By Anna-Maria Athanasiou, 19th November 2015

Never too Old to Crush

From Donny to Gandy and Everyone in Between

From Donny to Gandy and Everyone in Between

During most of my forty odd years I am rather embarrassed to say that I have had a fair amount of crushes. I know most girls/women suffer from them, and I mean suffer! The crush itself is nothing unusual, as long as it doesn’t take over your every waking moment, that is. No, I’ve always rather reveled in my crushes to the horror and disdain of my family and friends. What made me think about my personal crushes was how they have changed over the years, dramatically, actually. Not only has the subject of my affection changed, but also how I’ve handled them.

The very first crush I can vividly remember was on Donny Osmond, yes I know! I have since loved purple (anyone who knows anything about the Osmonds knows this was his colour), picture the purple carpet and white melamine chest of drawers with purple handles! I swiftly dropped Donny and his impeccable teeth, replacing his poster with David Cassidy. Ah, David. I moved from ‘Puppy love’ to my ‘Day Dreamer’ and did I ever daydream about tanned, long haired David as he breathed out his songs. I remember kissing his poster every night on my tiptoes as I stood on my bed. On one rather over enthusiastic clinch I fell, slipping down between the bed and the wall with my face plastered against pink painted Artex!

I had a fleeting crush on Derek Longmuir, drummer of the Bay City Rollers, hmm, a major blip and one I’d rather like to forget about. I was now outgrowing these young pop stars and my tastes were becoming more sophisticated. Roll in Tony Curtis of The Persuaders. My Aunty Maria and I, (we worked in tandem with our crushes) ‘allowed’ me to have him. She had seniority over me by three years, so she always, and I mean always, got to pick who she could have first. So over the next few years I had Tony Curtis, and she had Roger Moore. I had to have Danno (James McArthur) while she had smooth talking, slick haired Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) of Hawaii 5-0 fame.

The pattern continued into the mid-seventies when we both swooned over many dynamic duos. Yes, even Batman and Robin in their badly made onesies didn’t slip past us and yes, holy-hormone-raged-school-girls I had to have Robin. When we watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Maria was stumped as to which way to go. To be honest, I really couldn’t care, Paul Newman or Robert Redford… Seriously? Either or, and yes please! I was honoured to have Robert and to this day I still have a huge crush on him.

Then, like a breath of fresh air the ultimate sexy crime fighting duo landed on our screens, Starsky and Hutch. My aunty bagged Hutch, naturally, and gloated. I, happily, was saddled with Starsky. He was dark, rugged and had a cheeky twinkle in his eye. He set the bar for all my future crushes… Something rougher around the edges, that quirky tough guy.

In my teens Maria and I went our separate ways, mainly because we were far too old to have crushes now… Not! That is until a rather scrummy doctor graced our screens in the nineties and we both fell hard for George. Yes, Clooney, who else? There is only one George! Though Maria did try and claim him when he played Batman! Ha, not a chance! So we united in our total and utter adoration of all things Clooney.

Throughout my crushes I always, always fell for an older man and sometimes a lot older (Mr Sundance himself). I flitted between Al Pacino, I mean anyone who can dance the tango like that is scorching hot! Bradley Whitworth made being ginger – and American politics – sexy in the West Wing.

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And then there were my fictional character crushes, Heathcliff, Mr Darcy, and more recently Christian Grey… oh, and Gideon Cross! (Ahem, we’ll speak no more of them as I can feel myself fluster at the very thought of those latter two sexy beasts). But then something happened when I hit my early forties… Midlife crisis! I hear you scream. And yes, I think that you are probably right, because out of nowhere, and all thanks to my son’s interest in a certain Vampire/Werewolf franchise, my crush focus fell on, well actually more went crashing head-first like a runaway train, into another Robert. I know, I know Mr Pattinson is young enough to be my son, but I was totally taken with him.

At first it felt so inappropriate (because it is) but then I heard a few more middle-aged ladies had a similar affliction and I began to feel decidedly more comfortable. Needless to say my Aunty Maria just doesn’t get it, nor do my family or the majority of my friends but I’m totally brazen about it. His calendar has pride of place in the kitchen! His scrummy, chiseled, brooding face graces my laptop and everyone in my household is alerted to all things Robert.

Maria and I still discuss present and past crushes and giggle about how ludicrous we were, and still are, but I have to say that it’s the best kind of harmless fantasy anyone can partake in. When we were younger our crushes were secrets and we were so ashamed and embarrassed, keeping them away from judging eyes. As we’ve matured ‘ish’ we now celebrate them.

In a recent telephone conversation to my aunty I fessed up to a new crush. And instantly, we were both transported back to being hormonal teenagers again, giggling like school girls. Of course, my aunty is shocked as she knows I’m loyal to all my crushes and inquired who could’ve possibly knocked Mr Pattinson off his pedestal. I reassure her he is still up there and she groans. Then I add:

“But I tell you what, that David Gandy’s really giving him a run for his money!”

And again, like when gorgeous George crashed into our lives, we are in total agreement and a tirade of very unladylike comments ensue. Shocking, considering we are both mothers of young men! After all, he is someone’s son. Of course, my aunt thinks that she has dibs on him, but it’s too late, I bagged him first so this time she’ll have to make do with the number two male supermodel.

What does my husband think of all these crushes I so blatantly flaunt in front of him, I hear you ask? To be brutally honest, I think he thinks it’s rather funny. Well, that is until I recently informed him that should, (and this is me in total fantasy mode) either one of my Roberts, (Redford/Pattinson), or Mr Gandy come to him with an Indecent Proposal… and let’s face it, the chance of that happening is a trillion to one… he really shouldn’t hesitate to take him up on it. Because I tell you what, I won’t!

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