Guest writer Susan Smiley – “My First Crush”

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!

56 thoughts on “Guest writer Susan Smiley – “My First Crush”

  1. What a lovely story. It’s a shame they lost touch. My first crush was most definitely for a bad boy and in true cliche I thought I could change him. He had anger management problems but he listened to me. I was mad about him and just wanted to see him happy. When we ended up at different secondary schools we lost touch. A few years later we found ourselves part of the same local music scene and we had a bit of a thing but it never amounted to much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If Greg and I had met in this day and age, we probably would not have lost touch because of all of the social media options kids have that were not available back then. I truly think this is someone I would have had a strong chemistry with even if we had run into each other again when we were older. It just makes you think — or makes me think at least — about what relationships have taught us and how what attracts us now is different or the same as what attracted us when we were younger.

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  2. My first crush was the boy who lived opposite me. He was only a year older than me and his brothers were best friends with mine. We used to see it each other daily. When i was 8 we danced for the first time in my lounge and i loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could tell from his obit and from the things people wrote about him in the online guestbook that he was still that same sweet guy with a great sense of humor and a love for helping others. And I do always wonder “what if”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember one of my friends going to see Paul Young at the Fox in Detroit — before it had been redone — and somehow she got a backstage pass to meet him. It was all very exciting!! I think my first fan crush was Bobby Sherman!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was always suspicious of older boys when I was younger. I suppose the gap doesn’t matter so much when you’re older.


    1. It doesn’t and I know my mom mentioned that somewhere along the line during the time I was hanging out with Greg. I think she could see the attraction on both sides and wanted to also let me know there was life after high school.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Everything about this story including the song by Bread has taken me back to my childhood too. It really was a magical time and I am so grateful for having my childhood in that time.You will always remember Greg, you’ll always have those innocent and beautiful memories. RIP.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I was just talking to a guy I knew when I was finally in high school and he was saying he wishes he had a time machine to go back and re-live some of the stuff we did. This was also a mutual crush but too shy to do anything about it situation but also someone I spent a TON of time with. At one point when we were in probably 11th grade his dad had forbidden him to purchase a hydroplane and absolutely forbid my friend to use his woody station wagon to go get the hydroplane. I had an Omega hatch back at the time and we measured and figured out the hydroplane would fit into it and so I took him to get his hydroplane. We STILL remember how mad his dad was! But the times, I think, were more innocent. I mean, if that is the worst thing we did in high school that is not too bad.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well letting someone use your mouse is like true love at that age. He sounds like he was on his way to growing up to be a nice guy — recognizing what you needed and making sure he provided it. So sweet!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The memories are honestly so strong sometimes that I can almost smell that junior high school gym where we practiced for the play as well as the fresh scent of Greg’s freshly shampooed hair. #younglove

      Liked by 1 person

  5. How sad that Susan’s first crush passed away but it sounds like she has great memories of him. It’s funny how a 4 year age gap seems huge when we’re young but the older we get it seems completely insignificant

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everything just seems SO different at that age. If we had met when I was 25 and he was 29 who knows what would have happened. So much stuff that you thought was a HUGE deal in high school, you get out and start living and realize it was not really a big deal at all.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. When I saw his picture with his obit, he still had the same warmth and kindness in his eyes and the same beautiful smile that I remembered from 1972. He will always have a part of my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember his whole family as just being very generous and kind. He had two brothers and the middle brother — who was two years older than me — passed away 10 years ago. It just saddens me. Both Greg and his brother gone much too soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Awwwh this was such a lovely read!! Personal stories always grip me! It’s such a shame that nothing materialized but it’s true a 4 year age gap at that time is a lot to go unnoticed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right??? Everything seems huge and you feel like nothing is ever going to change. You can’t see how a few years down the line things that seem so important won’t be.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Really liked reading this, it’s amazing the lasting impact people have on our life, and how different everything might be if just a few things were changed.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. When you’re that age 4 years seems like 10 and you just can’t imagine that being just a couple of years down the line will change things.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg but I’m sure at the time you didn’t realize it was obvious.i look back at some of the things I did in high school and shake my head at myself.

      Liked by 1 person

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