Crush: Interview & Giveaway

Last year, Andrea (Nicki) Richesin asked if I'd contribute a piece to CRUSH: 26 Real-Life Tales of First Love, which hit stores last week. I adapted an old blog post about my very first "boyfriend", but more importantly, the essay was about the normalcy of crushing on other people during marriage. We are, after all, human beings. Attraction to other people doesn't stop the moment we say "I do" and yet, for whatever reason we go into marriage thinking it will, or more importantly, that it should. How unfair we are to ourselves, our spouses, putting that kind of pressure on our relationships. I'll never stop crushing on other people. Neither will Hal or anyone else. Because we're human beings. Because we desire.
I may have eyes for everyone in the room but its Hal I choose to share a table with...
More on that in CRUSH, (P. 239). In the meantime, here's an interview with fearless editor/all-around amazing chick, Andrea N. Richesin.

GGC: First off, congratulations on the release of CRUSH: 26 Real-life Tales of First Love! It's a wonderful anthology and I'm beyond flattered to have an essay (adapted from this post) included in the book! In the past your collections have been more parent-centric. (What I Would Tell Her: 28 Devoted Dads on Bringing Up, Holding On To, and Letting Go of Their Daughters, Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond What made you decide to go back in time re: first love for CRUSH?

ANR: Thank you, Rebecca, for contributing your incredible essay and for giving me this chance to share my work with you and your readers. Honestly, I thought editing Crush would be fun. I wanted to make a complete departure from the kinds of books I had been editing. I hoped Crush would appeal to a broader audience than just parents or women in their thirties as in my first anthology The May Queen. Falling in love and being rejected are universal experiences that often make lasting impressions on all of us. It’s a story that may be told many different ways and I enjoyed reading how some of my favorite writers would remember their own first loves. I thought it would be fascinating to examine the meaning of loss and love.

GGC: This is your fourth time editing an anthology. How does one go about rallying so many writers to contribute?

ANR: It’s hard work finding writers willing to work in a short amount of time, especially with a deadline looming. I often wonder if I’ll be able to pull it off and enjoy the challenge of seeing if I can do it better than before. Somehow the pieces seem to always fall magically into place and come to together to form this beautiful hodgepodge of stories and experiences. I love how that happens. It’s all part of the alchemy I find so compelling about this work.

GGC: Your first crush is missing from the collection. Can you tell us a little about how that went down?

ANR: I had definitely noticed the young man in question when one of my friends told me he “liked” me. On our first date, he sent me a single red rose and at the school pep rally that day, he posted a sign that read, “Nicki, I can’t wait for our date.” Subtle, I know. Another sweet memory: he prepared a romantic dinner for me at his house and had wanted us to dine by candlelight, but couldn’t find any candles. So he plugged in an electric Christmas candle to cast a warm glow over us while jazz softly purred from the kitchen. Janis Joplin’s version of “Summertime” is the song I always think of when I think of him.

GGC: Who are you currently crushing on (besides your husband, of course)?

ANR: My hubby is cute, but I think Michael Fassbender may have stolen my heart in Jane Eyre. His performance was mesmerizing. I had to immediately rent Fish Tank (fabulous!), all of his silly action films, and I’m anxious to see his award-winning portrayal of IRA prisoner Bobby Sands who starved himself to death in Hunger. He has this intensity about him that’s very alluring. I also have a soft spot for Irishmen.


GGC: I don't know that I ever FULLY got over my first crush and because of that I'm pretty convinced there are few things in life that affect us more. I also think adults tend not to take first love seriously which was maddening to me as a teenager and is even more maddening to me now. Why do think this is?

ANR: I totally agree with you. Of course, our feelings are just as valid at 16 as they are at any age. I was terribly frustrated when my parents told me, “you’ll have loads of boyfriends, honey,” or “this is just puppy love.” It made me want to scream. Before you fall in love for the first time, you’re so open to life and new experiences, but once you’ve been rejected, you become a little guarded and less willing to risk yourself. When you lose this innocence, it’s the last real hurtle to adulthood. So perhaps that’s why some adults, mired in reality and no longer na├»ve, may be too far removed from the experience of first love to adequately remember how intense the emotions felt the first time and how crushing it feels when one realizes it can’t last. I think many people tend to feel defined by their first loves. I know I certainly did. There’s a great line from The Wonder Years, “I never knew how bad it could hurt to lose something you never really had.”

GGC: What has been your highlight working on CRUSH?

ANR: I love getting to meet the contributors in person at our readings and to connect with the readers. We’re reading in the San Francisco Bay Area this week, then NY, the southeast, and Portland. After working cloistered away for the past year, I’m excited to finally meet everyone.

GGC: Any advice for the writers/editors out there looking to contribute to anthologies and/or edit their own?

ANR: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Over ten years ago, I asked Julianna Baggott for her help and she gave me great advice and walked me through the process of finding an agent and getting published. I didn’t have a clue and it can seem daunting at first. I always ask the industry experts I encounter for their opinions and how I might improve my concept or proposal. You’d be surprised how thoughtful and accommodating people can be. Also, never give up!

And for those in the Bay Area, CRUSH contributors Christopher Coake and Daria Snadowsky will be reading tonight at Books Inc (Laurel Village) in San Francisco @ 7pm. On Friday evening there will be a reading at Book Passage in Corte Madera, next week in NYC. Other CRUSH readings happening throughout the month in Knoxville, TN, Chapel Hill and Durham, NC. For full list of events, go here.


I have five copies of CRUSH to give away! To win? Tell me about your first crush. I'll choose five commenters (via next Wednesday. Don't forget to include your contact information! Good luck and big thanks to Nicki for including me in such an inspired anthology.



boga babe | 3:14 PM

My first crush was my mom's spaghetti. I am not joking. I was and still am in dangerous levels of love with my mother's spaghetti.

Anonymous | 3:25 PM

I kissed a boy in kindergarten... I remember his name and what he looked like but nothing about why I liked him. LOL

As for why adults downplay first crushes, I wonder if in some ways it's jealousy over never again having those intense feelings and also because they're anticipating how much it's going to hurt to see you hurt. I don't even want to think about the first time someone is going to break my son's heart because it's probably going to break mine just as badly.

Kathryn | 3:25 PM

My first real crush in high school was this guy that I met in Art History class. He wore socks with his birkenstocks, didn't own a tv at his house, and hated the idea of dinner date (he always had way more fun stuff for us to do). He was so cool in that nerdy, independent sort of way. I also specifically remember us making out a lot to Simon and Garfunkel albums. Weird.

Debra | 3:26 PM

My first crush was a boy named Billy who sang love songs to me in the back of our classroom... in 1st Grade! I'm still a sucker for a guy who sings to me.

Katie | 3:31 PM

My first crush was a boy named Ryan. I was a freshman in high school and he was a senior. He was crazy tall, really nice & cute, and had no idea I existed.

Roxanne | 3:42 PM

My first crush was Edgar. We were both freshmen, in the same English & PE classes. We had a few friends in common & so we started hanging out. He asked me out on a date (squeal!) where we ended up seeing a terrible movie WITH his brother & best friend (awkward!).

We talked on the phone quite a bit. I would play Martina McBride cassettes and then sing along with them, over the phone. He was the first person besides my mother to hear me sing.

He did walk me home from school a few times, and ended up holding my hand (sigh). I still think about him from time to time & find myself hoping he'll be at the ten-year reunion (this year!). You know, to catch up. He was such a sweetheart.

beyond | 3:50 PM

my first crush was 15 and i was 12. he lived upstairs and i would run to the kitchen window so i could see him walk down the path to the building when he came home. i don't remember his name or i would google him : )

Amy K | 3:51 PM

My first crush was on a cute little Swedish boy named Eric. We were both in first grade, and he taught me how to say important words like "dinosaur" in Swedish while we played together on the playground. I remember that he always wore grey sweatpants. He told me about St. Lucia Day, and I was so jealous of his sister because wearing a crown of candles sounded like a lot of fun.

Ashley | 3:55 PM

My first crush was a boy named patrick. He had a magnificent bowl cut that made me swoon. haha. I remember crossing glances on the playground, and feeling like I'd never felt before. It's all rather funny now.

Ashley | 3:57 PM

My first love was a boy named patrick. He had a magnificent bowl cut and a charmingly crooked smile. I remember crossing glances with him on the playground and feeling like my world stood still.

leeshka | 4:08 PM

My first really-real crush? Easy. My first "real" boyfriend (not the mealy mouthed boy that I shared my first kiss with). He was 2 years older than I, and beautiful. I still love him a little bit. /sigh.

Rachel | 4:13 PM

I don't specifically remember my first real crush, b/c I was always crushing on my older cousins' boyfriends. Some of whom they married, so yeah, that's a bit awkward now that I'm grown up too.

rkjfarmer at gmail dot com

Linden | 4:20 PM

I was 15, he was 23, and a counselor at the summer camp I attended. I still have dreams about him!

Sarafrazier | 4:20 PM

First crush was a boy named Brent Arbuckle who gave me his hockey picture in 2 nd grade. I recently found him on Facebook and he is still as cute as he was in elementary school

Christy | 4:38 PM

My first crush was a boy in grade one named Jason. I pretended I hated him but secretly I "loved" him. Ha!

Unknown | 4:38 PM

Ricky Keller was a boy I went to school with from K-3 and I was so in love with that boy. I never REALLY talked to him though. He was a 'cool' kid. Sad that there are cool and uncool kids in kindergarten!

margosita | 4:59 PM

C. He was a year older, but in my hippy elementary schools we had mixed classes (2/3, 4/5), so we shared a classroom for a year. About this time my mom or grandma bought me a book about my soon-to-be-changing body and in it having a crush was described as an intense feeling of wanting to be near to someone. Oh, I really wanted to be near to him.

C and I ended up at the same college, and at the same parties a few times. I was always dating someone else, but he once drunkenly wrote his phone number on my arm. A couple years later he'd walk me home from another such party and when I closed the door I literally swooned, and fell against it like a movie cliche.

Alyssa | 5:22 PM

My first crush was Lisa Turtle of Saved By The Bell!

ste | 5:28 PM

He lived across the street and we played together all the time. He didn't go to my school until the next year and sadly we weren't even put in the same class. But by the second grade, we were in the same class and one of the love letters he wrote to me was on a beautiful piece of golden wrapping paper. His family moved away before the school year was done.

Now he works at a church in California with his wife and they have a third baby due in August. I learned all that from the wonders of Facebook when his mom contacted me. Then I stalked him and found a picture of him and his wife. He looks the same, she's beautiful and they look very happy.

Rheyanan-lee | 5:41 PM

I cannot for the life of me remember my first crush, but i do remember my first boyfriend. We were thirteen, his name was Michael, and he had the brightest red hair... I think that's where my love affair for the ginger kind started!

Caressa Sharp | 6:02 PM

My first crush happened when I was four. Obviously this wasn't a life-changer, but I distinctly remember staring him down hard during, "If You're Happy and You Know It" and meeting up with him later in the plastic tunnels outside just to stare at each other. It was INTENSE.

Courtney | 6:05 PM

His name was Dayton and both my best friend Julie and I asked him out on the same day. He and I used to talk on the phone for hours after school and when he called that day he said "You're really great and nice and one of my best friends, but Julie is really pretty so I am going to go out with her". I was crushed.

Julia | 6:05 PM

My first crush was this sweet boy named Michael (now he's much cooler - Mike) who gave me chocolates (read: his mom sent chocolates to give me) because I was moving away. I wrote so many diary entries about how my parents thwarted the greatest love story never told!

Love your blog! :) Thank you for sharing your life!

Anonymous | 6:30 PM

My first crush was in cousin's best friend. I was in love. And at the end of first grade, he moved out of state. Tragic.

Keri | 6:39 PM

I had many mini-crushes that never turned into anything serious but I will never, EVER forget my first serious crush which led to my first boyfriend. We met online via MUD (Multi-User Domains) when I was in high school. I was crushing on him BIG time even though I had NO idea what he looked like. It was SO thrilling when I found out through another MUD friend that he liked me. We ended up being together for 2 and half years (after meeting in real life, of course). ;) That's the [short] story of 'Fantom' and 'Kermie'.

The Hojo Family | 7:30 PM

My first crush was with the boy who lived across the street from me. He was friends with my cousins and when he would come over to play basketball or baseball with them, I would dress in something cute and go stand out there watching and pretending to care about the game! lol

Lisa | 7:41 PM

His name was Christopher. I was in kindergarten and he was in grade 1. I saw him for the first as he sat in the hallway with his reading buddy. I thought he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen: golden blonde hair, blue eyes and porcelain skin. In Kindergarten and stuck by such beauty. I had a crush on him for about 4 years including the 2 years during which I lived in Jamaica. In Grade 3, I was dared to tell him that I liked him so I did. I was swiftly rejected.

ThatGirlRuns | 8:13 PM

My first crush was Stefan. My aunt and uncle were members of a ski club and so were Stefan's parents. We were 8 or 9 and totally "in love". He used to ride his orange racing bike 9 miles to come and see me (can you imagine letting your 8, or even 9 year old ride his bike for 9 miles BY HIMSELF! We'd hang out in our backyard eating apples from the tree and contemplating out future together. On annual ski club bike tours he'd let me ride his bike and we always shared food at the picnic.
I remember practicing my signature with his last name for hours at a time.
I actually have tried to look him up on the internet but to no avail thus far.

Anonymous | 8:19 PM

I'm in the delightful category of folks who ended up in a relationship and subsequent engagement to a boy I've loved since we were 11... I'm 26 now.

Even I didn't think we would end up as we are now!

Carrie | 8:29 PM

My first crush was in the 5th grade - Byron. I convinced my mom to let us join the public pool where I knew he was a member. I would play love songs from Chicago over and over again and stare at his yearbook photo. He never knew I existed.

Anonymous | 8:36 PM

My first crush was my brothers bestfriend, Ryan. I was in middle school & he was in high school. Everytime he was around I carried a brush in my pocket so I could constantly be "fixing" my hair. Like somehow my hair would make him notice & fall in love with me. Ha! If it was only that easy, right! :)

Beth @

WasStephHere | 9:25 PM

I know I had crushes before this, but the one that stands out the most to me, was the musician...
I first saw him at a coffee shop for open mic night. I didn't like him at first, but I kept going back week after week because of him.
Five years later, I got my chance...Thanks to Myspace, we started talking and we casually dated for a few months. It ended up not working out, he broke my heart. It took a long time to get over him, and I still think about him occasionally, but I was in love with a fantasy. He turned out to be someone completely different.

Jack's Mama | 9:45 PM

This post made me randomly start reading some of your old archives. My story kind of similar, surprised pregnancy at 23, married during pregnancy, etc. I've been stressed recently because I having the wedding in never had in about 6 weeks! Totally behind, no photographer, florist, not registered, trying to lose the baby weight still from my 22 month old!
I have been a slave to the gym recently but tonight i went to my moms house dinner, she took the baby on a walk and i took a run around my old stomping ground.
My new friend from mommy bible study-trying out this religious thing, lives on the same street as my first crush. He might even still live at home, i decide to have a goal to run to their neighborhood. I still don't know which house was hers and I think i remembered which house was his. I saw someone in his carport and got totally nervous, it was probably his dad but still! We went to different high schools but I ran into him less then a year ago and we actually both transferred to the same huge state college. I tried to make friends w/him but he didn't impress my sorority sisters because he wasn't in a frat.
Actually my first crush when i was 5, he moved when I was 8 but then we both went to Virginia Tech, I got excited when I found out we went to school together but yea totally no sparks, again he wasn't in a frat.
Now my only sorority friend is the one who introduced me to your blog, she had a surprise pregnancy too!
Anyways I came across this old post,
I've totally had stroller envy too, even though i love my graco-its awesome and it only weighs 17lbs. But you say maybe on your 4th child you will have a super cool stroller, any upgrades on a cool double w/a sit and/or stand--whatever that is?
Ah sorry for the random comment, gotta end it now, baby just woke up!

Pop Culture Casualty | 9:51 PM

His name was Joey. We were both six years old, he was in my kindergarten class, and his mom drove carpools on Friday. Joey had big brown eyes and lashes like a daddy long legs. He had every single Star Wars action figure and kept them in a Darth Vader shaped box. He pretty much ignored me, but once he let me hold Princess Leia.

When I was ten, my best friend Bethy and I spent a summer planning our fake weddings to a pair of mops. Mine was named Joey and hers was named Travis. We bought a string of pearls at the fabric store, wore veils and dressed our mops in bow-ties. We even wrote our own vows: "To have and to hold and to cherish like gold"

Joey and I drove carpool together for about twelve years and he never paid any attention to me. But when I relocated to Los Angeles eight months ago, he called me up and had me over for breakfast with his wife and kids. We talked and laughed about when we were kids, while he bounced my little girl on his knee.

Kirsten | 10:55 PM

One of my babysitters, Robby Hall, was the first crush I can remember. I'd get him to play Sleeping Beauty with him as the prince to see if he'd kiss me (he didn't). He was fun, gentle and tried teaching me to skateboard on the half pipe in his backyard.

Anonymous | 11:07 PM

My first real crush like REAL REAL REAL happened in college. He is tall and has kind eyes. I remember him like it happened yesterday.

Lucy | 1:12 AM

My first real crush was a ginger boy called Robert. We held hands in an allotment once, but that was the extent of my first love affair. We went to different schools after that and lost touch.Still got a bit of a thing for ginger guys with freckles now!
Erm, full disclosure, I'm English so I don't know if I'll qualify for this.

Unknown | 2:19 AM

My first crush was a friend of my older cousin. I followed him around like a drooling puppy for years and he never hardly gave me a second glance! It was a well known fact in my family, so i took a lot of crap for it, but when my brother ran down the street with my four-leaf clover underwear to show him, that was the last straw!

I definitely got over him and i don't find him the least bit attractive now! He hasn't aged well!

Shawna | 4:32 AM

Roger Walls. Two years older than me. Rebellious druggy, wore a distressed jean jacket (even in the hottest weather). I held his shaggy dirty brown hair back from his face as he threw up in the back seat of the school bus on the way home. I was in awe that the sheets on his (water)bed were satin. Very slippery.

I've grown up a lot since then. And I some of that to Roger.

Elizabeth | 5:39 AM

My first crush was my very best friend. I was in love with him for YEARS and watched every cheesy movie in existence where the guy realizes that his best girl friend is really the one he's supposed to be with (Some Kind of Wonderful, anyone?). Alas, it never happened. I'm happily married now, but last Christmas my sister was talking about him and she said, "You were so in love with him!" and my wife said, "I think you still kind of are." She's right. I still kind of am. Isn't that what a first crush is all about?

Jen | 5:56 AM

My first love was a boy named Brian. I was being bullied and he stuck up for me. After the bullies took off, he held my hands and told me I didn't have to worry about them anymore. I was a goner! We "went out" all of 7th and 8th grade. Sometime in there he gave me my first kiss too. It was so sweet and innocent. I moved high schools and we lost touch after that. But thanks to social networking, we have reconnected. We're both married and have kids...our sons are around the same age and both named Jack. I couldn't have asked for a better first love:)

Katie | 6:33 AM

My first crush was in pre-school. I remember nothing about that time in my life but I can picture clearly playing in the park one day with my friend David. He looked at me and said "I like you" and then he kissed me. be 4 again. :)

Ashley | 6:37 AM

My first real crush was in elementary school. I was completely head over heels for this boy from kindergarten to 4th grade. (He actually just got married a few weekends ago and is still as cute as ever) However, the first real defining crush I had was in high school. My junior year I started dating my first true love. Everything with him was amazing and new and perfect - that is until the day I found out he was cheating on my with a freshman cheerleader our senior year. Talk about crushing (pun intended)! It took my into my sophmore year of college to really get over him. I always thought he would decide he made a mistake and come running back to me. Hind sight, he was a complete jerk and is now a sleazy lawyer in NYC, but none of that takes away from the fact that I really loved him and thought that I would marry him some day. I hope when I have kids I won't deminish the love they feel, no matter how much I can see from the outside that it may not last.

Mandy Thompson | 6:40 AM

Geez, first crush ...Probably my BFF Mark, whom I've known since birth. I moved away from him at age 5 but never lost contact. He was my life long crush. Our mutual crush on each other got me through all of the other crushs that didn't work out. I always knew he's be there, he was my "back-up". We'd spend hours on the phone talking about everything and nothing. 26 years later, and he's still my BFF - never developed into a relationship, thank goodness, because our partners are cool with our friendship!

Kerry | 6:41 AM

First off I need to say hello, because I'm only recently started reading you and this is my first time commenting. So: hello! I love this space.

My first crush was in gradeschool: George. My best friend also crushed on him, and we would hang out at her house (that had a jukebox of eighties tunes) and sing along to George Michael's "I want your sex" and laugh and be scandalous and talk about how much we loved him.

Coincidentally, George - much like his namesake - later expressed his same-sex preferences. My first of a few loves to do so. Sigh.

Denise | 6:50 AM

My first crush was Joey, when I was probably 6 or 7. His parents owned the dance studio in town, and I was obsessed with him. I only wanted to take dance classes that he was in. He was also my first kiss.

jessica | 6:53 AM

My first crush? A boy that I had watched from afar my junior year in high school and was finally asked out by him that next year. We experienced all our 'firsts' together and waded through all the 'firsts' that come with being in love. He broke my heart and I had to learn painfully that some things are not meant to be.

Anonymous | 7:12 AM

Lovely interview, and what a cool project! I appreciated her solid advice, as I edit a literary magazine and it's good to know it's not just a scramble to the finish line for me!

My first crush was a boy named Jordan, I vaguely recall changing the lyrics of DeBarge's Oh Sheila to "Oh Jordan" and singing it in my room.

You've asked for contact info, and here it is:

Jenn/hippygoth | 7:26 AM

My first real, intense, OMG crush was also my first boyfriend. My babysitter's little brother, Bobby. It was so intense - after a year of being in love with him and "flirting" (we were 12), we finally kissed, and it was the best thing ever. I'm getting butterflies just remembering.

Jessie | 7:31 AM

As horrifying as it is to think about now, my first crush (I was about 5 or 6) was on David Hasselhoff when he played Michael Knight on the show Knight Rider. We watched the show as a family, and I would try so hard to not smile when Michael Knight came on screen -- my older brothers knew about my crush and were ready to torment me at the first sign of weakness. I can still remember -- 20 plus years later -- turning bright red when they'd call me out on my crush.

Anonymous | 7:39 AM

john, the boy next door. he had a cool house and even cooler parents. not to mention, he was pretty rad on the skateboard. i would watch him build ramps from my bedroom window and never did have the guts to get out there on my own set of "wheels"

Elizabeth | 7:46 AM

this book sounds great! i had a crush of epic proportions in middle school that carried over to high school. i would admire him from afar, but was too shy/insecure to ever talk to him! i ran into him at a gas station a few years ago and he gave me a huge hug, which surprisingly gave me butterflies!!! (it's been almost ten years) it's amazing how powerful that first crush can be.

Elise | 7:46 AM

It's a toss-up between Ponch from CHiPS (Eric Estrada) and Mr. Roarke from Fantasy Island (Ricardo Montalban). My friends and I spent many, many afternoon re-enacting various episodes and imagining ourselves as the heroines.

Elise | 7:48 AM

And I just made the connection that I grew up to marry a man with dark curly hair and an accent. I guess it was transformative after all...

Kimommy | 7:48 AM

Rich and I were the only two kids on the bus to afternoon kindergarten.We were best friends.He taught me to ride a bike without training wheels. I kissed him. At my sixth birthday party, he was the guest I looked forward most to seeing. But when he arrived, he shoved my gift at me (a stuffed frog named Fleegle)and ran off to play with the boys. It broke my heart.

When we were in our twenties, we were once again best friends. He taught me lots of things. I hope I taught him some things, too. He kissed me. He ran off. He ran back. He ran off. He broke my heart again.

Anonymous | 8:04 AM

Love this article. My first love very much seems to have defined who I am and in many ways has made my first love who he is today. We affected each other so much. I saw him for the first time when I was 9, at summer camp. I never stopped crushing on him. He became my boyfriend finally when we were sixteen and we fell madly in love. Then we broke up a year and a half later. It felt more painful than my dad dying when I was thirteen.
We've remained friends all these years, and I don't think the feelings will ever fade between us.

MonoCerdo | 8:28 AM

I love this topic! My first crush dates all the way back to kindergarten and I remember it vividly to this day. I wanted him to notice me so badly, so every time I'd get a hair cut or lose a tooth or wear a new outfit I'd ask him if he noticed anything different about me that day. Alas, he never did. I totally looked him up on Facebook a few years ago and he's still cute, so apparently I knew how to pick 'em at six.

Amy | 8:54 AM

Last week I was reminiscing about my college crush. We had this magnetic attraction and although I was old enough to know better, he was the boy that made me blush and get weak in the knees, even at age 26. After taking classes together for a year, one night after beer with friends he grabbed me in elevator and finally kissed me. We had the one kiss, and one night, and neither of us wanted a relationship at the time so it never went farther.

We graduated 8 years ago and haven't talked or emailed in at least 5 years. Last time I was supposed to see him, I stood him up to get home to my obnoxious boyfriend.

Last week I found out he died in July 2009 at age 31. I am inexplicably sad. He had recently married (as am I, now) and then died 3 months later. No reason was given in the obit. I just want one more kiss in the elevator.

Amy P. | 8:54 AM

The book sounds amazing! My first crush was in 5th grade for a cute little blonde boy but I was too much of a tomboy to admit it. My first love was when I was 17. I started crushing on my best friend but didn't realize how REAL it was until our friends had a "crush intervention" and pushed us both in a room together to talk things out and decide on a "real" date. I don't know if I would have ever acted on my feelings and he was shy as well. thank goodness for friends! We were together for 4years and he'll always remain my first love!

Jess | 9:11 AM

In elementary school...the older brother of a classmate. Because he sat with me on the bus and I think we read a poem or story together. I remember nothing about him, save that he was tall [er than me, of course], dark [all boys in that family had dark hair and eyes], and [in my young estimation] quite handsome.

Emily | 9:19 AM

my first crush was my friend Jonathan, in kindergarten. he was just so cool! we went on a date (with my mom) to see hook in the movie theatre (really mom? you let me see hook?) and he told me that Rufio didn't really die, it was going to be ok – because I started to cry.

He moved away, and we still got Christmas cards for a while, but I didn't see him again.

Caitlin | 9:19 AM

my first bigtime crush i had was on a boy who i met at a valentines day party when i was fourteen. i say bigtime, because we fell in love, hard. way harder than i thought was possible. it was pretty sweet. we grew up together.

Lou Lou Belle | 9:49 AM

I was totally gaga over one of my best male friends in fourth and fifth grade, I remember trying to pretend I had any interest whatsoever in hootie and the blowfish so he would like me. sigh. but I was just one of the boys with he and our other friends. ah, elementary school... THOSE were the days!
and here to here to crushes being human nature...amen to that, lady. amen.

clueless but hopeful mama | 9:53 AM

Congrats on the publishing! Can't wait to read it!

My first crush was throughout middle school. His name, when slurred together, sounded like "My Camel", so a friend of mine would hide a camel in my locker, in my bag, on my seat in class, all to get me to blush and stammer.

I have yet to see him as an adult. I can only imagine how I would react (read: definite blushing and stammering.)


I've...never?...had a crush?

That doesn't seem right at all, but when I think about it it's true. I've never had a crush on anyone who wasn't a celebrity or a fictional character (or both).

~ Noelle

L.L. | 10:02 AM

My first crush was a blonde, blue eyed boy from my daycare, he actually reciprocated the affection for a day, which was all I needed to send me on a series of blonde, blue eyed boy crushes which lasted all through high school :)

Anonymous | 10:16 AM

My first REAL crush was a boy I met in Jr. High. I fell in love with him instantly and loved him all the way through high school, and the first two years of college. (of course with all the dramatic break-ups in between) He was charming and funny and everything we experienced, through all our awkward and adolescent memories, for the first time together. I did all the crazy teen love cliches like sneeking out of my house to meet him, went to most high school dances together, even ditching school to make out at his house. It was real love. Everyone thought we would get married until I moved away to go to college and left him in the dust. I'm married now, but I still have dreams about him. It is true, you never get over your first love.

P.S I love love love your blog! You crack me up daily, so thank you!

Kate | 10:28 AM

A boy named Mike. In 1st grade he blew a mouthful of water on my cheek, but I considered it a kiss.

sam | 10:33 AM

What a great concept for a book!! Definitely makes me think of my first REAL crush, who was my first real boyfriend. I would've followed him to the moon and back. We still keep tabs on each other today and I'd be there for him in a heartbeat if he needed me.

Sarah | 10:37 AM

Jayke was both hilarious and loved to sing and dance. In 3rd grade, that was the ultimate combination!

Sarah | 10:45 AM

My first crush was Johnny Depp and it must be true love because it never really went away. My first real-life real crush was a boy named Ryan. We sat together on the school bus and the day that I poked my finger through a hole in his t-shirt and touched his bare skin was absolutely thrilling to Little Me.

DailyQuib | 10:54 AM

He's not the most significant crush I remember, but the very first crush I had was on a boy named Neil. In my 3rd grade diary I wrote that I liked how he wore long-sleeved shirts with shorts. Once he rescued me during Capture the Flag and when I moved away in 4th grade he signed my goodbye card with a heart! I heard he grew up to be pretty dreamy, which doesn't surprise me.

DailyQuib | 10:56 AM

He wasn't the most significant crush I can remember, but my very first crush was on a boy named Neil. In my 3rd grade diary I wrote that I liked how he wore long sleeved shirts with shorts. Once he rescued me during a game of Capture the Flag, and when I moved away in 4th grade he signed my goodbye card with a heart. I heard he grew up to be pretty dreamy, which doesn't surprise me.

lauren | 11:09 AM

while i definitely had a crush on a boy in elementary school, he decided it would be ok to move away and break my heart... :(
the next crush that came along was a boy who worked on a whale watch boat and was just really cute to look at! ;)

Jaci | 12:08 PM

I had a mad crush on an older boy in our neighborhood for years...I use to drive by his house on my purple Huffy about 20x a day (then in my first car when I was 16). My mom ran into him a few years ago...he's a bald rectal/colon surgeon now....sigh.

Kate | 12:14 PM

My first all-consuming crush was on my high school boyfriend, Brent. As captain of the football team, he was tall with broad shoulders that enveloped me in hugs. Our hair was(is?)a matching shade of hazel which made for some adorable photos. He was far from the stereotype that he could have been given his social pull in the small town obsessed with football. He was respectful, funny, and kind. We dated for 3 years and went to the same college where the inevitable happened and we needed to spread our wings. He taught me how to love and be loved and set the bar for every relationship I would subsequently have.

Glenda | 12:15 PM

My first crush. We were in middle school. I was a year older. But every day I would pass by his "homeroom classroom" and just be mesmerized by him. ahhhh! a letter.

Anonymous | 12:36 PM

Do fictional characters count?
My first crush was Aladdin. I remember at ages 6, 7, 8 + watching all the movies as well as the TV shows and thinking that I would do everything in my power to someday marry him. Sad to say big fail on that front thus far.

I was also incredibly envious of Princess Jasmine and remember thinking that if I could just be her I would literally be the happiest person EVER.

Its hilarious now but those were pretty strong emotions for such a little kid.

contact info:

Amanda | 5:55 PM

I remember having my first crush, but nothing else about the boy. He lived a few doors down from us and when my mother would take us on walks around the neighboorhood, I would shake my hips as we passed his house.

jesse k | 6:21 PM

Adrian. He punched me because I called him "Wonderwoman" (why I called him that, I have no idea) and he got in big trouble, but it didn't change my feelings towards him.

Maria Wells | 8:11 PM

My first crush was my best friend's older brother. He was four years older than us, and the cutest boy I had ever seen - especially with his bright blue Star Trek glasses and rat tail. (No, I couldn't make this up if I wanted to!)

Luckily, we both moved on from this childhood crush (I say both because in my mind he was HOPELESSLY in love with me, of course), and I am now married and he is engaged.

It never would have worked out with us anyway... I could never to that "love long and prosper" thing with my hands ;)

sara. no h. | 8:39 PM

My first crush was my high school sweetheart. He was tall and tan and sarastic and wonderful.

He made a wonderful first boyfriend. We were crazy in love for 3 1/2 years. I broke up with him on some bad advice from a trusted friend who didn't have my best interest at heart. I was cruel and horrible. I regret my behavior to this day.

We saw each other again when I was in my early twenties. It was a chance meeting at horrible town dance club. He was just as tall, tan and wonderful. But, it was different.

We danced together, which was an odd sensation. Here was the boy I danced all my dances with from homecoming to turnabout, but now he was a man and I was a woman. it was utterly surreal.

At the end of the night there was a slow dance. He held me close, and smiled his crooked smile.

"You still have feelings for me." I said.

"So. You still like me." he replied.

To which I said, "Always."

His hand, which held mine was so rough. He was working at a mill and his life was headed in a different direction than mine. When the lights came on, I knew it was time to go. My heart sunk, because I knew that I would not see him again. That time had passed, and even with the best intention, my world had gotten too big to go back.

We talked on the phone a few times after that, but never saw one another again.

He got married a decade ago. My mom ran into him and called to tell me and I cried. I felt like I lost something. It humpty dumptied my heart.

And, although all the kings horses and all the kings men could not put it back together, my husband could. 17 years after Jeff and I parted ways, I got a second chance at being someone's first love. Only this time I knew enough to appreciate it.

After years of looking for Jeff, I found him on facebook two weeks ago. I thought about whether to add him as a friend for two days and two sleepless nights. I worried for how his wife would feel and I worried how I would feel if he didn't accept. I finally bit the bullet. And two days later, which may have been equally sleepless for him, he accepted.

And, for the past two weeks I have found myself looking at his page, wondering why a childhood romance could haunt me into adulthood.

So, your post and this book are well timed for me. I hope I win it, but if not, I am buying it. :)

Meg | 8:51 PM

I can't remember my first crush because I think I was born loving boys. I remember making out with my best friend (a boy) on his bunk bed at the tender age of 3. My kindergarten crush pulled his pants down and showed me his underwear. My 2nd grade crush never knew I liked him.

Wow, this could go on for days...


Renee | 8:58 PM

I think my first crush was in kindergarten, but I'm not sure. I've never been boy crazy so I don't retain crush information.

Anonymous | 8:58 PM

my first real crush/love (andrew) was a wonderful thing. i lived and breathed for it/him. the first night we met, by the end of it he had told me he thought he was in love with me (in a funny, romantic way not a serious, creepy way)...we were inseparable after that for at least 4 months...and when we broke up it crushed me completely. ahh memories...

Anonymous | 9:01 PM

i have a request. what about for a new section of your blog you do reviews for movies or books that you love. any movie or book you have seen or read that you love, recently or non recently. talk about what you think about it, how it affected you and why. the movie i had in mind that i wanted your opinion on was blue valentine. i just saw it and feel immediately in love with it. did you love it too?

Lil | 10:22 PM

This looks like a greeeeeeeeat book! I totally want to read it.

I also got right down to business and watched Fish Take. Wow, amazing movie.

My first crush: Rudi. He was a shy, pudgy kid in my fourth grade class. I was living in Baja with my family that year. He followed me to school, followed me to my friends' house, chased me up a tree, and I was crazy for him. lildictators(at)gmail(dot)com

Jamie | 3:57 AM

My *first* first crush was in 5th grade, his name was Chris, we had a 5th grade dance and so *so* wanted him to ask me, but of course, he didn't LOL I did a drive by on his desk and dropped a note - the kind where you're supposed to circle 'yes' or 'no' - he totally dissed me!! Mortification at it's finest. Ah...memories :) My first boyfriend had more impact, I think, our romance lasted a whole 2 weeks? Something like that, but you really never do get over that first kiss.

TMW | 6:10 AM

I teach high school and would love access to some if these essays to share with my students. I recall my first crush in 5th grade---there was always a Madonna song on in the background during our silly phone romance!

Ashley | 6:10 AM

His name was Andrew. We were 7. We used to chase each other every day on the playground. One day, I fell down and skinned my knee. He told me he thought it was really cool that I didn't cry even though he knew it hurt pretty badly. At our Valentine's Day class party that year, he gave me a paper heart pierced arrow style with a pixie stick. It was pure elementary school love.

SpillingOutBeautiful | 9:38 AM

My first crush? Kindergarten. His name? Fisher. I thought his name was so awesome, like totally wanted to name all my kids Fisher/Fishette. We would play on the playground together. He would make me push him on the swings. I was in love. Then one day I ran up to him during recess. He was with all his bros. He then informed me that he didn't like me anymore and that I was a "stinkface". I CRIED. Like broke down. It was terrble. I moved on though, my next love's name was Toby (less "fishy").

Margie | 12:14 PM

My first fiery crush was a boy at camp. He had gone to camp for years, so everyone knew him and the counselors, who I completely idolized, all joked around with him and that made him seem even more special. He was cute and funny and musical. He lived in another city, but after camp we wrote letters (my first real love letters - I read them over and over), and visited once or twice. Unfortunately he was a couple years older than me and I knew he would think I was too young, so I lied about my age, and so of course it ended when he found out (I'm pretty Suriname confessed). Recently he emailed me because he went to a place where we had a date and had thought of me and to my surprise that email made me feel those love letter feelings all over again. It was fun to remember what that felt like. Milagrobeancat at yahoo dot com.

Myssie | 7:33 PM

Oh give me a rebel any day!
I guess my crushes have all been the rebels of my space at the time.
Boy in elementary school who didn't chase the girls, boy in high school who smoked cloves and sold great pot. I wish I could remember who was my first real life crush. Joey of KNOTB was my first celeb crush. I have been crushing on Trent Reznor since the early 1990's.

S@MakeHappy | 8:23 PM

Ooo my first crush was JTT (Jonathan Taylor Thomas from Home Improvement)! If ya'll like this giveaway, you should check out our book giveaway:

Flannery | 9:53 PM

My first crush was the boy next door-- well almost, he lived 2 doors down. We spent many summers together riding bikes around the neighborhood. When I was around 7 or 8, our older sisters wrote a musical, Carlotta, for the four of us to perform for our parents- complete with songs from Phantom, Beauty & the Beast, etc. My sister knew I couldn't be trusted to memorize lines so she cast me as a life sized doll that came to life (but couldn't speak.) The highlight of my elementary school life was getting to dance with Tom (the lonely dollmaker) in this play. I bragged about it for years to my friends. He was so dreamy!

My mom told me that he recently eloped before deploying to Afghanistan.

fmurphy07 at gmail

Mena | 7:16 AM

Jonathan Goforth. Sand-colored hair, fathomless blue eyes. His smile stretched from one side of his adorably round face to the other, breaking it in half, shining so blindingly. Head over heels, I was. At every break or lunch period, you could find us sitting on the picnic tables behind the school, using the benches for footstools, our hands inching closer every third word spoken. He was a grade below me. In the spring, I was excited to go to the 8th grade formal dance, but other grades weren't allowed. So I invited my friend-who-was-a-boy, Nick Lyon: tow-headed, impossibly curly mop of hair, blue-gray eyes, and another smile to die for. That night was magical, from the view of my eighth grade self. Torn between two, I betrayed poor Jonathan. Neither of us ever got over it.

Penny | 7:38 AM

First crush was in 7th grade, and I ended up marrying him when I was 30. Sometimes you can't make your first love leave your heart.

Ashley | 8:33 AM

Ah, Lucas with the curly mullet, what are you doing now? I'll never forget being 13 and offered a ride on the back of his moped while our families had a barbecue. I wrapped my arms around his waist and kept smelling his hair while hoping he wouldn't notice.

Anonymous | 5:31 PM

I feel like I have always crushed on anyone that I thought might be crushing on me - which sounds completely lame now that I write it out.

Olivia Singleton | 6:06 PM

Since reading your book, I have fallen in love with memoirs. Your memoir has shaped my life in so many positive ways. Do you have a memoir that has shaped your life?

Olivia Singleton | 6:19 PM

My first crush was in first grade, and his name was Devin. He was the tallest boy and I was the tallest girl in the class. In turn, it was obvious we were meant to be together.

kim {the non-mom blogger} | 8:25 PM

I crushed hard listening to Bell Biv Devoe at the skating rink - staring at Brian - wishing he'd ask me to couples skate...and it never happened. Maybe winning this book will make up for that devastation.

Bunny | 11:50 PM

My first "real" crush was a boy who i went to elementary school with and then suddenly in 7th grade I liked him and he liked me. I don't remember how it started, but I do know that we were convinced we were going to get married. We didn't, but his parents still remember me. We held hands during couple skate and that was about as romantic as it came back then.

BonJoey | 12:42 AM

My first crush was a neighborhood boy named Cameron, who had blond shaggy hair, a skateboard and was impossibly cool. I loved him from maybe 4th grade through all of middle school. It was unrequited love. Despite our proximity, it's like he never even knew my name. I even took up skateboarding (esp. around the neighborhood) just in the hopes that it would impress him, catch his eye. But it didn't. It was heartbreaking. Never really got over him...well, that is until I moved away during 9th grade and a few years later saw pictures of him in high school and he wasn't nearly as cute as he used to be. Made me feel much better! haha.

RockabillyBebe | 6:37 AM

My first crush was either Davy Jones from the Monkees. or Speed Racer. Seeing as they occurred somewhat simultaneously and they're quite similar in appearance, I guess it didn't matter. To my five-year old eyes, they were both dreamy. :)

Jody | 12:28 PM

Lifeguard at our local pool. Me in my yellow two piece with my paler than pale skin (bad choice) and him in his red & white shorts, twirling the whistle, sunscreen on the nose, and the blondest hair....

Aaron & Cassie | 2:56 PM

My first crush lasted all the way through elementary school. It was on a boy named Shea.

Rachel | 5:15 PM

My first real crush was my roommate's older brother when I went to Serbia for high school. I had just turned fifteen and just melted because they routinely kiss in greeting there. I spent a lot of time at her house!

Rachel | 5:16 PM

oops, my contact info is

Rachel | 8:15 PM

His name was Darin and it started in third grade and lasted for years. Oh, how cute he was. Still is, actually. Maybe I still have a little crush.

Ray | 12:35 PM

My first crush was on a boy named Peter in the third grade. Nuff said. =P

Kara | 9:49 PM

First real, butterflies-in-the-stomach, can't-stop-smiling crush was on a boy named John. Many silly breakups ensued. I'll never forget the look on his face when I told him I was engaged to my now-husband, and I'll never forget how I felt when I heard he was getting married! I think if I ran into him tomorrow, I'd still get butterflies, and it has been 15 years since our first kiss (which was also each of our first kisses)!

kschroeder616 at gmail dot com