The articles and lists are a dime a dozen — Glamour’s “The 12 Types of Crushes Every Girl Will Have,” to Cosmo’s hyperbolic “All the Types of Guys You Will Have Crushes on in Your Life” — and all mostly mention the same basic tropes and archetypes, , but I have to admit, it’s fun to reflect on those passing fancies. As someone who tends to fall often (and hard), here’s a few of my favorites.
The Childhood Crush
When I was little, my mom was still close with her best friend, my godmother, Marilyn. Marilyn had a son only a few months older than me named Jonathan. And we were in love. Apparently. We were going to get married, at least. I know this, because I found a note in my mother’s belonging written from me to Jonathan in 1988, telling him that we were no longer getting married because I was now in love with a boy named Michael.
Oh, and I guess Michael. I guess I had a crush on him, too.
Weirdly, you’d think for someone I was going to marry, I’d have more memories on time spent with him, but I really don’t. I have vague flashes of a back yard and a young boy, but no concrete memories. Probably a good thing we called it off, really.
The Teacher Crush:
I was a Senior in college before I admitted to anyone that I was attracted to my advisor, and it was only because literally everyone in the room came out with the exact same confession that day.
I don’t remember how we got on that topic – I think it was talking about “weird” crushes, and it was after Mary admitted to still having a crush on Disney’s Aladdin – that Dr. Scherwatzky’s name came up, and the whole group of us let out a collective swoon.
To be fair, he was cute in his own way – a bespectacled, dark haired, sort-of-nerdy man in his 40s (maybe? I had just turned 21, everyone was either a “baby,” my age, or “old”) who spoke enthusiastically about his work in a way that made you care, even if you didn’t care.
“That kind of intelligence and passion is super sexy,” Mary said. “It makes me want to throw him on his desk and… do things to him.”
We all nodded. Yes. We wanted to do things to him. All the things.
The Best Friend Crush:
She wasn’t my best friend at the time; I barely knew her, even though we had gone to high school together, and I knew the feelings weren’t reciprocated. Or at least, I was pretty sure they wouldn’t be, if she ever knew the feelings existed in the first place. We shared a class together my Sophomore year, and I finally screwed up the courage to give her my email address after a few weeks. I told myself that once I got to know her, the crush would fade – not because I thought I’d grow to dislike her, but because I fell so fast and so frequently, I knew there was a good likelihood that this would be just another passing fancy.
That crush held strong for at least another three years.
I kept my mouth shut. I don’t know why; she wasn’t the type of person to abandon a friend over something like that, and I’m not the type of person who can’t handle just being friends, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t bring myself to approach her about it. I’m happily married, she’s happily involved (with a really great guy), and I have been happily “just” her friend for fifteen years, but part of me still regrets not having the guts to say something to her.
…Even though it turned out that she’d suspected the crush all along. Apparently I’m not a stealth as I thought.
Even more grateful for the continued friendship after finding that out, honestly.
The Ashamed to Admit It Crush:
You know the person you find yourself attracted to, even though they aren’t traditionally good looking, or even your type? The one your friends sort of give you the side-eye about?
Steve Buscemi was that for me.
Shut up. Just, shut up right now.
I saw him for the first time in Ghost World, when I was nineteen and that entire film was just painfully, personally relevant, and I just fell head over heels. I can’t explain it, but I can safely say that if you go looking, you can find a lot of people who feel the same way about him – and those who do, feel it strongly. He’s either a punchline or a pin-up.
I hit up the library and collected all the films I could find that he was even tangentially connected to, and binged. I’m willing to bet that not a lot of you guys have never seen Trees Lounge, Living in Oblivion (which also stars Peter Dinklage, who is also really attractive), or Parting Glances? Well, I have. That last one I had to win off an eBay auction because it was obscure as shit and Netflix didn’t exist yet. When I go in, I go all in, people.
The “Guy on the Train”:
Or the “substitute teacher,” in my case – like, the person you see, and they’re hot, and you construct a fantasy life in mind with them in it, an then you never see them again?
It was my first year teaching, and I was working full-time in the collaborative learning center. I don’t remember who he was subbing for, but he kind of just meandered over and started a conversation, which… was not something I was accustomed to? I was still shortly out of college (I was 23), mostly ignored in school, and had a pretty insular group of friends outside of school, and… strangers didn’t come up and talk to me, like, ever?
Honestly, I think the novelty was a big part of the attraction, which is kind of pathetic, but it really was this weird Pavlovian “oh, someone is exhibiting seemingly genuine interest? Commence salivating!” kind of response. He was kind of cute, I guess – I remember him being very angular, tall and lanky, with the sort of boxy hipster glasses that have found their way into the mainstream. Honestly, I probably find him to be pretty insufferable now, because I remember him saying things like, in response to me saying I’d love to travel, “well, why don’t you then? There’s nothing keeping you here,” which is the sort of privileged, assumptive bullshit that pushes my buttons these days.
Who are some of your memorable crushes?