I got married in Kindergarten.
I was five. He was five. He was handsome. Creative. Kind. A man of the world, able to recite his ABCs with more panache than I’d ever heard.
Instead of rings, we exchanged plastic animals. That tiny green horse was my favorite. But Joseph had captured my heart and I would have done anything to make my new husband happy.
While many dismiss and/or roll their eyes at ‘puppy love’, I believe it is the purest of ‘romantic’ love. It’s not based on popularity, or money, or physical intimacy, but simply on two hearts that connect in such a profound way, it defies explanation.
Of course, not all of my crushes were reciprocated. Most didn’t even know I existed, and I don’t mean this in a teenage heartbreak metaphorical manner. I crushed on celebrities all the time – who genuinely did not know of my presence in the world – and yes, even wrote one of them a letter.
Once. I read in a teen magazine that he liked football, so I said I liked football.
Yeah. I don’t like football.
As a teen, even I realized writing a letter to a popular rock star would most likely wind up on his assistant to the assistant to the assistant’s desk, and ultimately in the circular file.
Of course, it never stopped me from dreaming he’d notice me in the crowd of screaming fans. Our eyes would meet. He’d send that assistant to the assistant to the assistant into the audience to bring me backstage after the concert, and I’d give him my favorite plastic green horse...
Oh, wait. I gave it to Joseph. Huh. No wonder things never worked out with Jay.
It didn’t stop me from writing about it. As a child, I was gifted real horses – in my stories (if I wished, I could even make them green!) As a teen, my celebrity crushes did notice me in the crowds – in my stories. And even now, I reach deep to find those pure, simple, honest feelings and try to funnel them into the stories I write.
I did get remarried. To my latest and current crush. I was 21. He was 23. He’s handsome. Creative. Kind. And he doesn’t care one bit about football. I owe you a green plastic horse, Larry.