The Innocent Crush

A few months ago, our oldest son, Mark, told us that a new stage musical he had co-written was going to have its first “reading” at a small theater in New York city where he and his wife, Kelly, live. The show is called Garage Band and one of the actor/singers who would be in the reading was Micky Dolenz from the 60’s TV show and pop band, The Monkees. Yes, two tickets please!

The very week of the show fellow Monkee Davy Jones died suddenly. But Micky (he lets me call him that now) still performed like a trooper.

That week we were in New York I was reminded of the huge crush I had on the Monkees. I was the perfect age (12 or 13) when they were at the height of their fame. I had all their records (still do), watched their TV show religiously, and bought every issue of Tiger Beat and Fave magazines that came out. Each of these magazines would include “centerfolds” of the latest teenage heartthrob. And for those years it was almost always one or more of the Monkees. I did read the articles inside each issue but first I taped the centerfold on any vacant surface I could find in my room. Pretty soon every wall and door had pictures of my “boyfriends.” I definitely had a crush.

Dr. James Dobson, who in my opinion is the expert in child-rearing says that innocent crushes are not only harmless but even healthy, especially for young teen girls. He says that these crushes give girls a chance to “fall in love” without the danger and burden of a relationship they are not mature enough to handle. Young girls who swoon over Justin Bieber (and they are getting younger every year) can have healthy daydreams about someone they are unlikely to meet much less befriend. Okay. I’ll believe Dobson, but…

…not long ago I read an article in a women’s interest magazine about another kind of crush I had probably experienced but hadn’t identified as such. A house crush. The writer of the article admitted to having a beautiful home with a happy, healthy family inside it but she often passed another quaint cottage overlooking the ocean that she just couldn’t quit thinking about. She made it her regular routine to drive by it and imagine the inside décor, the lively conversations that took place in there, and the heavenly view from its backdoor that surely had to be more spectacular than her own. The conclusion of the article was that dreaming of something you don’t have is not only innocent, but therapeutic.

Another article in the same magazine later took the crush idea a step further. The lead line was this: “Need a boost in your relationship? Harmless infatuations can be just the thing to rekindle the spark.” The writer did warn that letting the crush get out of hand was a no-no. But how far out of hand do you get before you can’t reel it back in?


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