-year-old daughter’s world, of Disney and Nickelodeon fame. They are young, cute, fresh-faced and seemingly filled with wonder. And I could have birthed two of the three of them. For the record, Jerry Trainor is my favorite of the trio for his totally dorky cuteness and floppy, not-too-serious style. (The fact that there is no mathematical way I could be his mother – I am only four years older than he is - certainly does not detract from his first place finish.)
Since I’m revealing my inner ‘tween here, I might as well ‘fess up to being fully committed to Team Jacob. But I must clarify that I do not hold a flame for <link to Taylor Lautner, shirtless or otherwise. Jacob Black, from the pages of Twilight however, yes, please. I am such a dog person!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a few of the other celebrities in my life who make me smile and feel a little tingly. In my world, sexy has many faces, so my list of “also rans” is long: Bradley Cooper, Hugh Grant, Gerard Butler, Will Smith, Johnny Depp, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Jimmy Fallon, Ellen DeGeneres, Justin Timberlake, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Ryan Reynolds, Josh Duhamel, Ryan Gosling, P!nk, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rob Lowe, John Stamos, Ricky Martin, Gael Garcia Bernal, Harry Connick Jr., Jake Johnson, and on, and on.
Apparently I’m making up for lost time in that “boy-crazy” department!
Confession time. I have crushes. Lots of crushes. The only thing I’m ashamed of is how easy this article was to write. I stand by my choices.
It was 1988 and I was ten and in love with Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block. All my friends loved a different band member. I watched the Hangin’ Tough video on my friend Rachael’s upstairs television until our eyes bled. T-shirts, posters, pins, the works. Joey and that sweet little voice captured my heart. Fast forward to 2011 and NKOTB was making a return trip to Boston, playing at Fenway Park. Gathering my very best friends from across three different states and two pregnancies, we all pulled it together with our t-shirts and pins to stand in the rain for an unforgettable concert. I didn’t feel so inappropriate though, my amazing sister in law flew 3000 miles across the country for this concert. Joey was as adorable as ever, and as they ran around the infield at the park, I got close enough and HE TOUCHED MY HAND! Jealous, aren’t you?
On to sports. Tom Brady is my guy. As soon as Bledsoe went down, I jumped on the Brady bandwagon and I never looked back. Not even after the UGG incident. My fantasy football team is named after him. He is in fact, the reason I play fantasy football. I draft my Tommy first every year, with the exception of that one dreadful year that was he was stolen right out from in front of my eyes. Tom Brady is an amazing football player and that only makes him more crushable to me. I can admire the way he draws his arm back to throw or the intensity in his eyes when he is calling plays. But man, when he takes that helmet off and he shakes his head of hair out of his eyes...chills, for real.
My main crush right now is Edward Cullen. He has main status because he crosses two genres, books and movies. I quickly became engrossed in the books and when Robert Pattinson was cast as Edward, the crush was complete. From reading (and rereading) the books, I was Team Edward all the way. The undying love he has for Bella, combined with his strength and good looks made him a sure thing. Cut to the movies and my love became a little confused as Jacob ripped off his shirt. I think I may have gasped out loud. I am still Team Edward but Jacob has one more movie to convince me. Confession time again, I have Edward stuff. Edward doll, Cullen family crest winter hat, Cullen family crest pin, a few Twilight t-shirts and the crown jewel of my collection, a life size Edward cutout, courtesy of previously mentioned amazing sister-in-law. My Edward cutout has gone out in the car with me and when it came time to watch the previous movies with some friends before Breaking Dawn came out, he came along. I was at the midnight premiere showings of each of the movies and I loved every second even thought it was WAY past my bedtime. When Edward walked into the cafeteria in the first movie...my, oh my...it never gets old.
I don’t know why I revel in my crushes...maybe it’s a good distraction. If the kids are driving me bonkers, I can go to my happy place in the meadow with Edward It may be because I’m just a girl, able to appreciate a handsome, talented guy. Either way, I suppose, with this article, I have forfeited any sort of status I might hold in Wakefield.