It’s 8:57 pm
I asked my friend Susan Smiley to write a guest blog entry. She shared this very personal story about her first crush.
A couple of weeks ago I was scanning the local obituaries in the morning paper – something that find myself doing since becoming a “woman of a certain age” — and came across the obit for the guy who was my first crush back in the early 1970s. It got me thinking about how that relationship set the tone for the future.\
Greg and I met in 1971 when we were both part of a now-defunct local theatre company. We were both in the chorus of a production of the musical, “Oliver”, which was extremely popular after the release of the movie version of the musical in 1968. We were paired up for a scene and from the get go, conversation was easy and effortless. We just seemed to click right away.
Lest anyone is waiting for salacious details of some clandestine tryst in a secluded hallway of the junior high school where we held rehearsals, I will tell you that this mutual crush never developed into anything more than friendship. When we met, I was 12 and Greg was 16 which, at the time, was a huge difference. I often wonder how things would have unfurled if we had met when we were older, when a four-year age gap would not have mattered. The movie “The Man in the Moon” (Reece Witherspoon’s debut film by the way) always reminds me of Greg and me; clearly attracted to each other, but cursed by bad timing.
I know it is said that good girls like bad boys. Often it seems romantic heroes in books and movies are emotionally distant and much more concerned with being a badass than with building relationships. But I was attracted to Greg precisely because he was such a nice guy. We were both music geeks and would spend hours talking about bands we liked, this drummer versus that drummer, best local bands and anything else to do with music. He always made me feel like my opinion was important and always displayed such kindness to everyone. He made me laugh and I like to think I made him laugh sometimes too.
Even when Greg discovered that I was younger than many of the kids involved with “Oliver” he did not brush me aside. We still hung out between scenes at rehearsal and still talked on the phone about music, books, classes we hated at school, and all of the things that are important to teenagers. Even my mom could see the mutual attraction between us and despite that cursed four-year age difference, approved of him as a suitor. I mean, how uncool is THAT to be crazy about the boy of which your parents actually approve?
After the production of Oliver, the theatre group did some smaller productions and then disbanded. My family moved to a different city. This was in the days before cell phones, texting and social media so teenagers had only the long-distance phone call as a tool to keep in touch with friends which was greatly frowned upon by parents paying the phone bill. Greg and I lost touch, though I thought of him many times over the years.
Greg’s sense of humor and kindness were mentioned in his obit so I’m glad to see that over all of these years, he remained a nice guy. Despite getting older, I too have remained the same in many ways. I am still a music geek. I still like to laugh and engage in great conversation. And I still like nice guys.
I’m not interested in dating someone who makes me feel like I am the last thing on their list. Nor am I interested in someone who is emotionally distant or who lacks compassion.
My romantic hero would adopt a shelter dog, help build Homes for Humanity, and enjoy simple pleasures like a peaceful walk on a beautiful trail. He would make people laugh, have integrity, engage in intelligent conversation and make his significant other feel visible and important.
He would be someone of whom my mom would approve.
Susan has guest written many times on my old blog and I will be moving those here soon.
She is also a huge cat lover,loves the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings and is my walking partner.
Who was your first crush? If you want to share your story,drop a comment below or send me a email through my Contact page.
Thanks for reading!