Saturday, January 6

My Weirdest Crush

Maybe "crush" is the wrong word. I use crush to mean people (or sometimes things) that intrigue me. People to whom I feel drawn, perhaps even in awe. There are occasionally people actually in my life who, for whatever reason, suddenly make me just want to be near them. Often the reason are not something about their actual personality or any inner being, but something they have achieved or a particular way they see the world or a particularly genius idea or concept of theirs. But sometimes it is just a series of things they are interested in that aren't "normal" but cross perfectly with things in my own brain.

Just as often (or maybe more often) is more in the celebrity realm. I have discussed my improv crush on Ellie Kemper. I saw her show Dumb Girls* this week and it was very funny. Immediately afterwards, I discussed the fact that every improv/sketch comedy boy in my particular world has an improv crush on her. Do we know her? Of course not. As far as I know she is an insufferable human being. But she can be so funny and is obviously extremely cute and has that smile of hers... well, it makes many of us melt.

But I don't get crushes on the Nicole Kidman's of the world. Even Rachel Weisz, who I find incredibly attractive and just love watching on screen, does not create a crush in me. Because I really have no idea of her as a person. Perhaps if a was her in flesh, listened in on a conversation at a cocktail party, heard what her actually laugh was like, she would slip into the "crush" realm.

There is the case of Sarah Vowell. Now, Vowell is not what one would call hot, but is certainly cute. An awkward cute, but still adorable. Vowell is definitely in the cute category even though I have never been in the same room with her. But I have listened to her on the radio and read her words, so I feel I know her voice. I feel like I have the slightest glimmer of what she is about. So the crush has developed.

But now there is the weirdest one, the one I don't understand at all. I have never seen her. I have even heard her voice, but I certainly now very very little about her personality. And the strangest part is that I don't have so much of a crush on her when she talks but how someone says her name once a week. This would be Brooke Gladstone, host and managing editor of the NPR show "On the Media." Yes, I love her interviews and reporting. But what gets me each week, what causes that twinge of a crush, is how at the end of each show, while reading the credits, her co-host Bob Garfield always says, "And edited by.... Brooke." That pause followed by just her first name. "Edited by.... Brooke." And I feel it. I am suddenly intrigued by Brooke. I want to know more about her. I wonder how she takes her coffee.

Man, that is just weird.

*I would also recommend James Santangeli's My Big Fat that is running with Kemper's show. And, hey, make a night of it and head over to the PIT theater for 9:30 show of This Just In.