Why now, you ask?
Why have I kept this secret, lo, these past 40 years, that, alone in my room, I used to imagine myself as the willowy, long-legged Susan Dey (Come on, we all knew she wasn’t really your sister!), and you were as madly in love with me as my pillow pretending to be you could be.
David, I must admit that this is one secret I thought I would take to my grave. That is, until a few weeks ago when I was in bed with my husband.
(Sorry David, but I grew impatient. I couldn’t wait for you any longer. David, I’m a woman with needs, and I needed more than a pillow pretending to be you could give.)
Lying there, limbs intertwined, languishing together in the sort of rosy-glowy, hazy afterplay pillow talk that comes from intensely intimate love-making with the one person who holds your heart and soul in their hands, I finally admitted out loud to another human being the secret I’ve carried so close to my heart for so long.
When I was growing up, I had a crazy crush on David Cassidy.
I felt so free! But why did I keep it a secret in the first place?
I had two reasons.
“We Don’t Allow Crushes”
The first reason is because my parents didn’t allow me to have crushes. Obviously this doesn’t mean I didn’t have them; it just means that I kept such wanton, ungodly, ungood-girly thoughts to myself.
My parents’ rationale was that crushes were dangerous and would lead to…well, I’m not sure what because honestly the most Pillow David ever did was lay there while I kissed him. Closed mouth, of course, because, Ew!, it’s a pillow!
But a crush would have been an indication that my sexuality was being awakened, and that thought scared the holy shit out of my parents. So, in order to protect their delicate sensibilities, I walked around in silent shame with my painful little breast buds and secret, dark dreams of kissing you, the entirely unattainable David Cassidy.
My parents intentions were good. They only wanted to ensure that I wouldn’t grow up to be a slut or a whore, and they thought they could hold off my sexuality by denying that it even existed. And just in case pretending I wasn’t growing up didn’t work, I got this picture of Jesus on my bedroom wall…
Instead of you.
Despite the fact that I could never have your poster on my wall, lest I risk the fiery flames of hell, I can assure you that Jesus scowling down on me while I cuddled Pillow You did not diminish my ardor for you one little bit. It just made it sort of creepier. Because parents can no more hold back their child’s burgeoning sexuality than you can hold back the sea. Parents only choices are to either help their children navigate the emerging tide, or pervert its course using the tools of shame and self-loathing. My parents chose the latter because that’s all they themselves knew.
But my parents are not the only reason I’ve kept silent for so long, David.
See, when you were my crush-worthy cream daddy, I couldn’t admit it because obviously you were a hot, sexy guy/man so far out of my league that you might have well been living on an entirely different planet, and I was a 13 year old girl with acne and chubby thighs. The whole notion that someone like me could dare to have a crush on someone like you was ludicrous. And I knew it.
So I didn’t tell anyone. Not even my best friend. In fact, because it was obligatory in Girl World that you have a crush on somebody, I lied. I told the other girls that Bobby Sherman was my crush. But he wasn’t. (No offense, Bobby. I’m sure you are great.)
You see, I wasn’t popular enough to have a crush on you. So, in order to protect my tender heart from the inevitable torment I would have received from the other girls for reaching above my station, I said my crush was on Bobby Sherman. I guess somehow he was in my league. Fuck if I can figure that one out..
Anyway, David, I’m over all that now. I am 52 for God’s sakes! And in honor of my being a grown-up woman I am now coming out with the truth. I once loved you with all the passion a 13 year girl can possess (and since we’re talking about me, that was a lot of passion). And now you know.
NOTE: Dear Readers, your beautiful comments are not showing up for some reason. I don’t have time to fix it right now, but they are being recorded, and I’ll have them back up asap. In the meantime, who was your crush on when you were growing up? Did you tell anyone? How did your parents handle them?