The Ones That Got Away

I was saddened upon hearing that David Cassidy had appeared in a New York courtroom last week to answer charges of felony drunk driving. At the same time, I was also relieved because for a number of years I was in love with and hoping to marry David Cassidy. Upon reading of his recent brush with the law, however, I realize I may have dodged a serious bullet by not winding up betrothed to a former heart-throb with substance abuse issues.

The news also made me curious as to my other former crushes and what sort of life I could have had if things had worked out between us. I’ll spare you coverage of what could have come of my love affairs with Teen Beat regulars, Shaun Cassidy and Rex Smith since even if our relationships hadn’t been imaginary they most definitely would have been brief. I say this not because of their busy work schedules—if that were a deal-breaker my relationship with the Jarhead would have hit the skids years ago—but because the two have been married a combined total of seven times. Not that I don’t believe myself capable of sustaining a Hollywood marriage better than your typical Hollywood wife; I’m just saying the odds aren’t in my favor.

I’ll also spare you coverage of my fantasies surrounding Donny Osmond since that relationship, too, would have fizzled quickly. For although he hasn’t been married as many times as Rex Smith and Shaun Cassidy, he has been quite vocal in his opposition to same sex marriage which for me is grounds for opposite sex divorce.

So I’m going to sail right past my celebrity crushes and start with the relationships I had with people I actually knew—starting with my first love, whom I’ll call Farmer Boy. Farmer Boy won my heart by stealing my comb. This was an incredibly daring act given that we were at Bible camp, and I found the whole bad boy aspect of his behavior charming beyond words. I’d like to say I was also attracted to his intelligence, but in truth I was drawn to him more because of his sense of humor, and because without the John Deere cap and sunglasses he looked exactly like Richard Gere. After holding hands two nights in a row during evening chapel, and kissing goodnight at the edge of the path to the girls’ bank of cabins, I was convinced we would marry and live happily ever after.

To my dismay, it didn’t last. Apparently after holding hands two nights in a row and kissing goodnight, Farmer Boy got cold feet. To this day I don’t know why, but not only did he fail to propose the day after kissing me under the stars; he completely ignored me and acted as if I didn’t exist for the next fifty weeks or so. It was like the Cassidy brothers, Rex Smith, and Donny Osmond all over again—only worse because Farmer Boy and I had actually met and swapped saliva.

That scenario would play out in almost the exact same way the following summer—and the next. And this ding dong played right along. Yep—as if to prove Einstein’s definition of insanity—I repeated the same actions summer after summer all the while expecting a different outcome. I don’t know how many years in a row Farmer Boy would have broken my heart before he grew bored of it, but I do know how many years I would have let him. Thank heaven I stopped going to Bible camp.

I don’t know where Farmer Boy is today. I’d love to look him up—if only to confirm my dual hopes that he had his heart broken over and over again by the same woman and that he no longer resembles Richard Gere—but apparently his name is too common for me to conduct an effective Google search. One day I may write a book about our annual flings. It will be the classic American love story: Farmer Boy flirts with girl; Farmer Boy kisses girl; farmer boy disses girl; Girl get Farmer Boy back by eviscerating him in fiction.

After that I dated several guys, but none were serious enough to make the list of those who got away until I met Minnesota’s answer to Woody Allen. By that I don’t mean the creepy Woody Allen who married his adopted daughter but the neurotic Woody Allen who plays characters who analyze things to death and are so insecure that at some point you want to stand up and shout, “You’re right; I COULD do better.” That was bad enough, but what finally put the kibosh on our relationship wasn’t his sense of inferiority but his fits of superiority and his tendency to be express surprise whenever I did something smart—like score higher than he did on the ACT, or get accepted by my first, second, and third choice of colleges.

On the upside, this guy did spark my interest in politics and introduced me to the music of Elvis Costello, both of which I’m still fond of today. Like Farmer Boy, and for the exact same reason, the whereabouts of this dude are unknown to me. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s working for some important government official and pretending not to care about power, or expressing concern that he doesn’t deserve the job. Either way, I doubt he would be much fun to be around.

Between Woody and the Jarhead there was only one person with whom I had a serious relationship. Like his predecessors, this fella was funny and playful—for the first couple months anyway. Then he got all possessive and violent, which is why I had to break it off. Unlike his predecessors, he was stocky and walked with his elbows bent in such a way that seemed to move sideways rather than forward like a giant crab. He also had squinty little eyes and a long torso which, combined with his skinny legs, made him look like a human crossed with a tree frog.

I firmly believe I did the world a favor when I broke it off with him. With my blonde hair and plus size figure, our kids likely would have looked like the love children of Kermit and Miss Piggy—and not even the folks who created the Muppets are interested in that.

With all of that in mind—not to mention the Jarhead’s many wonderful attributes—it’s fair to say I made the right choice not to pursue those who rejected me, and to throw the others back. Then again, for all I know they’d say the same about me. Good thing I have no idea where any of them are.


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