So my last fandom lay in tatters, a ghost of its former self. But it continued to limp along while I continued a growing disinterest. I had a few brushes with potential crushes but no fandom in which I could actively participate. Writing those words make me wonder: what is the purpose of any of these crushes?
Could it be as a boyfriend substitute? I don’t think of them as fantasy boyfriends and many fans have partners in their lives. Could it be freedom from boredom? A crush certainly creates a heightened level of interest in discovering the person and his work and a thrill in the newness of it all, but I can still become bored. (Yes, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Blasphemy, I know). I don’t know about you, Dear Reader, but I can’t enthuse endlessly, any more than I can read or draw or write constantly. It takes away some of the novelty.
Could it be to fill something missing in ourselves? This could very well be in some fans, especially those who take their zeal to the disturbing stage. I suspect if everything possible filled my life, I would still have room for fandoms, mainly because I enjoy the surrounding community so much. With each group I’ve made friends (or learned how not to make friends) who have lasted over the years. I’ve also gotten invaluable insight into human nature and diverse experiences I otherwise wouldn’t have encountered. By the way, it’s ironic that if an object is the interest, it’s approved as a hobby; but if a person is the interest, it’s called a crush and treated warily. It’s okay to love the Chicago Bears but it’s odd to adore Mr. or Ms. Crush. When you think about it, everybody has some sort of interest or hobby, whether a sport, or craft, or show. This demarcation is a bit unfair.
Is it a culmination of experiences, perceptions, brain chemistry that is sparked by the crush’s appearance, voice, mannerisms and personality? I suspect this is more the case. There are actors who I like that just don’t do it for me. Then there are those I’m at a loss to explain, especially in hindsight. “There was just something about him at the time!” I look back on my former crushes and scratch my head. Obviously there was something about them that worked for me at that point in time. Sometimes I wonder if my crushes aren’t an evolving ideal of what I would like in a real life man, something like a safe virtual Ken doll who I can dress in different combinations of qualities. Hopefully, my taste is getting better, not worse.
But I digress. Flash forward a few years. I’m watching a television show with two buddies. The New Guy appears onscreen. (You all know who he is, but I’ll keep him incognito for continuity sake). “Isn’t he cute?’ gushes one friend. “He’s repulsive,” shudders the other. “Meh,” I say. I didn’t like him. I continued to dislike him for several episodes right up to the minute he got a cute shot, and another, and another, and “oh, could he possible be cute?,” and then “oh, this guy can act!,” and then – I was a fledgling fan of Mr Crush #3.