First Celebrity Crush

Are you ready for some more "Copy NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour"? Well, I'm not. I don't think I could be less ready, and it's all because of today's topic: my first celebrity crush.

Here's the thing: I don't know if I've ever actually had a celebrity crush. I've always loved movies, TV, music, and books, but I've never been all that interested in the people that make them.

Take my favorite TV show from when I was a kid, Star Trek: The Next Generation. I loved that show for its entire run, and watched almost every episode many times. (The one exception was the second-season premiere, "The Child," which my grandmother forgot to tape for us. When I finally did see it, I was glad to see I hadn't missed much.) But as much as I immersed myself in the lore of the show--I even won a few local Trek trivia contests--I don't think I was ever interested in going to a convention or meeting any of the actors. It wasn't the actors I cared about, it was the characters and the stories.

As I got older, I did eventually gain some interest in actors, musicians, and writers, but only insofar as reading or seeing interviews with them gave me insight into their craft. I still don't particularly care about their personal lives.

So I never really found myself with any celebrity obsessions as a kid. Oh, sure, there were actresses that I thought were pretty. In middle school, for example, I remember thinking that Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Jennie Garth were pretty hot. But while I was attracted to them, in some ways it was almost an academic thing, kind of like the way I appreciate, say, Christina Hendricks these days. I liked to see them when they were on shows I was already watching, but I didn't go out of my way to see them in other things. I certainly never had any posters of them on my walls. (The only posters I had were a Trek poster and a couple of comic book posters.)

The closest thing I can think of to a celebrity crush I had was actually not all that similar, and, actually, it's considerably more embarassing. I read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer when I was in first or second grade, and for a little while afterwards I had a fascination with Becky Thatcher, Tom's love interest. I had a pretty active imagination as a child, so I tended to tell a lot of stories and play make-believe often. I had a number of imaginary friends that went along with my games, after reading Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher got added to that group as my imaginary girlfriend. I have no idea how long that lasted--probably no more than a few weeks or a couple of months, tops.

I don't know if I find the idea of a six-year-old with an imaginary girlfriend to be cute or sad, but there it is. My first celebrity crush was a fictional character from a book written over a hundred years before my birth.

Your turn!