When I was in high school, my crushes made sense. Basically, I always had something for older men who were in a position of power and thus unattainable to me. (Daddy issues, you say? Get off my back.) For example: my high school history teacher Mr. Manderville. With his kind eyes and passion for teaching, I challenge anyone, of any age, gender or sexual orientation to sit through one of Mr Manderville’s history classes and NOT have little cartoon hearts appear where their eyes should be. He was a total fox. I’m sure he still is, for that matter. He’s a high school principal now…I mean, be still my heart!
There was also the student teacher I had in grade 12 English, Mr. Thompson. This was around the time that email just started to become a “thing”, so I used to find excuses to email him about “school work”, usually asking questions I already knew the answers to. I would re-read his responses over and over as I’d concoct elaborate fantasies about him walking into the English room before class, finding me there and then magically, 98 Degrees’ “Baby When the Lights Go Out” would start to play as we would run towards each other and embrace before falling onto the desks kissing. (It never went further than kissing; my high school crushes were PG at best.) (Also, did I just spend well over an hour Googling Mr Thompson? Well that’s not important.)
But here’s the thing: as I’ve gotten older, my clean-cut “appropriate” crushes have given way to something else. In fact, I’ve recently realized that the crushes in my adult life are actually completely inappropriate. “How bad could they be?” You may ask. Well… let’s just say, I think a therapist would have a heyday with these.
INAPPROPRIATE CRUSH #1: A Dark Knight’s: “The Joker”
Not Heath Ledger. Heath Ledger’s Joker. The character. It’s visceral for me and ultimately speaks to my intense and unhealthy love of bad boys. People ask, “Why don’t you have a crush on Batman?” The answer is that Batman won’t kill for me. The Joker? He’d cut a dude for looking at me sideways. Ultimately, I’m sure I’d get sick of his demanding crime schedule and lack of a real home. But there would be 2 weeks of magic between us. I know it.
Let’s break this weirdo crush down:
He’s resourceful. He doesn’t care about money and doesn’t have to. He can steal whatever he needs. Including a giant Tiffany ring for me. Sure it may be off of the hand of a dead debutante, but hey, I’m not complaining! Technically, all diamonds have some kind of metaphorical blood on them, this one would just have literal blood on it too.
He has cool fashion sense. This guy would never be caught DEAD in sweats. Think about it. He puts on 3 piece suits to do groceries! And those gloves?! Hello EVIL MR DARCY!
I just KNOW he’d be different with me. Think about it. I honestly believe that there is NO BETTER FEELING IN THE WORLD then being with someone who is a total badass in life but then comes home to watch Bridezillas reruns and cuddle on the couch with you.
REAL TALK SUMMARY:
The root of this crush is that I just want to feel like someone’s most important person. Probably relates to growing up without a father figure. There is honestly nothing I would rather hear from a dude than “you’re my favourite person”. The only better thing would be having that comment followed up with “why so serious?”
INAPPROPRIATE CRUSH #2: Skateboarding High School Boys
They cripple me. Totally my kryptonite. Look, I’m not saying that those female teachers who seduce young male students are in the right. I’m in no way DEFENDING their actions or saying I WOULD EVER do the same…but I AM saying…I get it. I get those women. As twisted as it sounds, I understand the attraction. It’s probably for the best I don’t “work with teens”.
Let’s take a look at this:
They remind me of my youth.
Any time I see a high school boy on a skateboard it’s like I’m immediately burning through time in a Delorean back to 1997 when I was 14 and entering high school. I mean, literally entering my high school for the first time to find older boys skateboarding in the hallways. THEY WERE TOTAL BADASSES. And seeing them break the rules made me feel funny “down there” in a way I hadn’t experienced before. Why would they break the rules so blatantly? And could those pants hang any lower? SWOON! Man, I wish I could be 14 again sometimes. At least then I wouldn’t have to feel ashamed for considering barely legal boys to be eye candy.
They know all the cool places to hang out.
From the back alley half pipes to the punk rock band rehearsals in their buddy’s basement, these guys know about more cool hangouts than the Zagat’s guide.
I never got the chance to test the waters.
I had 2 boyfriends in high school. But they weren’t skater dudes. I remember one of the older boys I LOVED said hi to me once and my bowels almost immediately and completely released on the spot. I had to run away. He started dating a girl shortly after that…and they’re married now…with children. Don’t worry, it’s not like I’ve photoshopped pics of he and I together to see what our wedding would have looked like. Not at ALL.
REAL TALK SUMMARY:
This crush is just me wanting to avenge rejected, teenaged Lauren. It’s like I want to prove I could get the boys now that I couldn’t get back then. And again, I have to re-iterate, I would NEVER ACT ON THIS CRUSH. Unless it was for an as-of-yet unnamed screenplay that’s a reverse Lolita, starring me and Taylor Lautner. I TOTALLY don’t have that manuscript in my purse right now. Not at ALL.
INAPPROPRIATE CRUSH #3: A homeless man in Hollywood
I briefly lived in LA in 2011 and let me tell you, in California, even the homeless people are attractive. This one time a homeless guy approached me and asked for change; I said, “I don’t have any money” and he replied, “Looks like we have something in common. Soulmates?” This got my attention. I looked at him and was surprised to see that was in his early 30s and actually pretty cute. I started to blush and giggle and then did the DEAD GIVEAWAY “brush my hair behind my ear coyly” move. At this moment, a car horn blared bringing me back to reality. I quickly remembered that we were in front of a Ralph’s grocery store on Santa Monica in the dodgy part of Hollywood and I was only going to the Ralph’s to kill time because I had driven to Pinkberry for froyo and they weren’t open yet. (FYI: there’s really nothing like getting turned down from a fast food yogurt joint because “we open in 20 minutes, ma’am.” to make you re-evaluate your addiction to chilled dairy treats as well as your “sitting around in LA burning through cash” career choices.)
Let’s look at this thang:
He’d always want to hang out. Mainly because I have things like “shelter” and “access to Doritos on the regular”. Ummm… There’s really not many other ways to justify this one.
REAL TALK SUMMARY:
Frankly, a homeless dude would be a nightmare to date. I’d always have to pay for everything, he probably wouldn’t have a phone so I could never reach him, I’d never know where he was or who he was with, he’d probably give a blowjob for a shower. This was a bad move. Still, in that moment in Hollywood I had a moment where I wondered if he was an actor incognito researching a role. Still, too risky to take the chance. That and the whole “he could give me lice” thing.
INAPPROPRIATE CRUSH # 4: My punk rock hairdresser
I’ve always been leery of male hairdressers. I feel like much like gynecologists, they couldn’t possibly be as good as a woman at that job. However, I was referred to a male hairdresser who was apparently amazing. I entered his salon and set eyes on a beefy, tattooed ADONIS with long hair and a total hippie beard. It was the best hair cut I’ve ever got but I’d be lying if I said that’s the reason I still go to him. The truth is, I just really like feeling his big man hands running through my hair. (Did I mention that I’m single?) One time I saw him in the middle of a street at night screaming “WHERE THE F*CK’S THE COCAINE?!” My crush only deepened.
Alright, here’s the deal:
He’s masculine but loves hair.
Is there anything better? Like a total beefy DUDE who would REQUEST to play with your hair?! HEAVEN. “Hey babe, after I finish watching the game is it cool if I French braid your hair?” I WOULD DIE!
He’s an artist who also makes killer cash.
He’s basically the white whale. Think about it, this guy has a real artistic talent and gets paid 100 bucks a haircut. More than can be said for that struggling improviser I dated who made $7000.00 a year. It’s hard to understand how he even fed himself. He did take me on a picnic once only he didn’t have a blanket so he brought a fitted bed sheet. It was really hard to sit on. That should have been a sign to get out.
REAL TALK SUMMARY:
I’m basically paying $100 to have a man play with my hair. Does this make me a quasi female John and he my bizarro male escort? Maybe. But ultimately my jealousy issues would make this an impossible man to be in a relationship with. He’d always smell like women’s products and his schedule tends to lend itself to hanging out with countless other women every day. Oh, and the cocaine thing is probably not realistically a selling factor on a person.
INAPPROPRIATE CRUSH #5: Troy Dyer – Ethan Hawke’s character in Reality Bites.
Sure, he looked slightly like a greasy weasel. But hey, I find the Joker sexy so really a greasy weasel doesn’t seem so out of the ordinary for me.
Let’s be honest:
He looked hot when he was singing.
This makes up for about 85% of all crushes women have. Period. Full stop. Why do you think women still throw their bras at Mick Jagger?
His song lyrics are deep.
Remember when “Hey, That’s My Bike” played that show right after Troy and Lelaina slept together? He sang that song that went:
Got a pothead mama got a cokehead dad
I’m the ultra modern version of the American man
Don’t feel good but don’t feel bad
Cause you see me, I’m nuthin.
OH MAN! SOOOOOOO BROODY! He was so TORTURED! It just makes me want to SAVE HIM FROM HIMSELF! (NOTE: “saving” any man from “himself” is a “dumb” “idea” that I have to “stop” “trying”.)
REAL TALK SUMMARY:
He represents the mistakes I make with men in real life.
In the past couple of years I have had a real ability for attracting men without real drive. The brooding artistic types like Troy who make up for their lack of money with their ability to maintain a philosophical conversation about Pizza Hut. But let me tell you from experience, once Lelaina gained an OUNCE of success, Troy would freak out because it would make him feel insecure and he’d sabotage the relationship by sleeping with someone else or shutting down emotionally and pushing her away. These are NOT DUDES YOU WANT TO DATE LADIES. But they are certainly dudes you need to have fantasies about.
Hey, crushes are crushes. And they’re never something to be ashamed of. Sometimes they may not make sense and other times, they make complete sense. The bottom line is, it’s okay to be attracted to a mentally-ill, convicted sex offender named Travis you saw on an episode of “Our America”, as long as you know you could never act on a crush like that in real life. P.S.- He was really cute.
Travis…who, for the record, was apparently innocent…