Sunday, July 02, 2006

The laws of attraction

All this talk about writer crushes has got me thinking about crushes and attraction in general. I'm ashamed to admit that at 27, I still get crushes. They're the most hopeless thing, this moony schoolgirl (or boy) infatuation. But they're fun, in a way. They allow you to ask yourself what if?

My earliest crushes were on the boys in those magazines, boys whose faces were plastered to my bedroom wall and who would never love me back. I loved them in that silly, adolescent way that only a twelve-year-old girl can. It wasn't until seventh grade that I really began to take notice of the boys around me. Middle-school was a series of short-lived crushes, awkward flirtations, and high school was more of the same. It was a game, that uneasy circling of one another, driven by hormones that were beyond our control. In college, the game changed, but only slightly. The chase was different but that underlying current of thrill remained.

The best part of a crush is always the beginning. When you have a crush on someone, the edges soften and blur, everything slides out of focus. The only thing that's clear to you is this other person, who seems to glow, as if they're lit up from the inside. You feel warmer, lighter when you're around them, your own love reflected back at you, dazzling you with its brightness.

There's this feeling of newness, strangeness; a curiosity, a need to know. Your attention turns to the smallest things: the way they smell, the curve of their collarbone beneath their shirt, the way their hands move when they talk. You wonder what their skin would feel like if it brushed against yours, whether their lips would be soft on your own. What the long line of their back looks like, the muscles working under the skin. You can feel it, the want of them rearranging your DNA, turning every cell to this feeling.

It lasts, for a time, and like everything else, it eventually begins to fade. If the feeling is unreturned, it fades that much faster. It's amazing how quickly the velocity of the heart can change. You look up one day and you see that the world is in focus again, that your crush has become another face in the crowd. Sometimes, you carry a piece of them with you, a small reminder of that brief moment of feeling.

My favorite romantic movies are the ones where one character is secretly in love with the other but it seems impossible that they'll ever end up together. By the end of the movie, you've written them off altogether and then something happens to change the course of the story. It's something small, a look or a touch, an imperceptible shift. An tiny moment but one that changes everything.

This is what I'm waiting for, this moment. And I know that somewhere, someone is waiting to share it with me.

10 Comments:

Blogger Quinn said...

Excellent description of a crush, I'm jealous.

7/03/2006 7:54 AM  
Anonymous fringes said...

"The only thing that's clear to you is this other person, who seems to glow, as if they're lit up from the inside."

Perfect, Rebecca.

7/03/2006 10:12 AM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

I wrote this in sort of a daze. I'm not even sure if it's blog approriate. Maybe I'll take it down and write about hamsters instead.

7/03/2006 10:14 AM  
Anonymous fringes said...

Cats. Don't forget the cats. Put a few in a basket then post like 300 pictures of them down the middle of your blog.

Note: no cat bloggers were harmed in the making of this comment.

7/03/2006 10:34 AM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

What about hamsters fighting cats, ninja-style? Now that would be good. If I could just find some little outfits with matching tiny ski masks.....

7/03/2006 10:39 AM  
Blogger Laura Young said...

Now why on earth would you be embarrassed about having crushes at age 27? I'm 43 and have no intention of ever being crush free. And I must say, crushes can go on for years and years and not lose their potency. There are the crushes from afar, like mine on Johnny Depp, whom my husband insists on calling The Unattainable. My husband even encourages me crushes and teases me mercilessly about them. In fact, he even pencilled on a small mustache and danced a flamenco for me after we watched Don Juan de Marco, deeming himself Johnny's lesser known brother, Mel.
And there are the real life flesh and blood crushes like the one I have had for 15 years on my dear friend, buddy and eternal crush flame Mike. Photo proof that crushes never have to die and can be every bit as insanely blissful as an dreamy fantasy romance is right here.
Don't ever let yourself get too old or too cool or too jaded or too anything to let crushes be a thing of the past.

7/03/2006 10:59 AM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

Your husband sounds like a wonderful man. Any man who would dress up as Johnny Depp's lesser known brother Mel is definitely a keeper. And I'm glad that you've had such an enduring friendship, you guys look so happy in that picture.

I don't know, I feel like I spend too much time in fantasyland already. Maybe it's time to grow up a little. I'm getting too old to be throwing my panties onstage at rock concerts, you know.

7/03/2006 11:03 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

My wife has crushes on Brett Favre and Dylan McDermott, and even named our first son after a character he played in Steel Magnolias. She slipped that one by me. I have crushes on seriously unattainable women, such as Sally Ann Howes, who is probably 80 by now, or Mary Ann from Gilligans island (same story). It's awful, but what a thrill. Thank you for such a concise description of having a crush. Really, that was wonderful. You have such an eye for detail.

7/03/2006 8:18 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

Mmmm...Dylan McDermott. So she named him Jackson, eh? Good choice. Brett Favre is equally likable.

Mary Ann? I was always more of a Ginger fan but that's just because I like redheads. Julianne Moore is my ultimate girl-crush.

7/03/2006 9:34 PM  
Blogger Writing Blind said...

I've changed my mind. Crushes are the most lovely thing on earth. Yes, definitely lovely. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Did I say lovely already? Lovely.

7/07/2006 2:26 AM  

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