Saturday, December 12th, 2015
I’m 60-years old, and happily married to the perfect guy for me. We have a terrific daughter, a paid-for house, two serviceable cars, satisfying careers, great friends, something of a spiritual life, the whole works.
So here I am, with a crush on Jimmy Fallon.
I stay awake after my daughter and husband have gone to bed, then sneak upstairs to my computer to watch Jimmy segments on u-tube. (Note the first-name relationship.) I have to stifle my laughter so I don’t wake them up.
I’ve checked out ebay for Jimmy paraphernalia, a reliable indication that I’m in a crush. But there isn’t anything exciting, like the “Mrs. George Clooney” messenger bag, or the non-Wolverine cheesecake photos of Hugh Jackman.
I’ve even imagined that Jimmy will invite me on his show to play Charades – and although he’s good, I whup him.
But I’m a Jimmy-come-lately, only a fan since two summers ago when I saw his version of the controversial song “Blurred Lines” played with his Philly-native band, The Roots, on pre-school instruments. (To be fair, the “other” late-night Jimmy – Kimmel – had his own hilarious take on the song.) I was hooked by “my” Jimmy’s apparent delight with whatever he’s doing, be it his dead-on impersonations, musical shenanigans, or just goofballing around.
Okay, I’m more than 20 years older than Jimmy, and could be his mother; if kids experience puppy love, my feelings for Jimmy may be old dog, but they’re still real. (And it’s not because we have the same last name. Mine is a one “l,” non-Irish Falon, formerly “Falkowsky.”)
Why is this called a “crush”? If I have the crush, am I the “crusher”? Is the target of my crush the “crushee”? When I’m in the midst of a crush, is that person — Jimmy, for instance — “crushed”? If so, is he “crushed” as in terribly disappointed, or is he “crushed” as in smashed flat like a bug? Neither alternative sounds great for the crushee.
I’ve had what I call a crush many times, on famous and not-so-famous people. When I was 11, I had a crush on a 19-year old counselor in my day camp, and I would sit next to him on the bouncy backseat of the bus on weekly trips to Rye Playland.
There was my high school math teacher, Mr. Volpe, who drove a black 1970 Mustang and had long sideburns. I was so busy daydreaming about him that I couldn’t concentrate and nearly flunked trigonometry.
I had lots of crushes in college. But whenever I got near the object of my affection I got so nervous that my mouth got dry and I had to keep licking my lips and swallowing. I never expressed my feelings and pined from afar many times.
Maybe because a crush doesn’t usually turn into a real relationship, it’s safe — especially for young girls or happily married, 60-year-old women.
When I’ve had crushes on actors, it’s usually in a particular movie or play. As an adult, I had a crush on Dennis Quaid in “The Big Easy,” Colin Firth in “Love Actually,” and Armand Assante in “The Mambo Kings;” for years, my husband would only-half-jokingly whisper “Armand Assante” to me as a turn-on in bed.
I always have a crush on George Clooney, so he’s the exception.
As an adolescent I had crushes on rock stars, but often not the favorites; for instance, I adored Peter Tork of the Monkees instead of Davy Jones, the “cute” one. With the group Paul Revere and the Raiders, I preferred Paul Revere himself instead of lead singer Mark Lindsey; I still have their albums, and the tri-corn hat I wore when alone in my bedroom on weekend nights as a “tween,” dancing in front of the mirror.
With the Beatles I started out liking Paul the best – again, the “cute” one – but as an adult I realized that the first time I ever felt the twinges and pings of early sexuality was when I was nine and John sang Twist and Shout on Ed Sullivan, John’s parted legs moving up and down like pistons, his voice raw. I may have had a crush on Paul, but John was all about sex.
But Jimmy, for me, is not about sex, although he is awfully cute, especially when he’s adjusting his tie (perhaps a signature move.) It’s about how he seems to suck the marrow from each moment, how he fearlessly hurtles into a song, a skit, or a joke that keeps me riveted, that makes me wish we’d played together in a sandbox.
I hope I have crushes forever.