I have a crush. I'll admit it.
And this is just the latest. From adolescence to today there has resided in my girly girl heart a steady and motley stream of man candy, all completely restricted to my cranium and all fully outside the scope of my actual relationships. Harmless, whimsical, and surprisingly long-lasting all--the Liam Neeson era alone lasted over a decade. He still makes me a little giggly.
And there's been a visible trajectory in the development of my objects of "homina-homina" over the course of time. First, there was the Fonz. I was five. Enough said. After Arthur Fonzarelli, the first major chemical matchmaking phenomenon in my young woman's architecture was the one and only Michael Jackson. He was my introduction to that cooing, swooning sensation of loving every little morsel of your crush target--his image on the Thriller album cover (which I can still see as clearly as can be in my mind's eye), his insanely good performances, even the mention of his name caused all of me to bask in a warm, silvery glow. Michael's smiling face on the cover of People was a natural high, and his voice in my Walkman headset was at once a lullaby, a haven from the very real difficulties of Age Ten, and a soundtrack to my imagination. I was gonesville.
Grownup crushes are different--less consuming, but also less wholesome. At ten your whole creative imagination can be engaged in lovesickness, making you float above your reality starry-eyed. Adults are (for the most part) more firmly planted in the real world--even us writers--and so our crushes take on the character of that workaday realism. We are also more sexual, and so the element of gritty physical desire plays a more central role. Just as this might affect who we seek out in our waking romantic lives, so does it impact who we pursue in our inner land of fantasy.
The thing about the Torrid Forties is that, like any other decade, it doesn't give a regal crap about the temporal gap between you and your schoolgirl crush. Whomever the target, when the fairy dust descends a person who was previously like any other person suddenly becomes gilded, magical and utterly addictive. The lust fairy doesn't care which one of you has a dewy complexion and which of you has a few gray hairs popping up here and there (while making you no less hot, mind you. Have a gander at Summoning the Enchantress for more on that).
So it is with my latest thrumming pulse on the heat map...Bruno Mars. Yep.
Now let's study the linearity of this selection for a moment, shall we? As I mentioned previously, my last long-term fantasy crush was Liam--a swarthy 6'4" Irish thespian former boxer who is roughly fifteen years my senior. A rugged hunk he his, with a lopsided "let's do something naughty" grin, big hands, chest, and...other stuff, propriety-melting brogue and a metric ton of pheromone-laden masculinity. Liam is also my "get out of jail free" card, by the way. My spouse and I each have one--the one person we'd be allowed to take to bed if they asked. His equivalent is Sandra Bullock. Quite a good choice, if you ask me.
Bruno, then, is a 5'5" Filipino-Puerto Rican musician with serious chops, swaying hips, an Afro that could run a city, and the kind of game that would make even a Gorilla swoon. Add to that combo a refreshingly real work ethic and a healthy dash of humility (because very little turns me off faster than a pompous asshole) and you have a polished and petite polygon of simmering sex appeal. Like my grandma says about me, good things come in small packages.
Counter to Liam's lanky Irish whiteness, Bruno sports coffee with cream skin that does appear to be annoyingly dewy. Liam's deep, emotion-projecting blue eyes become Bruno's almond- shaped pools of mischievous and intelligent brown. Instead of a lopsided smile, Bruno's genetic jackpot pucker is a well-honed rubber stamp of charm that he knows exactly how to employ. You can tell just by watching him manipulate the aforementioned lips for a minute or two that the man can kiss, and something in his style makes it clear that he really knows how to work his way around a woman (call it one of the many benefits of the Torrid Forties--we just innately get this shit by now). Oh, and by the way...Bruno is all of twenty-eight years old.
Now then, place these two gentlemen together in your mind's eye, will you? And so I ask you, what the hell? And why on Earth did the lust fairy flit right on by the drove of public register hotties in my own age group? There is a small army of gorgeous, charming, and...um...capable gents out there who were not either getting their first wrinkle or learning to ride a bike when I was in high school. So why do I keep taking the curvy road?
I have arrived at an hypothesis, which is why I'm writing this blog entry. I firmly believe that we are directed to what we need in this world, like so many half-completed jigsaw puzzles that are gently ushered in the direction of their missing pieces. What those pieces represent may remain a mystery to us, but whether in realistic relationships or in the daydreams of our waking minds, we gravitate toward that which will help to more fully form us. So perhaps my real life has given me all the Liam I require, and now it's telling me I need to find a way to inject a little Bruno (get your minds out of the gutter). This most certainly does not equate to running out and shagging the first handsome Filipino I find, or bum-rushing one of the many Bruno Mars concerts happening coast to coast in the US this summer. We're talking here about adding some of the novelty of fantasy into the thread of the real, rich world in whatever way that makes sense. Adding a splash of bright color onto an already beautiful palette can only serve to make the mural better. Torrid, even. And we can temper the strokes so that it enhances the image rather than overtaking it. So what are we waiting for?
That said, I still may think about switching up my "get out of jail free" card. Sorry, Liam, but those lips...
Happy Days photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Liam Neeson photo courtesy of Wikia
Bruno Mars photo courtesy of me