Celebrity Crushes Throughout My Developmental Stages:

What do our celebrity/other crushes throughout our lives say about us?  I don’t hold to any particular philosophy/psychology on the subject; as far as I am concerned, none of them have it totally right or completely wrong.  That being said, I do believe that a lot of the credit (and/or blame) lies with our Dads, whatever or wherever they were (or weren’t).  I think the lesson here is, as John Mayer says, “Fathers, be good to your daughters.”  Meanwhile, let’s take a look at my celebrity crushes!

Stephen Colbert (as himself) circa 2006

Yeah, I know he’s already married, but what do you want me to do?  I am powerless to resist his charms.  He is America and So Can I.

Hugh Laurie (as Dr. House) circa 2004

Smart (er than everybody else).  Funny.  Mean.   Sooo mean.  Analyze at will, ’cause I don’t know what to say about that last part, except that I love it.  And I can’t help it.

Leonardo DiCaprio (as Amsterdam Vallon in Gangs of New York) circa 2003

Come on!  He’s only one year older than me – it could happen!  Sure he was cute in Titanic, and sure I wanted him to draw my picture, but my kids were little back then.  I didn’t have time for all that.  When the Dead Rabbits were plotting vengeance in the Five Points, however, I was paying attention – even though he certainly didn’t have time for me then. He was about his father’s business.

Paul Bettany (as Geoffrey Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale) circa 2002

Good people, I missed my introduction! But please… Please, I pray you, hear it now — for I would lay to rest the grace in my tongue and speak plainly.  Days like these are far too rare to cheapen with heavy handed words…”  Paul Bettany as Geoffrey Chaucer was smart, funny, vulnerable – romantic.  Oh, and poor – but so?  Who needs money when they can write their own patents of nobility?!  Not me!

Ray Liotta (as Henry Hill in Goodfellas) – circa 1993

Karen Hill (she of one of the most irritating crying-voices in the history of crying-voices) said it best when she said, “I know there are women, like my best friends, who would have gotten out of there the minute their boyfriend gave them a gun to hide. But I didn’t. I got to admit the truth. It turned me on.”  There isn’t a woman alive who doesn’t dream at some point of the kind of man who will beat their asshole neighbor right in the face for disrespecting them.  Anyone who says otherwise is a liar – even if they’re Amish.

Axl Rose as himself – circa 1990

Don’t judge me.  Axl Rose was badass.  And, as far as I was concerned, Sweet Child O’ Mine (and all ballads) were about me.  I didn’t know back then that Gingers don’t have souls.

River Phoenix (as Chris Chambers in Stand by Me)  circa 1986

He was so cute and so pitiful.  He smoked cigarettes and stole his drunk, abusive dad’s gun.  Nobody believed in him, except me (and every other girl on the face of the planet who saw him in this role — but none so much as me).  I knew he would never steal the milk money, and I knew he was going to get away from that hellhole in Maine and become somebody.   Alas, the movie got it right.  RIP River Phoenix.

Corey Feldman (in various roles) circa the 80’s

Sometimes the truth hurts.  But never so much as when you have to admit that you intended to marry Corey Feldman.  I hate to admit this one, considering he turned out to be such a douchebag, but my readers deserve the truth.  In my defense, he could dance like Michael Jackson.  And, besides, there were two kinds of girls back in the day: the Mrs. Corey Haims or the Mrs. Corey Feldmans.   I was a Feldman, which was great, because my best friend was a Haim.  It was going to be so perfect – best friends marrying best friends…but then we all grew up.  And what kind of grown woman with any sense wants a Corey Feldman?

My dad (as my dad) 1975-1985

Dad, you weren’t a celebrity, but you were the coolest guy in my little life.  I remember wrapping both hands around one of your fingers and being lifted to the ceiling.  I remember “The Claw.”  And how you would stop at the store after work to get us treats – but turn right around and go back to the store for more if there were other kids playing with us.  You taught me about being kind and being fair — and you taught me how to swim by throwing me in the river.  Turned out, you were right — the trauma of the attempted drowning/murder was nothing compared to the joy of being able to swing off that rope and splash!  You dressed up for Halloween, and trick-or-treated with your coffee cup.  You let us stay up ‘til we passed out on the weekends and “camp out” in the living room floor watching movies on one of the few VCRs in the neighborhood.  You fought for your rights to watch lame cartoons like Road Runner…and Foghorn Leghorn…and Woody Woodpecker (What was it with you and birds?!) in our legendary Saturday Morning Cartoon Wars.  And you fought the Easter Bunny to get your kids their due.

You were the custodial parent when custodial dads were unheard of — and they’re still unheard of.  I remember when I had to go and visit Mom for the first time when I was 8 – you were standing at the stove making pancakes and I was sitting at the kitchen table throwing a fit because I didn’t want to go; I didn’t even know her.  But you said I had to go.  And you cried.  I didn’t know you could.  And then I cried because I made you cry.  But you made those pancakes to make me feel better because I love pancakes.  You died after a Christmas shopping trip – I can’t even imagine how many people/entities you had to fight to get that (one thing every girl wanted but hardly anyone could find) Cabbage Patch Kid in 1985.  But they brought it home to me, and I still have it.  You weren’t perfect; I knew that then, and I know it even better now.  But you were my hero.  As all dads are to all little girls, you shaped me — and undoubtedly influenced the celebrity and non-celebrity crushes throughout my developmental stages.   So…thanks a lot, Dad!  I think you’d be pretty proud of my choices – even if they didn’t work out — except for Corey Feldman, and I have already apologized to the world for that one.

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