While I was moving apartment my boyfriend found a small framed picture of another man.
I had forgotten I still had it.
It was part of a teenage crush, which I’d no idea how to act upon.
The man was from a TV show, the picture was from a magazine.
It was Noah Wyle.
My boyfriend burst out laughing.
Celebrity crushes aren’t easy. I had never been one for typical heart throbs. Shuddering at the idea of being in a throng of girls screaming a name, louder and louder until only vowels remain pitched into a scream. The unlikelihood of him saying ‘You screamed hysterically the best, you shall be my bride!’ Most likely if the celebrity ventured out into that sea of teenage girls he would be swept under never to be seen again. Forever lost to a hundred weeping faces and two hundred pawing hands.
If I ever did meet the object of my affections teenage magazines were a practical goldmine for small talk subjects ‘So, I read that you love pizza? Me too!’
Then we could probably go for pizza and talk about his favorite color (blue) and most embarrassing moment (probably this date).
Highbrow magazine articles usually go into a deep philosophical discussion about tragic childhoods, failed relationships and artistic influence. These would make for terrible conversation openers ‘I read that your father died when you were quite young. Did that affect your love of pizza?’
When reading about relationships, I would compare myself to the slew of previous girlfriends. Were they famous actresses? Probably.
Were they pretty? Definitely.
The success of our relationship would stem from my being none of those things.
To further increase my chances with someone famous I would discover new crushes in such niche places as cult TV shows or small indie bands. Fame is relative. Dating someone famous would be a balance between how well known they are and at least having a few friends who could appreciate my good fortune (or be jealous of it).
My quiet moments, sitting in class, riding on the bus, doing my laundry were spent in fantasy. It wouldn’t be a typical hormone fueled visions, all grunting and grinding. My aim would be a single kiss, romantic and true, to make my young girl’s heart believe that love could overcome anything (even lack of fame). My mind would go over the scenario over and over, ironing out the details until logic prevailed to kiss I so wanted.
Logic dictated that in order to become appealing to a person who was famous and better looking than myself I had to demonstrate my best quality, which isn’t my crushingly low-self esteem.
I am a nice person and a nice girl is probably what some famous guy wants.
The best way that I could demonstrate what a nice person I am would be to be helpful to the person when they needed me most.
And when would they need me most?
After they’d been in some sort of accident.
The important detail to note is that the accidents were never serious. They might fall out of a tree or down a not-so-high cliff or be hit by a car which wasn’t going very fast.
As I said, nothing serious just enough that I could employ my meager first aid skills before phoning someone more capable. I’d be nice and look at them all concerned, (not desperately lustfully) and help them in their moment of need. I wouldn’t be some huge fan who wanted them to fall in love with me. I would be a wonderful human being who cared for their well being and not for their fame.
Then they’d be so impressed that we would go for pizza (once they had been released from hospital).
This fantasy played out quite happily in my head for years with various leading men, that’s until a realization struck me.
The whole thing, the famous person, the accident, the caring for them, that idea isn’t new.
It isn’t a new idea at all.
It is pretty much the plot of Misery by Stephen King.
And, spoiler alert, it didn’t work out there either.
This has made me realize that maybe I am too old to have a celebrity crush, too cynical to kiss a poster before I go to sleep and too jaded to have my heart skip a beat if they reply to a tweet.
And as my boyfriend continued to mock Noah Wyle’s framed face, I had a welcome realization that maybe real life is better and real love is the best.
But still, Noah, if you’re ever hit by a not-so-fast moving car.
Give me a call.