I have never been the type to spring out of bed in the morning but, during one of my crush phases, I was known to get up at the crack of dawn and hit the gym before work just because there was a chance our paths might cross. The spring in your step which you get as a result of a dose of infatuation can knock years of you. As my old head of department, who was in her fifties at the time, used to say: “We all need something to curl our hair for.”
I think I was a late bloomer because, apart from Marine Boy who doesn’t count because he was a cartoon and Donny Osmond who I never really liked but just went along with the crowd, I didn’t have my first, intense, heart stopping crush until I was in the third year. He was fourth year and had ginger hair and wore a Fred Perry. I gazed at him across the youth club and stalked him through school corridors for a full year until it all ended in tears. My best friend at the time, who was highly competitive and is probably running a multi-national company somewhere now, made a beeline for him at the end of year disco and my heart was shattered when I spotted them snogging on the dance floor.
My next big crush came at college during A Levels. It was a boy who wanted to be a surveyor. He had floppy hair and smoked which is about all I can remember of him despite the fact that he was my reason for living all through 1980 and my incentive for hanging around the college library, morning, noon and night, in the hope of catching a glimpse of him. I probably have him to thank for my good grades. Unfortunately, I think he should have taken a leaf out of my book because he got kicked off his course after only one year when it transpired he hadn’t actually done any work.
My crushes tend to follow a pattern and have all been, without exception, unrequited, which is no doubt the appeal of them. The recipient of a crush is almost irrelevant and the pleasure of experiencing one is intensified, I think, by the very one sidedness of it.The fact that you can project whatever you want onto the object of your affection without anything grubby, like real life, getting in the way has to be a plus.
My most recent crush was the one involving the early morning gym sessions. I have never been so fit or focused as I was for the year or so I was in its thrall. I had a few near misses, where reality almost impinged on my fantasy but my crush remained intact for a long time. The problem was he was a friendly sort and kept trying to make conversation. Obviously that would never do, the last thing I wanted was irrefutable evidence that he was not Mr Right.
There were two incidents which conspired to burst my crush like a balloon. He was a fire fighter and imagine my horror when he turned up one afternoon in my classroom to deliver a presentation on fire safety? I wasn’t even wearing my best top. The second one is far too humiliating to even recall and is banished from my mind forever along with the crush.
I think I’m ready for another one now though and might just cast my sights around for some unsuspecting victim. You don’t have to worry or call the police; I’m harmless. The subject will never know and, just as long as he doesn’t try to make friends, my one way romance will blossom quite nicely. I might even have something to curl my hair for!